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Topic: New guy working with Arduino. help with project? (Read 8121 times) previous topic - next topic


Hi, I am a high school student and I am trying to make a project, and I think that the Arduino will work very nicely with it. I am trying to use a stepper motor and a range finder to be able to calculate the distance of an object, and then forward the information into my computer.

Can I use this Arduino (ameng.us/catalog/arduino-project-enclosure/) to connect a cord from my computer to the mounted laser and be able to send commands to activate my stepper (cause the laser to move up or down) and to request feeds as to the distance the object my laser is pointed at?

If that is a good Arduino (meaning it will serve its purpose) do you think this project has potential to work?

Does anyone know of a range finder that can detect objects, and give an accurate distance for up to 20 meters away? (preferably a not so expensive one due to this is just a school project)

Any other tips to making this project?

Any input would be most excellent!


sharps proximity ir sensor is what you can use!
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and give an accurate distance for up to 20 meters away

That is too far for an IR sensor, you also might be pushing an ultrasonic sensor as well.  Also how accurate do you need it to be?


sharps proximity ir sensor is what you can use!

:P  sharp ir proximity and 20 meters range ?  :P you wont get them even if you cant find them they are not good at detecting BLACK objects
and .,
mrjameslat i guess there is no range finder that fits your pocket the hobbie stuff generally have a range up-to 6 meters more than that you'll need to for for a industrial one


It doesn't have to be super accurate, but I'd like it to be as accurate as I can get it.

And even if it would be rather expensive do you think I could find one for under $50?

Also will the arduino work well for this?


The arduino is as good as anything else for this project, the limit is your sensor.
Getting a laser to point at objects (people?) can bring about safety issues.
At $50 you are still into hobby range of prices.


Would there be a way for me to buy something like this


and take the sensor out of it?
Thanks for any input! :)


The sensor in this is just like the sensor in a mouse, it measures the rotation of a ball. Is that what you want?


oh! I just now realized that.
No I want it to be able to "see" the objects.

But could it be possible to find something maybe not so expensive that has been massed produced like this, and be able to take parts out of it?


There are some ultrasonic range-finders that might reach the 20m.. (they are in the top-range of hobby level ultrasonic range finders)
They'll also have good precision (probably in centimeters).....

But..... ultrasonic range-finders have a cone shaped detection area. So at the 20m, it'll likely cover a very large area.. which makes it highly doubtful if you're measuring the walls.. or the object. So I'm doubtful if this is going to work.
At these distances, you'll likely need to go the optical route with 2 cameras. This would be WAY beyond the capabilities of an arduino (in fact, it'd probably require a PC).


Think about a long-baseline rangefinder, but at 20metres, optics is going to be your main expense.
"Pete, it's a fool looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart." Ulysses Everett McGill.
Do not send technical questions via personal messaging - they will be ignored.


It seems to me this could become a very expensive project.

Would a Photon Ultrasonic Laser work well?
(such as this one)



Jan 19, 2011, 06:56 pm Last Edit: Jan 19, 2011, 06:59 pm by Grumpy_Mike Reason: 1
I think you need to go into more detail about what you are trying to do and what you hope to achieve. It sounds like you are being too ambitious.

Would a Photon Ultrasonic Laser work well?

It is almost imposable to tap into those things and get a reading out.


edit from last post***
or is this the same as a measuring tape?


Usually, like non-contact thermometers, the laser is just there to tell the operator what they're pointing at.
"Pete, it's a fool looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart." Ulysses Everett McGill.
Do not send technical questions via personal messaging - they will be ignored.

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