Ultrasonic Batgoggles

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Picture of Ultrasonic Batgoggles
Wish you were bat? Want to Experience Echolocation? Want to try to "see" with your ears?

For my first Instructable, I will show you how to build your own ultrasonic batgoggles using an Arduino microcontroller clone, Devantech ultrasonic sensor and welding goggles for around $60 or less if you already have standard electronics components. You could also skip the electronics and make a simple bat-mask perfect to wear to the next Batman movie. In that case, the cost would only be about $15.

These goggles allow you to experience what it is like to use auditory cues like a bat and is intended for children in a science center setting to learn about echolocation. The goal was to keep costs as low as possible, avoid making the form of the interaction to be generic or unrelated to its educational purpose and to ensure that the physical form of device embodies the subject matter. For a more thorough discussion of its design, please see the project webpage.

To keeps costs and size low, an Arduino clone is built used however, but this project works just as well with pre-built Arduino microcontrollers.

These goggles were built for "Dynamic User-centered Research and Design" course in the Arts, Media & Engineering program at Arizona State University.

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Raphango11 months ago
Excelent first instructable! thanks for your initiative! Keep going with inovative ideas! Congratulatios, again! ;)
billbillt1 year ago
great idea
doomsdayltd3 years ago
i would personally go with a smaller more compact version of this, but the ears would most likely be mounted by straps.
el greeno4 years ago
I was a bit sad not to find this ending up with a 'DareDevil' type visual output.

On a DareDevil theme, have you heard about this boy???
lokivoid4 years ago

Whats the point of the ears and goggles? looks a range finder module running the manufactures sample code.

I was expecting something cool like converting the Ultrasound ping data into a visual medium.

eyesee4 years ago
Very cool
hey i dont know anything about aruduino programmed atmega8 please let me know about it....or refer me related website... the way ur project is just awsome.
suneth (author)  palak.nayyar4 years ago
See my previous comment about the Arduino. Here is another website that sells a similar board.

In this project I use an Atmega8 that is pre-programmed with the Arduino bootloader. If you have access to a ATMEGA programmer you can load the bootloader yourself.
hi ! i want to make such goggles for my final year project... i wanna know that if its components are easily available in indian market? please let me know.... thanks
suneth (author)  palak.nayyar4 years ago
I am sure most of the parts should be available or could be shipped to India. You could use a different ultrasonic sensor and any version of the Arduino microcontroller.

This site seems to have some Arduino clones in India:
danbar5 years ago
hey could u please tell me mail me the electric components cause I can't identify the number and models please my e mail is
dombeef danbar5 years ago
Wait are you trying to get free components?
suneth (author)  danbar5 years ago
which components are you having trouble finding?
danbar suneth5 years ago
i dont know the name in english cause im mexican but mmm the black rectangle and the other thing with 3 legs that is also black but have some metal on top could u please tell me thei name in english and the number please
suneth (author)  danbar5 years ago
the black rectangle: [ ATmega168 with Arduino Bootloader]

or you can use any of these arduino boardsany of these arduino boards

the one with three legs: 7805 voltage regulator

danbar suneth5 years ago
codz305 years ago
should make a distance output, firgure out when signals are sent, speed = distance/time, then output distance :)
astro boy6 years ago
convert the beeps into an lcd screen or a set of LEDs and have 1=4m 2=3.5m 3=3m 4=2.5m 5=2m and so on and make it beep fast if your 5-10cm away from something that would make it more awesome and easer to understand
pkrautter6 years ago
just fantastic.But I think it would not reach the public. Make it less terrifying
HuggyBear6 years ago
This is exactly the same thing they use for backing up warnings on cars: the closer the car gets to the object the faster the pulse becomes. Things like this that seem useless, usually have practical applications.
Errr blind people... Umm using them in applications where you can't see whats going on like plumbing and working with stuff in walls, these would be cheaper to manufacture that fibre optic micro cameras...
(fibre's whats in your diet ;) ) fiber optic micro cameras are AWESOME!! who cares about the cost! BWAAA
They're not really they're rubbish compared to the wireless spy cams that are almost as compact and much better resolutions, that and you can put them anywhere, I used to know a guy that owned a shop that did all that stuff, we put spy cameras in the most random objects and places just to see if it could be done, the best was adding it to an old slr with the innards gutted to repair another one...
lol ok. yeah ive got a small 2.4 ghz wireless camera with a res of 640x480 (standard tv res) its only the size of a 9v battery. range of 500m (1500ft) los. Could make it smaller if i stripped off the case.
Those are sweet and you can get higher quality ones aswell, they're a great thing for movings stuff and the likes of parachuting and cycling videos...
Run around in public with these on.
rdaumar6 years ago
the strobe light i wanted is the 2 in 1 strobe led light schematic diagram...
rdaumar6 years ago
hello... good day.... anybody can give me a schematic diagram of 2 in 1 strobe light with PCB-layout? your help is highly appreciated. thank
AndyGadget6 years ago
I really like this one - Great 'ible. You say the ultrasonic sensor has a (spec.) range of up to 4 metres. Can you get a decent beep-interval change anywhere near this? I've always been disappointed with the range of ultrasonic sensors (although I've not used ones as expensive as yours.)
suneth (author)  AndyGadget6 years ago
The ranging of the sensor itself is good, for example, if you have it send the readout to your computer monitor. In terms of the interval change, it becomes much less noticeable due to the mapping that I have used. For purposes of demonstrating the technology I made the mapping work better at closer intervals. If you used a different form of feedback the range would be quite good (something continuous like pitch of a continuous tone, or some kind of display).
If you've got a potential range like that, I think you do need a long and short range signalling as other people are suggesting. For long range, how about counting feet in base 5, indicated once per second? Low beep for the fives, high beep for units, so twelve feet would be 'brr brr bip bip', eight feet would be 'brr bip bip bip'. For less than three feet, either rising tone or increasing rate pulses as discussed. I think you could get used to that with a bit of practice.
In another comment you mention the spread of the signal. Wouldn't a short cardboard tube or cone on the sensor allow you to pick up signals more selectively (with the loss of some sensitivity). This may give a better indication of objects directly in front of you, rather than trying to cover your full optical field of view.
suneth (author)  AndyGadget6 years ago
Interesting suggestion about the ranges. That might work well.

Here is the spread of the signal from

I haven't tested using a cone to narrow a signal, but I think it might just confuse the sensor because the "pings" would reflect off the inside of the cone.
Good point. I remember the microwave antennas I used to deal with had RF absorbing material in the horns. For ultrasonics, I suppose the equivalent would be a fuzzy felt material.
wow very cool I'm going to give you a vote!
Ok so I have no idea what i'm talking about, but I hope I can inspire someone...

Imagine this concept with multiple "ears" and only one output. Each "ear" had its own area it would be sensitive to, and then instead of beeps it would come out as different colors on a lcd screen. Each "ear" would make a pixel so you could "See" distances. The more "ears" the less pixelated it would be.

ORR have multiple "Ears" listing for specific audio phenomon, One for listing for amout of sound reflected-indicating texture or matieral of surface(cloth or tissue reflecting less than solid surface)- and another for sensing increased or decreased frequencies- indicating movement. In this senario, distance could be light and dark, movement would be indicated in colors. a wall far away= faint and dim, a ball bouncing t'wards you would be a bright red circle, and it bouncing away would be a darker blue circle.
To bad we don't have hollow jaws like dolphins. If a ultra sound version with LCD goggles could be made it would be cool.
ac1D6 years ago
Would it be possible to use the "ultrasonic" for ppl who don't see/don't have good eye?
jongscx ac1D6 years ago
Lidar or a small-scale radar (or a combination of all these would probably be best).... Then integrate them into a usable system, so that there is a fail-over backup/redundance, create an AI or algorithm to combine those signals, then get a good UI for it so that use is essentially first-nature (You don't want obstacle avoidance to be second nature really)... At which point it might be worth your while to just skip it and go for cybernetic ocular implants. A really problem with using an ultrasonic ranging system would probably be that the system would be very susceptible to environmental changes (air density and conduction of sound affected by temperature, moisture, etc) and the system may not be accurate enough for something so important.
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