It is essential to give your robot eyes for preventing crashes. Ultrasonic sensors, also known as transducers, have a similar working system as a radar or sonar by interpreting the echoes of radio or sound waves generated by the sensor. In this way, a robot can detect obstacles and the distance to obstacles. In this article, we make an overview of most popular ultrasonic sensors used in robotic applications and tutorials to learn how to interface and programming these sensors in order to build robots.
The working principle of an ultrasonic sensor is simple and use high-frequency sound waves that are evaluated when the sensor received back the waves. To determine the distance between the robot and object, the sensor measure the elapsed time between sending and receiving the waves.
These sensors are ideal for measurement in different environments where measurements cannot be affected by the surface, material, light, dust, or other noises.
In robotics, ultrasonic sensors are used in a wide range of applications including here the measurement of distance, presence detection, or detect the position of an object.
HC-SR04 is one of the most popular ultrasonic sensors used in robotics by students and hobbyists to determine the distance from a robot to objects. It is available at a low-price, it is stable and has high accuracy. Working principle is similar to bats or dolphins, and its operation is not affected by sunlight or other noises.
HC-SR04 provides measurement function between 2 and 400 centimeters at a range accuracy of 3 millimeters. The HC-SR04 module hosts the ultrasonic transmitter, the receiver and control circuit.
- HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Ping Sensor Arduino Tutorial – if you don’t work until now with HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor, this guide teach you hot to interface the sensor with Arduino board and run a test;
- Arduino – HC-SR04 ultrasonic distance sensor – tutorial to use the Arduino IDE 1.0 library and read the SR04 output and display the values on a LCD screen;
- Ultrasonic Ranging Module, SN-HC-SR04 – guide for testing the ultrasonic sensor and display on a LCD screen the values in centimeters received from the sensor;
- Tutorial : Use HC-SR04 sensors – programming code to display on a serial monitor the distance between the ultrasonic sensor and an obstacle without using the Arduino library;
- Ultrasonic Range detector using Arduino and the SR04 Ultrasonic sensor – step by step tutorial to interface the SR04 ultrasonic sensor with Arduino and build an applications for range detection;
- Basic roaming bot w/t ultrasonic object avoidance – with this tutorial we enter in the zone of robotic applications and this is a simple example how you can integrate an ultrasonic sensor in a roaming bot and program the robot to avoid objects in its path;
- Distance Sensing With Ultrasonic Sensor and Arduino – guide from where you can learn how to interface the ultrasonic sensor with Arduino Duemilanove and display on your PC the data received from sensor in inches and centimeters;
- Tutorial: Ultrasonic Ranging with the Freedom Board – tutorial that show you how to interface the SR04 ultrasonic sensor with FRDM-KL25Z board and measure the distance from up to 4 meters;
- Ultrasonic Distance Measurement Using Python – Part 1 – comprehensive guide to start using the SR04 sensor with Raspberry Pi and programming in Python;
- IOIO Robotics Tutorial 1 – Ultrasonic Sensor – from this guide you can learn how to use IOIO controller to read the sensor output and display the values on Arduino device;
Devantech series of ultrasonic sensors include two of the most popular sensors – SRF04 and SRF05. These two sensors are similar in features with a range between few centimeters to 4 meters. The resolution is around 3 centimeters.
- Devantech SRF04 and 05 Ultrasonic Sensor – programming example how to measure the distance with SRF04 or SRF05 and display the output data of the sensors;
- SRF05 (ultrasonic sensor) and arduino – simple tutorial that teach you how to use the ultrasonic sensor with Arduino board with only one digital output pin;
- Arduino – Sonic range finder with SRF05 – an example how the SRF05 ultrasonic sensor can be interfaced with Arduino board and programming to calculate the distance between sensor and robot. In this example is used an LED as an output for the sensor that change the brighter according to the distance detected by the sensor;
- Arduino + Processing – Make a Radar Screen to Visualise Sensor Data from SRF-05 – Part 1: Setting up the Circuit and Outputting Values – tutorial how to interface and programming the SRF05 using Arduino board and build a radar application;
Maxbotix release on the market a series of sensors with similar features and called EZ. These sensors has a resolution of 2.5 centimeters and can work on distance from few centimeters to more than 6 meters. The sensor has small sizes and is quality built.
- LV-EZ1 – example how to programming the EZ1 sensor and display the values;
- Distance Detection – tutorial with different programming code for Arduino and LV-MaxSonar EZ1;
- All about Max Sonar EZ0 and Arduin – from this tutorial you can learn how to interface the EZ0 ultrasonic sensor with Arduino and how to programming in order to display the output values from sensor;
- Arduino Uno R3 + MaxSonar EZ3 calibration – programming code for calibration and display the EZ3 ultrasonic sensor values interfaced with Arduino Uno board;
Vex Ultrasonic is a powerful high-frequency sound wave sensor to measure distance between 3.8 centimeters and 290 centimeters.
- Using an ultrasonic sensor to measure distance – this tutorial teach you how to interface and programming the Vex ultrasonic sensor using Arduino Uno board and RobotC program;
- The Lazy American Robot – example how two VEX ultrasonic sensors could be integrated in a simple robot and works together with a wide range of robotic parts;
Used for detection of moving or stationary objects, URM37 is another ultrasonic sensor with a resolution of only 1 centimeter. The sensor is designed for robotic applications with a detection range between 4 centimeters and 3 meters.
- URM37 V3.2 Ultrasonic Sensor – guide from where you can learn how to interface and programming the URM 37 ultrasonic sensor and display the output of the sensor;
- URM37 – programming code for robotic application where the URM37 sensor is used to detect the distance. In the code are handled error exceptions;
PING is a low-cost and precise ultrasonic sensor used for measurements of moving or stationary objects. The sensor is designed to measure the distance between robot and object from a range between 2 centimeters and 3 meters.
- Tutorial – Parallax Ping))) Ultrasonic Sensor – simple tutorial for programming the PING ultrasonic sensor in order to display the output of the sensor;
- Ultrasonic Distance Sensor – LED Bar Graph – guide how to build a simple application with a PING sensor and a series of LEDs that light depending on the output of the sensor;
- DIY Parking Sensor Tutorial – example how to use ultrasonic sensor for a DIY parking application;