2015-05-02 (Sa) Cyborg Distance Sensor COMPLETED INSTRUCTIONS

Most of my instruction sets are intended for anyone to print out and build. This one has such a specialized group of users that it will be written to a level which assumes some proficiency with soldering and working with Arduino. If you want to be a rebel and do this anyway check out my Instructable about making a servo version.

This project has four components if you don't count the enclosure. A 3D printed enclosure is nice and files to print one are included but any enclosure is acceptable, even one made from cardboard. It would even be acceptable to simply wrap everything in black electrical tape and call it a day. Electrically that would be fine but it might look silly. The first is an Arduino Mini Pro. An Arduino with an ATTiny85 processor would also be acceptable. The next is an ultrasonic distance sensor. A 9V battery holder with wires will provide power. Lastly a 5V relay from which the coil will be extracted. I recommend buying a couple relays since I wrecked two before I successfully extracted a coil.
Additionally you will need
  • Wire. I used 26AWG
  • Solder
  • Epoxy. Not much
  • 5" (125mm) of 4mm diameter shrink tube
Click pictures to expand them

You will also need a USB to serial adapter for the Arduino pro mini. I highly recommend getting a genuine FTDI rather than a knock-off since finding drivers will be much simpler.

Once you've gotten everything together it will be necessary to deconstruct a 5V relay. The goal is to have a 5V electromagnet but the rest of the moving parts inside a relay aren't necessary. Usually a relay have a thin plastic case which can be broken away. The pins for the electrical contacts and the internals which aren't related to the coil can be cut away. File down any rough corners. Solder a 6" (150mm) wire to each coil terminal.

 Relay with the case removed
Relay coil with wires soldered to it

The Arduino and ultrasonic distance sensor should be soldered together by lining up

  • GND
  • Digital Pin 2 with the ECHO pin
  • Digital Pin 3 with the TRIGGER pin
Wires can be run directly from one board to another. If you are using a board with an ATTiny85 these pins may not align. Put 5" (125mm) of shrink tube over the relay coil wires.
  • Digital pin 4 goes to one wire of the relay coil. It doesn't matter which one
  • The other wire of the relay coil goes to GND on the Arduino
  • RAW goes to the red wire of the 9V battery holder
  • The other wire of the 9V battery holder goes to a GND terminal on the Arduino

Ignore the headphone socket in this picture
Project soldered and put into a printed enclosure

Program the Arduino with this program. I assume you already have the Arduino IDE.

That's it! This wasn't meant to be a super ground-breaking project since it was my copy of Grindhouse Wetware's Bottlenose project. Coming up I want to make a version with a very compact unit which uses a 9V like this and a vibrator so anyone can gain sonar powers just by picking it up and pointing it around. Stay tuned!

Cyborg Distance Sensor


Files for Cyborg Distance Sensor:
The OpenSCAD files below are not necessary unless you want to change something
The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2



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