Proximity Sensors for FRC?

Hi guys, I would really appreciate your help with finding the right proximity sensors to buy for the 2017 FRC competition. This is just my team’s second year participating in FRC, and we really don’t have much experience on the subject. We were thinking of using the sensors for guiding our robot during the autonomous period, and need them to be able to detect surfaces at approximately 3/4 meters away. What type/brand of sensor do you recommend that we buy? Which are compatible with the NI roboRio? Any help is appreciated, and thanks in advance!

Our team happens to have a fleet (literally) of HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensors. They’re extremely cheap, have built-in software support in wpilib, and we have tested them to measure accurately from about 5 cm to several meters away. This will be our first year using them in an FRC robot, but we’ve used them in smaller robot projects.

It might be worth looking through the sensors listed here:

These are all sensors used by teams.

At that range it really boils down to ultrasonic or light sensors. They both have their own idiosyncrasies with regards to the material they are hitting and reflecting from, their response rate, the object size detection, and the noise they may see. Most of the issues are listed in various posts here that you can search for.

The most common ultrasonic sensor is the maxbotix sensor. I believe you received one in your kit of parts.