I have a system design with a 149oz-in stepper motor for opening/closing a drawer style door. My cross sectional dimensions of the door opening are 20" width by 15" height. The motor actuates linearly inward and outward via remote user control. I'm trying to install various safety protocols, one of which is for physical interference during the state of which my system is closing or retracting the motor driven door. I need to efficiently handle the detection of such off-nominal events, where a human hand/finger or other interfering object is inside the opening during this state of operation. I want to immediately stop the motor (or shut off the entire system) upon sensing any physical interferences during the closing state in order to prevent crushing the impeding object with the retracting door.
For a reference point, the most relatable application to mine that I can think of is a kitchen dish washer door opening/closing via a remote controlled motor. I've looked into light curtain sensors, but I am unsure if these are suitable for my smaller sized cross section. To me, it seems that this would also be quite hard, if not nearly impossible, to incorporate something like this into such a limited space opening as well.