An ultrasonic range sensor
This sensor uses a simple pulse echo to compute the distance to an object. It simply emits a high frequency 'ping' and measures the time taken for the echo to return. The distance to an object is then calculated using a simple formula.
Follow the procedure described in the Instructables article to get your sensor working.
Position your hand in front of the sensor and move it backwards and forwards. If the sensor is working correctly it should display, fairly accurately, the distance from your hand to the sensor.
- Implement a simple people detector that quickly sequences through R > G > B as a hand in moved from 10 - 40cm. At 10-20cm - LED is red, green at 20-30cm and blue at 30-40cm.