What sensors are teams using to sense/index balls? (Beam break, IR, Ultrasonic, ToF, Laser, etc)

I’m not too well versed in the commonly used sensors but just wanted to get some examples of what teams are using to sense balls. Any experience you have with these sensors would be helpful or if there’s any pitfalls of certain sensors to avoid. Are beam break sensors the way to go this year for their true boolean nature or are some kind of distance sensors better for sensing if balls are in a certain spot in an indexer?

Some starting examples:
IR distance sensor we used on our robot last year

Laser (IR?) ToF sensor that Capital Ri3D used

I’m on climb so I cannot speak for indexer but we’re using those (but a different version of it) to detect the climbing bar. Those should work for your case. When we were testing with that, those sensors had a harder time detecting black then other colors so having it faced towards something black that would allow the ball to get in between it and the backdrop sort of thing would be very helpful for getting a more reliable sensor output.

We are hoping these sensors will work out okay. They were recommended on another thread. If all goes well we will be trying them tonight.


We are using these. They’re inexpensive (only $5 from Amazon). Simple to wire up. We’ve also tested for interference between multiple sensors and everything seems to work fine.



We are still considering options, but our top candidate is the Copperforge Lasershark. https://shop.copperforge.cc/products/2a21?variant=29748240187491

Our team is hoping to use optical limit switches on the walls of our conveyor belt.

Beam breaks all round


Do these run on DIOs

For sensing if balls are loaded, we’ll probably go with what we did in FTC - bright LEDs on one side, photoresistors on the other.

If the beam breaks are used, do they need an Arduino or Pi to interface to RoboRio?

The beam breaks connect directly to a DIO port on the Rio. No other microcontrollers required.

We built our intake and hopper system so that if we pick up more than five, when we lift our intake the extras fall out. No sensors.

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Currently, our plan is the clicky limit switches. We haven’t tested it yet, and I’d prefer photoelectric.
Nonetheless, robotics is a majority rules dictatorship,

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