Problem Solving Projects with Ultrasonic Sensors
We started manufacturing ultrasonic sensors in 2004 to fulfill a need. The problem we aimed to solve was to provide a high-quality sensor at a manageable price point.
For that reason, we’ve been widely used for applications as original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s), in Nonrecurring engineering (NRE), as well as hobby projects.
Technology is constantly changing the way we live our lives and do our jobs, and we plan to be there every step of the way.
With the growing popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT), we’ve seen interesting trends in the industry when it comes to sensing. Finoit Technologies listed these 15 Sensor types being used in IoT currently.
- Temperature Sensors
- Proximity Sensors
- Pressure Sensors
- Water Quality Sensors
- Chemical Sensors
- Gas Sensors
- Smoke Sensors
- IR Sensors
- Level Sensors
- Image Sensors
- Motion Detection Sensors
- Accelerometer Sensors
- Gyroscope Sensors
- Humidity Sensors
- Optical Sensors
MaxBotix manufactures sensors specifically for the functions of Proximity, Level and Motion Detection.
Here’s a list of cool projects and products made using our sensors. Each application is measuring distance or detecting an obstacle.
Multi Controllable Robot Car
This particular project was first published on Hackster.io in December 2016 by Sascha.
The robot car is designed to drive automatically, with video, controlled with an Xbox One controller, or take speech commands. For automatic driving capabilities, an ultrasonic distance sensor was installed.
For this project, our MB1202 was used to sense. Our MB1202 features an I2C bus for easy I2C integration and multi-sensor operation. In this application, only one sensor is used to detect objects in a short range.
The possibilities for an application like this in industrial applications are endless. Including using robots on your farm or robots in your warehouse picking products.
To take a look at the project, all the parts used to create the Multi Controllable Car, check it out on Hackster.io
This particular project was written about in 2010 on Hackaday.com about a Rover designed to drive Autonomously and tested in the creator’s school hallways.
Two of our sensors are mounted on the hood of the car to guide it around corners and keep it in the center of the hallway.
If you fast forward to 4:10, you’re able to see where manual driving is engaged.
DIY Magic Mirror
In this particular project, the creator makes a “Magic Mirror” from an Android Phone / Tablet. There’s an “easy” way to wire it using plug and play sensors. Then there’s a custom option which incorporates our popular LV-MaxSonar-EZ1 sensor in the design of the application. The sensor in this project is used to detect when someone is in front of the “Mirror” so it can greet you. The custom schematic was created to customize the mounting,
According to Magic Mirror’s site,
“The Magic Mirror plays animations based on input from various sensors which you choose based on your installation type. Featuring four characters, each character responds to the sensor inputs with its own personality.”
The creator has DIY models as well as fully built products for sale.
Below is a schematic of how our sensors are wired in the project.
Watch the video you can see how Al Linke from DIYMagicMirror develops his project from start to finish. You can also purchase the finished product built for you online.
Garage Parking Sensor
This project detailing the creation and application of a garage parking sensor for a two car garage was published in 2015.
Chip McClelland wanted to solve the problem of trying to put too many things in your garage. Things get tight when you want to park cars and store other items in your garage. You want to park your car the same way every time to ensure you’ll have room.
The two LV-MaxSonar-EZ0 sensors are installed in the wall at the bumper level to ensure the cars are stopped at the proper place.
For More information, take a look at Chip’s post on Hackster.io.
Talking Coffee Machine
The Talking Coffee Machine is like the Magic Mirror in a way for the sensor detection applied in the product. If you take a look at the video, you’re able to see how the machine “wakes” as someone walks in front of the machine. The machine then takes the person’s order via voice command.
This machine could have the potential to put many baristas out of work.
External Focus for DSLRs
The working title of the project was Sensopoda, and it’s listed as an “Alternative sensor assisted Auto-focus System for filming with DSLRs.
The objective of the project was to use an external sensor(one of our HRLV-MaxSonar-EZ) to assist in the focusing capabilities of older DSLR cameras when shooting video. The restrictions of the onboard CPU led this brilliant team to design something to follow a target to keep them in focus during a shot.
You can take a look at the full look scope of the project here.
Our sensors have been introduced in many great applications over the years, large and small. It’s always interesting to see how and where you can use distance sensing to solve a problem. We would like to see more projects like these.
We want to hear from you, what have you created to solve a problem?
Products Related to the Article
The LV‑MaxSonar‑EZ0 has the widest and most sensitive beam pattern of any unit from LV‑MaxSonar‑EZ sensor line. This makes the LV‑MaxSonar‑EZ0 an excellent choice for use where high sensitivity, wide beam, or people detection is desired.
The LV‑MaxSonar‑EZ1 is a great choice for use where sensitivity is needed along with side object rejection.