Distance Sensors

Hi,
I'm looking for an accurate distance sensor (I guess that a sonar will be the best).
The sensor I'm looking for should be interfaced easily with a PC
(RS-232, USB).
Thanks!
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"Best" depends on a whole number of factors - range, update rate, accuracy...
Sonar doesn't work too well in noisy environments and may not work too well at extremely close range..
Deep
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kartoun wrote:

You're asking for two things in one package: - a distance/range sensor - a communications link
As for distance/range, check out both ultrasound (sonar) and the Sharp GDP2Dx (e.g. GDP2D12) infrared sensors. Ultrasound: - greater distances - larger sensing "cone" IR: - higher refresh rates - generally cheaper & easier to use - often less noisy - suffer less crosstalk between multiple sensors
Both technologies can suffer from unusually absorptive or reflective materials.
As for communications, many cheap micros will do. PIC, basic stamp, MSP430, ARM, Arduino, ... Here, its generally best to find something with a supportive community. RS232 is generally easier to program than USB, though a few good USB chipsets have come out in the recent years.
- Daniel
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Thanks for your answer.
Perhaps do you know what sonar sensors are installed on the PatrolBot? They look bigger than the $25-$40 sonar sensors exist on the market.
http://img.linuxexpres.cz/2005/6/roboti/patrolbot.jpg
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kartoun wrote:

Questions:     1.    How big can it be?     2.    What range do you need?     3.    How wide a beam width do you want?     4.    How much can it cost?     5.    How much accuracy do you really need?
Ultrasonic units are cheap and available, but most of them have large beam widths and have problems with reflections off hard surfaces. Range is centimeters to 10m or so. Some have minimum range limits.
Relative reflectance devices are cheap and available, but usually have very limited range, a few cm. Useful for grippers to control grasping.
Angle reflectance devices are available, not as cheap, have ranges in the 10-20cm range or so, and are reasonably accurate.
Time-of-flight laser rangefinders have accuracy to 1cm, ranges to tens or hundreds of meters, very narrow beam widths, and tend to be larger and more expensive than the other options.
            John Nagle
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