As depicted in the image, I'm looking for sensors to incorporate in a project where I have to detect object presence in short range (10-100mm), speed (passing from one sensor location to another, 0.1-10m/s), distance and orientation (just roughly). Space is fairly restricted, and I only have the option to detect object from one side. After a fair bit of research, it seems the only option I have is an emitter-and-receiver type of proximity sensor.
LIDARs draws too much power and only good in the long range. It might be an overkill for this purpose, and they also fall in a price range that I can't afford (USD 100+). Ultrasonic sensors are cheap but may fail detecting object distance if the orientation exceeds a certain angle, as shown in an experiment carried out in this video (VL53L0X vs HC-SR04 experiment).
VCSEL based Time-of-Flight sensor (VL53L1X ToF Distance Sensor) and IR Range Finder (Sharp GP2Y0A21YK0F IR Range Finder (Distance) Sensor) are affordable (USD 10-30) and accurate enough in short distance, and don't seem to be affected by color and orientation of the object. All is nice if the object only moves slow enough.
Detecting object presence at lower speed is not an issue, and so is reading its distance. Orientation can be calculated by changes in distance over time. But ToF samples only up to 50-60Hz, and IR Range Finder sensor has at update period of just 40ms (or 25Hz sampling rate). If the object is moving at its maximum speed of 10m/s (which is really not all that fast), a ToF sensor sampling at 50Hz (or 0.02s period) can only trigger a reading if the objects are at least 200mm apart.
Am I looking at the wrong sensors for my application? Or have I misinterpret the specs - as I would expect sensors taking advantage of the speed of light should operate at least some few orders faster than ultrasonic sensors.