To: Pimoroni electronics engineers:
Firstly, the PMW3901 (from Pixart) is a really great flow sensor for use on drones etc, but it’s not very accurate at shorter distances, because it’s not designed for that.
I’m working on a robotics project and the highest I can place the sensors is ~35mm from the ground, the PMW3901 can measure distance but the error is quite large 15-20% and doesn’t work well on plain surfaces like tiles, it needs a pattern to be able to track at such close range, because it is meant to operate from 8cm+.
There is another Optical Tracking sensor from Pixart which is designed for robotics floor tracking, on different surfaces (carpet, tiles etc), at a distance as low as 15mm:
It is pin and footprint compatible with the existing PWM3901 breakout PCB, in fact from what I can tell, Pimoroni would only need to change the writing on the board (silk screen).
So please Pimoroni, consider another version of this breakout board with the PAA5100JE-Q sensor.