This paper presents an innovative method for measuring the time delay of ultrasonic waves. Pulse methods used in the previous studies was characterized by latency. The method of phase correlation, presented in this article is free from this disadvantages. Due to the phase encoding with the use of Walsh functions the presented method allows to obtain better precision than previous methods. The algorithm to measure delay of the reflected wave with the use of microprocessor ARM Cortex M4 linked to a PC has been worked out and tested. This method uses the signal from the ultrasonic probe to precisely determine the time delay, caused by the propagation in medium, possible. In order to verify the effectiveness of the method a part of the measuring system was implemented in LabVIEW. The presented method proved to be effective, as it is shown in presented simulation results.
Beamforming is an advanced signal processing technique used in sensor arrays for directional signal transmission or reception. The paper deals with a system based on an ultrasound transmitter and an array of receivers, to determine the distance to an obstacle by measuring the time of flight and – using the phase beamforming technique to process the output signals of receivers for finding the direction from which the reflected signal is received – locates the obstacle. The embedded beam-former interacts with a PID-based line follower robot to improve performance of the line follower navigation algorithm by detecting and avoiding obstacles. The PID (proportional-integral-derivative) algorithm is also typically used to control industrial processes. It calculates the difference between a measured value and a desired set of points, then attempts to minimize the error by adjusting the output. The overall navigation system combines a PID-based trajectory follower with a spatial-temporal filter (beamformer) that uses the output of an array of sensors to extract signals received from an obstacle in a particular direction in order to guide an autonomous vehicle or a robot along a safe path.