We were inspired to create a simple and creative solution to help provide situational awareness for individuals with visual impairment.

What it does

Helps people avoid objects through the analysis of multiple ultra-sonic sensors and output of how close an object is through vibration motors.

How we built it

We started with the testing of individual components. This began with figuring out how to use the sonar modules, and how to calculate distance based upon the data sent back from those modules. After we had one unit working we began integrating multiple sensors on the arduino. We also attempted to integrate infrared sensors, but we ran into some difficulties. Those difficulties are listed under challenges. Once we had multiple sensors working on the arduino we attached everything to a belt and added vibration motors to provide feedback to a user. There are five motors with five sonar modules and buzzers. The feedback is based upon distance, if an object is detected a vibration motor will go off, and if the user continues to move closer to an object the buzzer will sound along with the vibrating motor.

Challenges we ran into

Sonar distance data was not consistent, so we needed to implement an averaging system. Once the data was averaged, the data was usable in the algorithms for determining if any feedback should be given to the user.

We were initially going to use the infrared sensors to verify the sonar sensors. We had two different types of infrared sensors, but both of them only registered whether there had been an object detected (0 or 1). This was not as useful to us, because we were not able to specify the distance at which we wanted it to detect an object.

An additional feature we wanted to add was a text to speech on distance. We were able to use the text to speech function using bash, but were not able to integrate it into the code.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Getting the sonar modules to work together without interfering with each other. Being able to build the whole project with the above challenges even though several components we wanted to use did not end up on the final product.


For a full playlist of test videos, visit the project playlist on YouTube.

hackisu17 playlist

fun domain

Built With

  • active-buzzer
  • arduino-mega2560
  • led
  • npn-transistor
  • ultra-sonic-sensors
  • vibration-motors
Share this project: