Ultrasound echolocation

Two days ago, two engineering students in the UK talked to The Engineer about their echolocation device, a glove with a proximity attachment that sends vibrations to a visually impaired user. Sound familiar? :)

Yeah, so it's basically a Bottlenose glove that lacks the implanted magnetic interface, is aimed towards visually impaired people, and probably costs 100x as much.

The difference is obviously the Bottlenose ideas are usually based around infrared and this glove uses ultrasonic waves instead. Also, the vibrations are created through the use of small vibrating motors similar to the ones used in phones or those little toothbrush robots instead of a EMF and a magnet. There's also a short demonstration at the bottom of the Dailymail article for the "Ultracane", a similar concept put into a cane device instead of a glove.

All in all, it's a pretty sweet (and uninvasive) way to replace a failing sense with a new one.



  • *Looks at calendar* One day left... ;)
  • @FrankMatheson we use ultrasonic and infrared. and the code base for bottlenose and this device would be identical. want an open source bottle nose. here is the psuedo code

    int HighSensorVal = 69 ;//max for your sensor, distance temp, whatever
    int LowSenorVal = -69  ;//min sensor, distance temp, radiation, whatevs
    int InductorOrMotorOrLEDOrRelayPin = ;//for the output

    int sensorVal = takeSensorReading();//million ways to read a sensor so     
    //abstract this
    int delayVal   = map(sensorVal,HighSensorVal,LowSensorVal, 0,1000);

    int takeSensorReading(){
    //as an example an analog UHF distance sensor
    //such as the Maxbotics, plugged into analog in 0
    //would look like this
    return analogRead(A0);
  • Yeah, I was looking at the bottlenose videos and I realized my mistake, but basically I just wanted you guys to see that bigger companies are investing in similar projects.
  • @FrankMatheson No problem man. We have kits coming soon. We are going to launch a KickStarter and try to sell them on maker/hacker markets like adafruit and makershed. Super simple obviously from the code. I am working on making it more realtime. Its pretty real time already but we can do better.
  • just happens that i have 3 ultrasound echolocation modules from ebay on my desk, wired to an arduino. 4 wires, few lines of code. Would easily fit into an attiny, too. If there's a market for things as simple as that i'd have no worries selling something like that.
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