Trying to improve reception on VS1838B IR sensor

I built a little robot and I'm playing with controlling its motion using a VS1838B IR sensor and a generic IR remote. My robot runs just fine and my code does what I think I'm telling it to.

The problem I'm having is that the IR sensor seems to be very directional, i.e. it needs to be facing the remote, more or less, in order to receive commands. If the sensor is facing left relative to the robot's motion and I'm on the other side, my signals don't get received and the robot ends up crashing into furniture or walls.

I'm going to try to put the sensor on a vertical stalk to get it up "into the wind", so to speak, but I wonder if anyone has tried putting some sort of collector lens on these sensors?

Or should I graduate to NRF24L01's to control the robot?

For maximum sensitivity you have to match the carrier frequency of the remote to the sensor.

If your remote is not 38 kHz, that is the problem.

Thanks, Jremington! Is there a procedure to calibrate the remote or do I just have to be sure the remote and the sensor are frequency compatible?