FPGAs are really cool, and we wanted to use them for a hackathon (with support from Xilinx).
What it does
We use ultrasonic transducers to create a phased array, which can then send directed pulses of sound into the environment. By listening to this response on an array of receivers, we can then start to map the environment that our array is in.
How we built it
We used an FPGA to handle the communication between the phased array analog components and a python notebook running on Linux. This Python notebook can then look at the data and display it with high-level visualization frameworks. Our ultrasonic transducers are mounted to a open-source circuit board that has a large analog amplification pipeline for boosting small signal inputs.
Challenges we ran into
Dank analog magic isn't called magic for nothing.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our FPGA kind of works. I repeat, this FPGA, actually kind of works.
What we learned
Memory allocation in Linux can burn you.
What's next for Phased Array Ultrasound
Phased Array Radar