Designing an Ultrasonic Modem for Robotic Communications

Report No. ARL-TR-4754
Authors: Justin Shumaker
Date/Pages: March 2009; 26 pages
Abstract: An ultrasonic modem is a device that can transmit information acoustically. One was designed for the 2008 FIRST Robotics League competition to provide short-range communications with the robot. The creation of this device was the result of a regulation that inhibited any use of electromagnetic-based communications technology in the competition. The ultrasonic modem consists of easily attainable and low-cost parts and was designed to attenuate ambient noise in the audible frequency domain and reliably send a 2-bit message at a rate of 10 Hz or higher. Each message referred to a high-level control command that the robot would perform.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2009