38 kHz IR Proximity Sensor for sensing a hand

Hi. Let me be 100% clear: I am not an electrical engineer on ANY level. I am an absolute novice to this type of field. I need some help determining if the Pololu 38 kHz Proximity Sensor will meet my needs. I greatly appreciate any help you can offer.

What I am trying to accomplish:

I want to be able to sense if someone’s hand is present on a bicycle handlebar grip. If their hand comes off the grip I need to flip a switch. Reaction time needs to be near instantaneous.

It needs to be weatherproof and it must be fail proof - absolutely 100% bulletproof performance. The sensor will be mounted on the handlebar itself, near the grip, maybe on the brake lever. So the proximity distance will be approximately 5 to 10 cm.

Will this pololu.com/product/2460 component do the job?

If not, any suggestions?



That proximity sensor can be used in a system to detect whether or not a hand will move within a certain range, but whether or not the system is “fail proof” and “near instantaneous” depends on the specific details of the system. In general, IR sensors can be misdirected by varying the ambient IR light around them (e.g. there could be different or unexpected performance based on how much sunlight is available), so getting that sensor to work reliably might be difficult. Something like a mechanical switch seems more appropriate for quickly sensing whether or not a hand is lifted off of a handlebar. Also, please note that we do not recommend our products be used in applications where their failure could lead to injury or significant property damage.