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Looking for a mechanism

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Hello all,

I'm trying to design a general purpose sensor/scanner device. The idea being to use a single sensor of some kind, which is then swept through every point in a 2d plane. (circular or rectangular, doesn't matter) The question I have is what kind of mechanism to best do the sweep?

So far I've considered:
Cartestian X-Y (reprap-like) = I don't like because it uses two motors and sophisticated control.

Sensor rides on a planetary gear = better, simpler, but will create a greater density of readings near the center. Also I'm not sure about "retrograde" movement re-sampling old points when I could be moving on.

Any other ideas?

Hi, nice interesting project.
Just for inspiration, what is with a mechanism like in a typewriter? You will need one axis (X) and each time you reach one end you will mechanically push the other axis (Y) one step forward. Similar as the feeding mechanism of the typewriter carriage.