DolphinView headset lets you see the world like Flipper!
Dolphins are not only amazing swimmers and extremely intelligent, but can also navigate their surroundings using echolocation. While extremely useful in murky water, Andrew Thaler decided to make a device that would enable him to observe his (normally dry) environment with a similar distance-indicating audio setup.
While he first considered using an ultrasonic sensor, he eventually settled on LiDAR for its increased range, and uses an Arduino to translate distance into a series of audio clicks. Sound is transferred to Thaler through bone conduction speakers, mimicking the way dolphins hear without external ears.
He notes that while using the “DolphinView” headset is initially disorienting, he was eventually able correlate his surroundings with the system’s audio feedback. Arduino code and parts list is available on GitHub, and the mechanical frame design can be found on Thingiverse if you’d like to build your own!