How is sonar used in robots

Mobile robots: navigation with sonar reflectors

Dr. Ralph Simon works as a scientist at the Vrijen Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He is a biologist with a technical focus, his field of expertise is 'Sensory Ecology', above all he is concerned with echolocation in bats. He worked for several years at the chair for sensor technology at the University of Erlangen Nuremberg. The project "Driverless vehicle guidance by using bio-inspired sonar reflectors" funded by the Volkswagen Foundation was carried out there. Simon will introduce in his lecture.

10 years of university mechatronics studies in western Austria
In autumn 2009 the starting shot was given for the first university mechatronics course in western Austria. With the support of funds from the technology offensive of the State of Tyrol, the University of Innsbruck and the Tyrolean private university UMIT designed and successfully implemented a joint course. Today, the mechatronics course in Tyrol is offered consistently from the bachelor to the master (Dipl.-Ing) to the doctorate. 350 students are currently enrolled in the mechatronics course.

Mobile robot navigation using bio-inspired sonar reflectors

Ultrasonic sensors are widely used and are standardly used in autonomous systems such as robots and driverless cars. The reason for their widespread use is primarily due to the precise distance measurement and the simultaneous energy and cost efficiency. However, ultrasonic sensors also have some limitations. The measurements can be ambiguous due to multiple reflections and false echoes caused by too many objects in the vicinity can hinder target or object detection.

Echolocating bats have very similar problems in nature, especially when they forage near vegetation. In the context of the lecture, the lecturer describes astonishing solutions, how problems in nature that an acoustic orientation entails are solved. He also shows how scientists incorporate these solutions from nature into the development of sonar reflectors and thus improve the navigation and localization effectiveness of autonomous systems.

The speaker also reports on a project funded by the Volkswagen Foundation that deals with autonomous driving through the use of bio-inspired sonar reflectors.

When: Friday, February 8, 2019, 3 p.m.

Location: SR 101 on the UMIT campus, Eduard-Wallnöfer Zentrum 1, 6060 Hall in Tirol