Dolphin’s echolocate but they don’t hear those pings quite the way we would. They receive echolocation pings as vibrations in their lower jaw. Some big whales do this too. Which raises the question: “what if we could use bone conducting headphones and ultrasonic range finders to mimic that experience?”
And DolphinView was born.
Ultrasonic rangefinders (at lease the readily available ones use for proximity detection) are really short range (less than half a meter). I replaced those with a much longer range time-of-flight LiDAR unit. It’s the kind of thing you might see on a drone to detect and avoid onstacles. Using this LiDAR unit, I created a system that pulses like SONAR the closer an object gets to you.
But that’s just a proximity alarm. The real trick is sending the signal to your brain the way a dolphin might.
Which brings me to bone conducting headphones. Rather than a tiny speaker sitting in or on your ear, bone conducting headphones sit on you temples and send vibrations directly into you inner ear. Functionally, this means you can listen to music or podcasts at any volume and still hear the world around you. For DolphinView, this means you get a continuous pulse that increases or decrease in frequency (frequency of occurrence, not frequency of the pulse tone) the closer you get to an object.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.