A Super-Size Functional Tribute To An Ultrasonic Sensor

The end result of the build, a supersized ultrasonic sensor, held in a person's hands

Sometimes, it’s time to shut down the oscilloscope, and break out the cardboard and paints. If you’re wondering what for, well, here’s a reminder of an Instructable from [CrazyScience], that brings us back to cardboard crafts days. They rebuild one of the most iconic components for an electronics tinkering beginner — an ultrasonic distance sensor, and what’s fun is, it stays fully functional after the rebuild!

This project is as straightforward as it gets, describing all the steps in great detail, and you can complete it with just a hot glue gun and soldering iron. With materials being simple cardboard, aluminum foil, popsicle sticks, some mesh, and a single ultrasonic sensor for harvesting the transmitter and receiver out of, this is the kind of project you could easily complete with your kids on a rainy day.

Now, the venerable ultrasonic sensor joins the gallery of classics given a size change treatment, like the 555 timer we’ve seen two different takes on, or perhaps that one Arduino Uno. Unlike these three, this project’s cardboard skeleton means it’s all that simpler to build your own, what’s with all the shipping boxes we accumulate.

6 thoughts on “A Super-Size Functional Tribute To An Ultrasonic Sensor

  1. So… basically a fancy new housing for the original sensors?

    What would happen if you also adjust the resonant frequencies to scale? 5x the size would give 125x the internal volume, so we’ll end up within the audible range. Might not work with Piezo any more, but a small loudspeaker could work

    1. You need a loudspeaker with a certain proportion between the wavelength and its diameter so the sound output is “focused”. Thats the reason bass in subwoofers tends to radiate in all directions, even backwards, while tweeters are fairly directional. Now, it is theoretically posible, but the speaker would be gigantic for the frequency, and pretty loud for us humans too. You could work around the size with a phased array though (as some guys did a decade ago to create a mob control sound canon)

  2. Wait, one of the components of this ultrasonic sensor is… an ultrasonic sensor?

    So, is this like Homer’s spoon, which he whittled himself, out of a better spoon? Except, you know in reverse?

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.