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Echolocation Capabilities

Echolocation Capabilities for Robots.
A nice insight into what could lead to life-saving capabilities.
Maybe swap out the LED Mohawk for Misty Bat Ears.

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Seems like you’d need very sensitive microphones to pull that off.

Reminds me of Daniel Kish who is blind but who was able to develop this skill.

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actually, the microphones do not need to be very sensitive, nor expensive. e.g., a simple time-of-flight ultrasonic range finder is 2.50 USD at https://www.robotshop.com/en/hc-sr04-ultrasonic-range-finder.html

if you want more sophisticated treatment of the echo, e.g., using a head-related transfer function (HRTF), then a more sensitive amplifier and microphone are needed, but they would nonetheless be much lower cost than a laser-based range finder.

I think that the main challenge in adding such sensors to Misty is to ensure:

  1. that the frequencies used by the ultrasonic sensors would not be heard by dogs and other non-human animals in the house, and
  2. that sensor degradation does not result in frequency content that humans are sensitive to.

in any case, if you are interested, I designed an ultrasonic amplifier as part of a project to study echolocation beam structure from bats:
Imgur
it is open source.

another example of research on this topic is that of Horiuchi’s group at U. Maryland (https://www.isr.umd.edu/Labs/CSSL/horiuchilab/horiuchilab.html) beginning around the year 2003, including development of neuromorphic VLSI circuits for echolocation.

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