ECE 4760: Final Project

The Bat Hat

Ultrasonic range-finder with haptic feedback

Jeff Buswell (

Clifford Chou (

Andrew Knauss (

Andrew, Jeff, Clifford, and The Bat Hat.

Introduction    top

"An ultrasonic range-finding hat with variable haptic feedback for obstacle detection."

-Project Sound Bite

For our ECE 4760 final project, we designed and implemented an ultrasonic range-finding hat that uses haptic feedback to alert its wearer about obstacles in his or her path. The hat is equipped with an ultrasonic transmitter/receiver circuit, which is capable of emitting short pulses of ultrasonic-frequency (approximately 40 kHz) sound, at a level of about 120 dB. These pulses then echo off the closest object in the line of sight of the hat and are picked up by the receiver. The time delay between sending the initial pulse and receiving the echo gives a sense of how far away the obstacle is from the ultrasonic sensor, which can be conveyed to the person by vibrating the hat at a level proportional to that distance. This allows the person to understand what obstacles are in his or her path and to respond accordingly. Specifically, this project is intended as a proof-of-concept/prototype for a product that would ultimately be used by sight-impaired individuals to detect walls or other obstructions, reducing their dependency on canes.

Ultrasonic echo illustration

An illustration of an ultrasonic pulse echoing off an obstacle and returning to a receiver.