Let's Make Robots!

Ultrasonic sensors and pets

Hey all. I'm thinking about building my first robot. Was hoping to build some kind of wheeled monstrosity with lots of sensors, but I beginning to think using ultrasonic sensors might not be a good idea with a cat in the apartment. Does anyone know how pets react to the ultrasonic signals?

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They Do The Hokey Pokey! They put their left foot in, then their left foot out, left foot back in and they shake it all about........Then they change legs and repeat. The Maxsonar's have no "Dead Zone" so they'll dance right up to the face of the sensor!
I'm not quite sure you're being helpful
I have used my robot with a parllax Ping))) in the same house as my cat. No reaction, at least, nothing as dramatic as Zeitron's psycho cat.
Thanks. Was the cat at some point in the same room as the robot, or did it maybe seem to avoid it? We don't have that big apartment so our cat wouldn't be able to get that far away if she wanted to. But even a thin wall ought to be able to block most ultrasounds, right?

I wouldn't think it would be a big problem. Your cat is an obstacle, which your robot should avoid.

However, in my experience, cats are pretty good at avoiding robots.

Well what I'm worried about is how the cat perceives the ultrasounds, as she would be able to hear them :) Don't want to build something that stresses her

Hmm. This site (http://www.lsu.edu/deafness/HearingRange.html) shows test results for various animal hearing. The frequency range for cats is 45 Hz to 64 kHz. The Ping sensor puts out 40 kHz, so it is certainly in their hearing range.

However, the bursts of an ultrasonic sensor are very short; the Ping uses 200 mS. It is also fairly directional and the power level cannot be very high as the total power consumption of the Ping is only 20 mA.

In addition, I just tested my SRF05 equipted robot, GRAB-E, in the room with my cat. He was curious, and slightly annoyed when it happened to drive toward him, but he didn't seem to be disturbed. He didn't flee the room or anything. I think your cat is safe around ultrasonic sensors.