My Arduino Ping Display Robot





Hello all.
I hope to please share a little robot that I have just finished building.
There are many Ping Boat, perhaps with a tutorials and display less so without pretension, will illustrate what I could do.
I gave myself the goal of realizing a robot that avoids obstacles, hence the use of Ping, who had more autonomy (and less hassle to reload always stylus) and displayed on a LCD display the distance measured obstacle.
The tutorial is directed for beginners but with knowledge of electronics and Arduino programming.

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Step 1: List of Materials

1 - Arduino UNO or compatible
2 - Module OCTAGON GioBlu Robotics or other frame
1 - Ping))) Parallax  mounting bracket kit,ProductName
2 - Servo motors with 360 rotation , in my case HSR-1425SCR
2 - 6 cm wheels with rubber no-slip
1 - std servo for the Ping (in my case is not required but can be implemented)
2 - servo brackets Gioblu Robotics
4 - PCB spacers from 4 cm http://
2 - protoschield for servos, battery and display and added other sites)
1 - 16x2 HD44780 compatible LCD Display
1-  potentiometer
1 - 9v battery holder
1 - 2s Lipo 1200mAh 7.4 v
1 - UBEC 5.4 / 6V
1 - pivot wheel
1 - piece of matrix board for the display shield
- some strip for shield
- some screw patience and passion..


First we begin by shield, why I have chosen this path?. When you need to connect several servo motors, a sensor, batteries etc, of course, there are several PIN signals, power supply and ground to use.
Normally the various little robots are joined by a breadboard to allow you to manage everything at the expense of a lot of threads around that maybe every time you disconnect and still always give a feeling of chaos.
A shield to be attached  to Arduino simplifies everything and makes it more convenient connections. As you know for the servos or motors there are already on the market different and functional, eg one or dell'Adafruit or SparkFun, in any case the realization in the house is very simple and inexpensive.

As you can see from the first two photos are soldered several rows of three legs (I have made ​​6, but you can add several more), each leg corresponds to the three poles of the servo and the sensor (signal, 5v, gnd -white/red/black or yellow/red/back). Then sold in parallel (third photo) the 5v (center pin) and GND (pictured blue wire) and the latter connected to the power connector, so all you will connect to the row of pins will be powered together.
For the signal pin, you can decide if you knew at the start (as in my case) corresponds to which pin, solder a wire directly to the corresponding pin, or if you want to manage it from time to time just add (second photo), a row of strip females to connect with a wire to the desired pin. In the above I added a reset button and a LED connected to pin 13 directly to Arduino board.


Skipping of course, as you will find dozens of tutorials on how to connect one display to Arduino board eg
but I repeat, if you want to take the opportunity to enter into the project, which necessary to reduce the number of wires around that in this case are several, so we can again make a shield that can be useful for other projects with the Arduino.

Of the 16 pins of a display, only 12 are needed for our purpose.
If you look at the first and third photo should crop a breadboard that will serve us well as a support for the display, and like a  "bridge" connecting to the Arduino pins.
So what should we do, sold (I have soldered slightly inclined, as shown in picture 2, in order to better read the display) a female strip of 16 feet to the matrix board, make from each pin that is used (see the tables below) a wire soldered directly to the corresponding pin of Protoshield, then we're going to overlap to the Arduino board and above this shield (last photo) will get that one made for the servo and sensor with zero visible wires.

The last photo is the display in operation.


PIN   connect to        
1   GND        
2   5V        
3(Central Pin of the POT - Add to this one wire to 5v and one to GND)
4 (RS)   3        
5 (RW)   GND        
6 (EN)   4        
11(DB4)   5        
12(DB5)   6        
13(DB6)   11        
14(DB7)   12        
15   5V        
16   GND        
Ping Servo Signal Pin 10        
Led to Pin 13        
Ping Sensor Signal Pin 7        
DX Wheel Pin 9        
SX Wheel sx Pin 8        

Put the display power under servo shield so it is managed by a battery's capacity.


At first frame I have inserted two servos rotated 360, a support for the 9v battery, and I attacked, I know ... look like shit, a lipo battery.
I chose this system because, who uses lipo for model knows, I like to take the residual voltage monitored to prevent damage to the battery, with tape so I can remove it easily.
Why two power supplies? Here you can breed different opinions, in any case I think it is better to keep the logic separated (Arduino) to avoid interference from the motors.
Where you see the bolt I put a wheel pivoting and two weights because the front was slightly unbalanced.
The third photo is the bottom.


Now prepare the upper frame.
I made ​​a space for the Ping servo, four holes to secure the Arduino and I placed the strap securing it with a UBEC that you see on the left and right of the two photos.
For those not familiar in practice, is used to regulate the output voltage of the battery, because the lipo 2s has a voltage of 7.4 v, while the servo has a conduction voltage range from 4.8 v to 6.
Can also be used diodes or other.

Insert spacers and overlap the first frame to the second.

Step 7: Done!- CODE AND THEORY

Small introduction.
You'll find dozens of variations on how to run the PING sensor, in essence the practical operation of the sensor takes place in the cycle loop () that implements the protocol for the operation of the component PING.
Based on its specific you can control the operation of the sensor through a series of pulses. In summary we can say that you are using a digital pin to measure an analog pin.
Improvement: If you want to make cool, you can also insert a temperature sensor type TMP36 to improve reading, this is because as you know, sound travels at a speed of 343 m / s, this value ment is not absolute because it depends on the air temperature, the bibliography shows this relationship between the speed of sound (C) and the air temperature (t) C = 331.5 + (0.6 * t), knowing the temperature (and here it helps the sensor) we eventually put a few lines of code to implement the reading.

#include <Servo.h> 
#include <LiquidCrystal.h>
LiquidCrystal lcd(3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12);
Servo PingServo;
Servo LeftServo;    
Servo RightServo;    
int ultraSoundSignal = 7; // Ultrasound signal pin
int val = 0;
int val2 = 0;
int ultrasoundValue = 0;
int timecount = 0; // Echo counterint
ledPin = 13; // LED connected to digital pin 13
void setup() {
lcd.begin(16, 2);
Serial.begin (9600);  
pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);
void moveServoLeftTo(int angle, int duration){
controls the servo to move for a given angle and for a given number of milliseconds
for( ; duration > 0; duration -= 20){ 
cycle for the specified number of milliseconds by subtracting 20ms each iteration
void moveServoRightTo(int angle, int duration){
for( ; duration > 0; duration -= 20){    

void loop() {
// Funzioni Ping)))  
timecount = 0;
val = 0;
pinMode(ultraSoundSignal, OUTPUT);   // Switch signalpin to output
digitalWrite(ultraSoundSignal, LOW);  // Send low pulse
delayMicroseconds(2);                 // Wait for 2 microseconds
digitalWrite(ultraSoundSignal, HIGH); // Send high pulse
delayMicroseconds(5);                 // Wait for 5 microseconds
digitalWrite(ultraSoundSignal, LOW);  // Holdoff
pinMode(ultraSoundSignal, INPUT);     // Switch signalpin to input
val = digitalRead(ultraSoundSignal);  // Append signal value to val
while(val == LOW) {                   // Loop until pin reads a high value  
val = digitalRead(ultraSoundSignal);
while(val == HIGH) {                  // Loop until pin reads a high value
val = digitalRead(ultraSoundSignal);
timecount = timecount +1;           // Count echo pulse time}
ultrasoundValue = timecount;          // Append echo pulse time to ultrasoundValue
lcd.print("OBSTACLE  cm ");
if(timecount > 0){
digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH);}

// Servo functions:
if(ultrasoundValue > 500){
moveServoLeftTo(45,50);   //
servo moves the left of 45 degrees for 500 milliseconds
if(ultrasoundValue < 500){    
if(ultrasoundValue < 100){    

Step 8: Video and If You Like It Please Vote!

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    16 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    hallo Cello62thank you my friend for the information you give us
    Sorry for the english not so well


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hallo very nice im have the 4 wd robot with 4 motors and i will the distance on the display like your robot. please help me with the code. Rinus The code for the 4wd robot : thank you

    8 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    You need to study on any Arduino tutorial how to see a variable in the display. Once connected the display, is a very simple code, look that I've already done in the tutorials:
    lcd.print("OBSTACLE cm ");
    You need to associate the name of the variable to the command by placing the string depending on the pixels you have available on the display


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Hello i have you sketch from jou site applied, when checking i have an error message, i put at the end of an extra } applied, At the start-up is running the servo a moment, and the two engines one on the left and the other to the right that continue to rotate. The ultrasonically pings 1 times and then do nothing. The display shows (obstacel 0 cm) what can be wrong? Have the ultrasonically tested works well.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Dunno. Very difficult to answer. My sketch is one found in several tutorials on web. Check all connections well first.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hello Cello 62

    Were dropt im the code's from the lcd in the code from akeric? I'm try many times but it dont work .
    When the distance is very well, the motor don't work,please help.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Sry, i don't understand your english, "were dropt im the code's from the code from akeric?". Who's akeric? I've posted the code above, try to have a look at it it very simple, or i suggest if you wanna have another code try to post it in a Arduino forum.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry for my english here you'll find the code of Eric
    Where do I place the code of the lcd distance in the code of Eric thanks.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I suppose you have to use g_cm or gcollidedistance variables.
    Try to put the code after the variable are on, (// Do stuff, based on the current mode step), to see which value the ping read. Use a tutorial of lcd display to initialize a variable. This is all i can do . Regards

    Higgs Boson

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool. I really want to make a robot like this but ping sensors are somewhat expensive. I'm thinking about getting an infrared rangefinder.

    2 replies
    Cello62Higgs Boson

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Ty for your comment. I'm agree about is more expansive, however now does it cost 29$ and belive me you got a sensor more accurate than infrared.

    Remember to vote me please!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    you could actually use the cheaper $9.95 HC-SR04 ultrasonic rangefinder, which works like the ping))) but is cheaper and has a much easier to use library. i chose this sensor over the ping))) and have been happy with it so far.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    It is true slightly, depending on the speed of servo rotation, but is not important.
    Thanks for your comment