Rotating radar visualization

We ask, who wouldn’t want a rotating motion and distance tracking radar? Sure in today’s day and age anyone could purchase a wide-angle sonar or IR solution that achieves the same goal, but [LuckyLarry] took it old school and made his own rotating radar. He used an Arduino, servo, and ultrasonic sensor as a base to gather data, and the open source programming language Processing to draw the data on the screen. He says it’s a little inaccurate currently, but will try out some other sensors in the future.

Comments

  1. Vonskippy says:

    So does it actually work? The demo video just shows a sweep with nothing on it.

  2. monkeyslayer56 says:

    ya if it works it’l be really sweet. i might even try to do that one :)

  3. luvbster says:

    Man, I really wish I could have a portable one. I have been wanting one from when I was a kid

  4. MS3FGX says:

    I was a little confused by the video at first until I looked at his page.

    Basically, the way he is rendering it isn’t how we expect a radar to work like in the movies. Instead of it plotting a point at the distance the signal is bounced back at, it fills in the area green until it his a target. So in the video, that green blob is showing the varying distances between the objects in front of the sensor.

    So that indent to the left side of the display is the flat surface of the book, which is closer than the bottles.

    Not sure why he chose to render it that way, as it seems harder to read than the more traditional output. Plus it doesn’t help that his scale seems to be set for a much longer distance than what is necessary for this test.

  5. Rick says:

    It apparently works, but the data is in the blob near the center and in the video nothing has changed from the previous sweep, so nothing changes.

  6. Hirudinea says:

    “I got readings man, in front and behind!” Yep just like in Aliens.

  7. Hirudinea says:

    “I got readings man, in front and behind!” Yep just like in Aliens, only bigger.

  8. therian says:

    old school would be 555 timer and rs232

  9. Peter says:

    does it ping when it finds something new?

  10. digi says:

    Why is there always an idiot that brings up a 555 timer on every project? We get it! You know how to use a timer. What does that have to do with anything? Sheesh!

  11. M4CGYV3R says:

    Good idea, poorly implemented.

  12. Sash says:

    That is awesome. I want one.

    “We’d better get back, ’cause it’ll be dark soon, and they mostly come at night… mostly. “

  13. kd5uzz says:

    I am intrequed by “Processing”…must read more…

  14. acidtc says:

    This site sould be called “things you can do with Arduino dot com”

    This site is turning into a joke.

  15. jeff says:

    @acidtc

    why don’t you upload some hacks yourself then?

  16. Hmm, if only there was a word for sound-based “radar”… Haha, just joshin’ you–neat project!

  17. Inventorjack says:

    Looks like a fun project (though I’m sorry but have to say: it’s NOT Radar). As someone mentioned, it looks like the displayed range is greater than required for this demo. It would be cool if he had a button or something to adjust the displayed range. Not sure if that’s possible with processing or not (no experience with it).

    It does seem that his display would make more sense to observers if he inverted the current display, and made the targets green and the blank areas black. I’m curious whether it’s at all possible to resolve two targets at the same azimuth but differing range with sensors like the one used here.

    Hope to see future improvements on this project.

    ———————————————–

    I still don’t get the problem so many people have with Arduino. If you dislike arduino, then go out, get yourself a 555 timer, some transistors, and a piece of duct tape, and make something cool and impressive (and probably impractical) to show us all. Then we’ll all bow to your great 1337 $ki11z! Until then, shut up and enjoy the view.

  18. luckylarry says:

    heh cool. :)

    Well I can assure you it does work, but then the video sucks – its not exactly the best material for a video.

    I rendered it as a big green blob and not lines etc.. as the sensors not too accurate and I also wanted to see what the sensor saw as open space – kinda obvious really…

    Poor implementation M4CGYV3R? sorry, but how would you implement a radar style screen – by making it out of a biro and an elastic band in a shit TV series with a mullet? :P

  19. Rune kyndal says:

    i want to change the sonar out for a directional wifi antenna. and plot ssid and signalstrength insted!!

  20. therian says:

    @digi @Inventorjack
    maybe you both should read article before commenting

  21. Yuri says:

    He just need to reduce the scale and invert the graphic plot colors (green with black) so he can get the plot like a green “wall”.

  22. Inventorjack says:

    @therian
    Thanks for your helpful suggestion, but I have already read it. What exactly about my posting (or digi’s for that matter) makes you so confident that we’re so unable to read an article? What exactly about our posts do you disagree with? Please don’t throw out assumptions without explaining what you mean.

  23. fartface says:

    So he made a SONAR display and not a RADAR display.

    Why is everyone calling it radar when it’s using sound? It’s not, it’s Sonar until he replaces the ultrasonics with a RF transmitter and receiver.

  24. medix says:

    @Inventorjack: Let me ask you something..

    Have you *ever* tried another platform other than Arduino?

    Try something else for a change and then maybe you can have some “1337 $ki11z” too..

  25. Inventorjack says:

    Heh, my job is actually as a Radar Technician. Lately in my personal projects, I’ve been using AVRs and the LPC2148, and studying FPGA/CPLD development with Xilinx chips. I’m finishing up my BS in EE/ME. And even still I can appreciate something as useful and simple to work with as an Arduino. So again, if you have an actual valid point, go ahead and make it. But the Arduino platform has it’s place just as much as any other tool.

  26. therian says:

    @Inventorjack
    if you did read you wold not miss where old school come from

  27. DoubleA-Ron says:

    Now I know why I rarely read comments, Flame fest… maybe they should force registration to keep out the riff raff…

    And WOW everyone noticed its not RF its sound and there for sonar is a better term…

    Maybe they should rename it to RADAR-Looking Sonar… It was more than likely described that way to help the not so technically inclined along the way, oh wait the internet was built by geeks for geeks and all others should just leave?

    Honestly… its a great looking project, Thanks for sharing it Larry I have actually been working on something similar for an ROV your work will help me out…

    For the Arduino haters… Don’t like em? Dont use em! Last I checked you can get dev boards for whatever you want… Personally I’ll take an Arduino over a PIC or BASIC Stamp anyday.. are they the Uber microcontroller? Maybe not but they are GREAT at what they do and have a massive HELPFUL community.

    //end rant…

  28. therian says:

    @DoubleA-Ron
    You know what type of troll you are ? A ninja troll, you pretend being not a troll, but yours message as meaningless and provoking as other trolls messages

  29. eljonco says:

    I guess it is called a ‘radar’ as it is using a …radar plot! At least, with JPGraph (a php graphing lib), they call it radar plot.

    A good name, as otherwise he would have to change it from SONAR to LIDAR when using an optical distance sensor. So using RADAR plots, isn’t that silly.

  30. draeath says:

    Ooooh you just gave me an idea!

    Get a highly directional microphone, and run the sweep. Gather amplitude vs angle, and build yourself a waterfall display!

    You could even record the amplitude of frequency ranges. Nifty!

  31. archaic0 says:

    I think the point of people who complain about arduino projects is that using electronics to build a project, while interesting in it’s own right, is NOT a hack. The site is called Hack a Day, not Project a Day.

    That being said, personally I enjoy seeing all the projects, and think the people who are stuck on black and white pictures, who are anti-ardunio, and who are only happy when someone truly hacks something, are being too picky and naive. If this site turned down every project that wasn’t strictly a hack of existing devices made for a completely different purpose, it would be far less interesting. IMO of course.

    At least it would be for me because I couldn’t care less what OS someone decides to put on their roomba or if Linux can run on the new DVD player they just bought. Hacks like that don’t have much purpose except to say “I did it”. That has it’s own worth sometimes, but surely we can all agree that Linux has been put on everything, and will be able to run on everything in the future, so it’s not a novelty anymore.

    New electronics projects, arduino or not, are interesting to see. I consider adding traditional new electronics projects to the mix here a good growth move. Maybe a name change would make sense, but why go through all that just to satisfy the people who can’t get over it?

    And yes, I know there are some crap projects here and there, but you don’t HAVE to read them. Read the headline and if you don’t care for the project then move on. I know I certainly wouldn’t want to be responsible for filling up a site like this with content. So I leave the guys that do it alone and enjoy the gems that crop up from time to time.

    /pointless rant

  32. Bbqroast says:

    @Inventorjack

    Prossing is defiantly capable of creating a little scroll that controls the ranged I mean all he need is 2 buttons that when clicked add/subtract 5 from the Range value :)

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