Ultrasound sonar glove / 3d printed version

How to make an ultrasound sonar glove that detects obstacles for less than 50 Euros. Initial project from Steve Hoeffer updated by Q. Orhant and Y. Le Chevalier / MHK. Translation by Marie Brouard.
  • Difficulty : Abordable
  • Duration : 6 hours
  • Budget : 50 euros

3D printing the enclosure

The enclosure for this version is downloadable in stl format for 3d printing on Thingiverse website. 

The estimated duration for the printing process is about 4 hours. Both PLA or ABS are ok.

The bracelet can be 3d printed with flexible filament. You can also make one with leather or something else.
You will have time to prepare the electronic part during the printing process.

Almost every digital fabrication place has a 3d printer. In order to find a fablab near your location, you can look at the Fablab network map.

You can go to these places with the stl files on an USB key, after having downloaded them.


Electronics : connections

This scheme represents every connection you are going to make and solder between the components of the prototype.  The idea is to get information from the ultrasound sensors in order to drive the vibrating motors with the arduino card, through the L293D motor driver.


Building the electronic card

First, take the veroboard and cut a 6×17 holes rectangle.
You can use a ruler and a cutter. Draw a line with the cutter along the ruler, and then break the board on the edge of a table. It should break on the line.
Then solder the electronic components exactly like on the picture.
The picture describes precisely the connections to make with the arduino board (D2,D3…).
In less than 3 hours, you should have finished with the soldering iron.


Upload the code in the arduino card

First, if you do not have the arduino software installed, download it on the official website.

Then follow the steps explained in this video in order to set it up properly for your platform.

Then download the sonar glove arduino code (.ino), unzip it, and put it in your documents/arduino folder on your computer.

Open the arduino software, select “file”, then “open”, and select the file in the list. You now can see the source code of the sonar glove on the screen
Then select “Tools”, “Board” and then “arduino nano”.
Next step: plug the arduino nano card on the computer with the mini USB cable. You can now verify the serial port by clicking “Tools”, then “port”. Click on the port corresponding to the arduino nano (you can verify through the control panel of windows for instance).
Here comes the funny step: click on “Sketch”, and then choose “upload”. In a few seconds the arduino software should say that the upload is complete.
Congratulations: the electronic part of the glove is functional!



Put the electronic part in the enclosure

Finalize the bracelet by fixing the vibrating motors on both sides (you should see two holes), and then lay their power wires in the main enclosure.
Then attach the bracelet to the enclosure, using the hole provided on the enclosure.
Be careful not to pull the weld spots off. Place the ultrasound SR04 sensors in the enclosure and then the arduino nano and your electronic board.
Attach the 9V battery, put it into the enclosure, and close it with the cover.

Test it !

It’s simple, attach the glove to your hand with the bracelet, and push the button to turn it on.
Two modes are available: you can push the small round button on top of the enclosure to switch modes. One is for short range, the other is for long range (about 2 meters).
The motors are going to vibrate when an obstacle is detected on the left or on the right side. You can scan the space around, close your eyes, and walk slowly.
Vibrations are inversely proportional to the detection range.