Project tutorial
DIY Smart Cane Using Arduino

DIY Smart Cane Using Arduino © TAPR-OHL

This is a simple and effective project for beginners using Arduino and an ultrasonic sensor. It only takes a half hour to make this project.

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Components and supplies

Ph a000066 iso (1) ztbmubhmho
Arduino UNO
Adafruit industries ada1536 image
51gzz5eu9pl. sx425
Ultrasonic Sensor - HC-SR04 (Generic)
DC motor (generic)
its not a ordinary motor, it is a micro vibrating motor that i took from old celphone.
11026 02
Jumper wires (generic)
E switch eg1218 image 75px
Slide Switch
Here in this project i used a toggle switch, but you can use a slide switch . it also work
9V battery (generic)
Adafruit industries ada80 image 75px
9V to Barrel Jack Connector

Apps and online services

About this project

Hi guys.

Today in this project we are going to make a smart blind stick for visually impaired persons.

Have you noticed blind people?

Their life is full of risk. They can't walk without the help of others. Their lives always depends upon others. Let's make something for them. Yesterday when I was walking to my college, a blind person who was walking through the street. He faces difficulty walking on that busy street. Fortunately I could help him at that time. At that moment, I also thought I needed to do something for blind people. In the evening of that day I came up with this idea: the smart blind stick. My aim is that this can be cheap and easy-to-make. Even a kid can make it easily in a couple of hours from scratch.

Using this smart blind stick, a visually impaired person can walk without anyone's help. The smart blind stick automatically detects the obstacle in front of the person and gives a response to the person by vibrating the stick and with a warning sound.

Through this the blind person can be aware of the obstacles in front of him.

I used an ultrasonic sensor for detecting the obstacles. It cost me just 10$ to make one.

So, it is cheap and also easy to make - not need for much soldering.

Keep reading to find out how to make it!

Step 1: Collect the Parts

Firstly, we need to collect all the parts that we needed.

Here are the parts you need to collect:

  • an Arduino Uno
  • an ultrasonic sensor (HCSR04)
  • a mini breadboard
  • a 9 volt battery
  • a 9 volt battery connector
  • DC male power jack
  • a buzzer
  • some jumper wires
  • a broken cellphone from scratch
  • a toggle switch

Other tools and parts used in this project:

  • 3/4 inch diameter PVC pipe (used for making the stick)
  • 3/4 inch diameter PVC elbow
  • insulation tape
  • some small screws for mounting the Arduino
  • screwdriver
  • utility knife
  • instant adhesive glue
  • a box to put your Arduino and other electronics in, or think about it later

I thinks that's all we needed.

After collecting all the parts that we need, let's go to the next step!

Step 2: Take the Vibrator Motor from a Cellphone

First we need the vibrator motor. Find a broken cellphone.

Do this step with care and patience.

I used a micro vibrator motor from an old broken cellphone that was lying around my home. The reason I used this: it is very small in size and almost works with low voltage.

Unscrew the cellphone and disassemble all the parts like shown in the above images. You can see the vibrator motor placed a side of the phone's case. Take out the motor carefully from the cellphone.

Please note: different cellphones have different vibrator motor (in size and shape).

Now solder the motor on a small piece of general purpose PCB, then solder two wires to the terminals of the motor like shown in the above images.

Now we got the vibrator motor.

Step 3: Wiring the Arduino

Now it's time for wiring the Arduino!

See the above schematics and carefully connect all parts to the Arduino.

I used a mini breadboard to connect the ultrasonic sensor to the Arduino using jumper wires. The other parts like the buzzer and motor are directly connected to the Arduino.

It's pretty easy does not have complicated wiring.

You can see the wiring diagram from the above image. Here I will explain part by part:

  • Ultrasonic VCC to Arduino 5v
  • Ultrasonic GND to Arduino GND
  • Ultrasonic TRIG to Arduino D12
  • Ultrasonic ECHO to Arduino D11
  • Buzzer RED to Arduino D8
  • Buzzer BLACK to Arduino GND
  • Vibrator motor pin 1 to Arduino D7
  • Vibrator motor pin 2 to Arduino GND
  • 9 volt battery RED to Toggle switch pin 1
  • 9 volt battery BLACK to DC male power jack(-)
  • Toggle switch pin 2 to DC male power jack (+)

Now we finished the wiring!

Step 4: Arduino Sketch

Now it's time for uploading the sketch to the Arduino. The Arduino code is attached with this project. Just copy and paste the code to your Arduino IDE and plug your Arduino into the PC. Just click the upload button. After successfully uploading, unplug the Arduino board.

Step 5: Let's Make the Stick

I used a PVC pipe for making the stick.

If you have a walking stick lying around your home, use that, or else follow this step. Take a look at the above images to make the stick.

I used a 3/4 inch diameter PVC pipe and a 'L' shaped elbow for making the stick.

I will describe to you in words how to make one:

  • First take a PVC pipe (3/4 inch diameter), then cut a piece of one and half meter.
  • Take an 'L' shaped elbow and attach it one of the ends of the pipe.
  • Take another small piece of PVC pipe (10 cm long), then attach it the other end of the elbow.
  • Simply glue it.

I just wrapped the stick with black insulation tape. No specific reason for that except that I like the color black. You can even use paint to get a cool look.

Step 6: Fitting the Circuit on the Stick

Now its time for fixing everything on the stick.

This is the hardest step in this project. It took me hours to design and fix the parts onto the stick.

Find a box yourself that we can use to put all the electronics together. I used a foam board to make a box myself. You can also simply do that (I don't think you need a explanation for that).

Fix your Arduino into the box, use screws for a strong fixing. Make two holes for fixing the ultrasonic sensor on the closing lid of the box as shown in the above image. I fixed the buzzer outside of the box for a clear sound. I also fixed the toggle switch onto a side of the box and a small hole for connecting the vibrating motor to Arduino. Fix the battery inside of the box and connect the power jack to the Arduino.

Mount the ultrasonic sensor on the closing lid of the box. Fix the buzzer on the top of the box. Take out the vibrator motor to outside of the box (we need to fix it on the stick's hand). See the above pictures for how I put together all the parts.

Now attach the box to the stick, you can either use screw or glue it. Here I used a instant adhesive glue, because it is very strong.

After attaching the box to the stick, take out the vibrator motor and fix it below the elbow. I used insulation tape to fix the motor.

Step 7: Done

We made the smart blind stick. Make more features for the smart blind stick and contribute something yourself to humanity. Bring more automation ideas to help others.


Blind stick Arduino CodeC/C++
this is the arduino code for making the blind stick
#define trigPin 13
#define echoPin 12
#define motor 7
#define buzzer 6

void setup()
{ pinMode(trigPin, OUTPUT);
pinMode(echoPin, INPUT);
pinMode(motor, OUTPUT);

void loop()
{ long duration, distance;
digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW); 
digitalWrite(trigPin, HIGH);
digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW);

duration = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH);
distance = (duration/2) / 29.1;

if (distance < 70) // Checking the distance, you can change the value
digitalWrite(motor,HIGH); // When the the distance below 100cm
} else
digitalWrite(motor,LOW);// when greater than 100cm
} delay(500);


Blind stick schematics
this is the schematics to connect components with arduino


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