April 6, 2016 AT 5:00 am

How to Make Arduino Goggles for Bat Vision #WearableWednesday

I came across this cool project by Alan Mann which appears to be a father/son endeavor to explore bat vision. You’ve all probably done the experiment where you are blindfolded and a friend leads you around. Well, a more sophisticated version would be this set of blacked out goggles that makes beeps depending on your proximity to objects. It uses an ultrasonic sensor, an Arduino Nano and a buzzer to mimic bat life.

I can tell you that you’ll see a lot of ultrasonic sensors come out when it comes to hackathons involving visually impaired people. They can be mounted on canes, hats and glasses. Just as Alan wants to improve his project by having the beep make different tones, people often want to improve their projects by mounting multiple sensors. I remember one team proving how handy this would be when walking backwards, or when you have something like a fire hydrant along a street when you are a tall person. When working with sensors, it’s always good to test with the actual person that will be wearing the piece. In fact, I really enjoy the end shots of the video showing Alan’s son walking the hallways with the googles, and I think he is doing quite well with them. Alan, high fives for a cool project and please tell your son that I still think soldering is awesome fun! For those of you at home that want to play around with ultrasonic sensors either for a wearable or a robot, check out our Halloween Pumpkin learning guide. It may not be time for trick-or-treat yet, but you can still make a fun candy holder, or at least get a good idea of how these sensors work.

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