Ideas and EngineeringMITNetwork

A 3D Sonar Concept by looking at Echo-Location used by Bats

1. Reflection of project proposal:

I explained my idea of a 3D sonar by mimicking Echo-Location using cell-phone technology (Echo-Location used by bats to fly in the dark AND by blind people) to our team and my project partner. Of course, I had to explain my project, but he and the team were able to understand it right away (Presentation pics).

I did have a prototype, which certainly was not functionable at the time, but it was clearly understood what I was saying:

3D Sonar Prototype

My project partner designed a diagram through my description, which I enhanced to make the important parts come out in more detail:


Amber joined our team and she could immediately tell what was described in my project partner’s diagram.

2. Further concentration

Considering my concept and distilling it further, I find that the Biology how bats can navigate through the dark or even blind is the most fascinating fact about it. It also showed to be the most descriptive when trying to explain my idea. How bats can just easily navigate in the dark, without seeing anything:

Amazing Video studying bats (from 1955)

This is really the core concept of my idea to mimic this so-called Echo-Location, but use Cell-Phones to capture objects or even architecture, then use more than one cellphone to triangulate the position of the objects and display them through a visual system (could also be a non-visual system: shown in the Computer Game Darkgame – but be aware of the lack of documentation of the project).

As far as the use of such a technology is concerned one can imagine many scenarios for blind people being able to „see“ their surroundings or for people with normal vision, such as

walking through a city in real-time, while still sitting on the plane
walking through rooms of a building (museums, hostage situations, ….),…

The following video shows a simulation of a building that is occupied by terrorists and the police can trace the position of each terrorist and captured individual in the building by matching the building plan to the collected 3D sonar data:


Further studies will include:

The Bathouse Project
Echo-Location used by Animals
Human Echo-Location)

Thanks! Best,

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