Cyperbolic Reflector Review
This is a review of the Cyperbolic Reflector
For complete specifications and assembly process, download the PDF at the top of this very page.
What Is Inside The Box:
Inside the box you get:
The product does not come with an ultrasonic sensor.
There is a really simple assembly process. The reflector comes with 4 pre-drilled holes (.125 inches in diameter). 2 of them are for you to bolt down a Ping ultrasonic sensor with the included hardware. If you are using an ultrasonic sensor other than the Ping, then you may need to drill your own mounting holes. The reflector should work with other ultrasonic sensors and not just the Ping. The other 2 holes are there so you can mount the reflector to your project. There is no included hardware for this, you will need your own nuts and bolts.
First you are going to want to mount your ultrasonic sensor. I will be using a Ping so the pre-drilled holes line up with the mounting holes on the Ping. The white spacers go on top of the reflector and under the Ping.
Next just bolt the Ping into place, with the nut on top.
Finally, if you would like, you can stick the rubber feet on. You may not need them if your going to be mounting it on a servo or something. So it is up to you. I put mine on already.
So that is the assembly process. It is dead simple and easy with the included hardware and pre-drilled holes for you to mount the Ping ultrasonic sensor. The other pre-drilled holes makes it easy for you to bolt the reflector down to a project even though you need to provide your own nuts and bolts. That makes sense since the thickness of the material you are mounting to will vary from customer to customer. You will just have to pick up a bolt of your choosing at a hardware store. The rubber feet provide an alternative way of keeping the reflector in one spot.
The Product's Purpose:
The sound leaving the sensor "hits the reflector and is reflected parallel to the base, no matter where it hits the reflector. This concentrates the acoustic beam in front of the reflector by greatly reducing how fast the beam spreads out vertically. This delivers more sound onto targets that are at the same level as the reflector." So what that means is the reflector is able to collect all the sound and reflect it forward. Without the reflector, this sound is normally dissipating in different directions.
So what are the effects of the reflector?
The reflector provides you with a longer sensing distance, higher sensitivity, and a wider beam angle. I will tell you what i think about the effects later.
My Own Tests:
There was no need for me to test every point of the graph above, instead i tested the key aspects of the reflector and graph. These aspects are: you get a wider beam angle and longer sensing range.
My test bed was built to wirelessly send compass and distance readings to my computer program I wrote in processing to display the different readings in a scan. The tests were done by scanning a telephone pole at different distances and comparing the displayed charts.
A scan from 2ft away:
Raw Ping Results:
A scan from 4ft away:
Raw Ping Results:
The results of the different scans shows the wider beam angles. The results back up the graph from the supplier. The beam angle with the reflector starts to get wider than the beam angle of the raw Ping at around 2ft.
The reflector is really simple to assemble and mount to your projects. It is going to take space to mount this to your projects. So i do not see it being used on small mobile robots (like the start here robot) or other projects where space is limited, not to say that it cant be used for these applications. It would be nice if they sold a mount for say a servo because i think that is something that people may want as an accessory.
The reflector does give you a wider beam angle and longer range like the graph shows. I can not tell you if this is what you need. Obviously every product has its niche. If you need a wide beam angle and longer distance, then this does what you want. For example an application that needs a wide beam angle would be motion sensing. When it comes to pinpointing an obstacle, the wider beam angle could hinder that. It could be used in tandem with a lone Ping sensor acting as a narrow object detector and the reflector being the broad detection.
In the end, i found the reflector to do what it claims. Like anything else, it is fair to say that it depends on your application whether this is or is not the product for you.