Stellaris launchpad driven audible chirp sonar

Sonar based detection is commonly used in many areas. Starting with animals – bats and dolphins use sonar for navigation and hunting. People also use this technology in many areas like in car parking systems (parktronics), in robot navigation. High frequency ultrasound is used in medicine for visualization and anomaly detection. Ultrasound has very wide practical use as it is non-destructive way of seeing things that naked human eye can’t. Today practically everyone can do simple experiments with ultrasonic modules that cost pennies. You can get modules that work in air that can be used for measuring distances and even for robot navigation that detect obstacles. Jason, wanted to move things from air to water. As we know ware sonars are also intensively used in many areas like naval navigation or fishing. For his experiments he’s chosen Stellaris Launchpad microcontroller board which sends and listens to audio signals reflected for various obstacles and surfaces in water. He decided to construct chirp signals that were sent from piezoelectric buzzer. Signals were detected with mic and audio amplifier module. The rest work… Continue reading

Arduino based sonar for the blind

Blindness is serious situation. It is hard to live normal life as most information comes visually. Anyway there are lots of people who can’t see. This is where technology may help to make life more easy. Steve Hoefer has been building a device that simply pings distance to objects with pair of ultrasonic range finders. Arduino then reads data and activates two servo motors that vibrates at intensity relatively to measured distance. Device is mounted on custom glove that can be worn on wrist. So this makes it easy to scan at different heights and avoid obstacles that may be missed (like on head level). Main advantage of this system that it’s cheap enough anyone can build. Continue reading