I would like to modify an RC car so that it follows me - or at least a kind of 'beacon' i carry, like those following suitcases (they work with bluetooth).
The beacon can be anything that fits in a pocket or on a holster clipped onto my belt.
I thought about a two-part sensing - the first part is direction, the second one is distance.
For the direction I could imagine an array of IR receivers arranged in a semi-circle separated by some opaque material. Depending on where the beacon (IR diode) is and because of the opaque material between the receivers, only a few IR receivers can detect the signal and the direction can be infered.
The distance part could be an ultrasonic sender and receiver pair. Not only does the beacon send an IR signal, but also an ultrasonic one in regular intervals. The time between two signals can be converted in distance.
My question is: Is this project feasible? Can the IR array be built in a way so that it can actually detect the direction? Does something like a two-part ultrasonic sensor exist? I only found sensors like the Ping))) which has sensor and receiver on the same board interacting with each other.
What other ideas for the sender/receiver part do you have?
An alternative approach could make use of computer vision. The beacon in this case would be some predefined object (coloured shape, IR LEDs like in a Wii,...) and the sensor would be a camera.