I’ve attached a presentation that I gave at the DC FIRST workshop in early December. It goes through the majority of sensors used in FIRST, what they’re used for and where you connect them. I hope this helps some of you understand how sensors can make your robots better.
One of the more troublesome aspects of selecting a rangefinder is not the maximum range that the sensor can detect, but the minimum. Inexpensive rangefinders seem to have a minimum range that is about 10% of the maximum range; often what you pay for in higher end range finders is a decreased minimum range. It should also be noted that while many rangefinders are linear in range (that is V=kr), some are approximately reciprocal (V=k/r), and others may have stranger response curves.
Quite true. Especially with the infrared sensors, we’ve found that if you’re too close, the distance is wildly inaccurate. Fortunately, many of the data sheets will warn you about this feature if you will simply take the time to read them.