Object detection for agricultural and construction environments using an ultrasonic sensor

J. S. Dvorak, M. L. Stone, K. P. Self

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

23 Scopus citations


This study tested an ultrasonic sensor's ability to detect several objects commonly encountered in outdoor agricultural or construction environments: a water jug, a sheet of oriented strand board (OSB), a metal fence post, a human model, a wooden fence post, a Dracaena plant, a juniper plant, and a dog model. Tests were performed with each target object at distances from 0.01 to 3 m. Five tests were performed with each object at each location, and the sensor's ability to detect the object during each test was categorized as "undetected," "intermittent," "incorrect distance," or "good." Rigid objects that presented a larger surface area to the sensor, such as the water jug and OSB, were better detected than objects with a softer surface texture, which were occasionally not detected as the distance approached 3 m. Objects with extremely soft surface texture, such as the dog model, could be undetected at almost any distance from the sensor. The results of this testing should help designers of future systems for outdoor environments, as the target objects tested can be found in nearly any agricultural or construction environment.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
Specialist publicationJournal of Agricultural Safety and Health
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 ASABE.


  • Human presence
  • Obstacle detection
  • Safety
  • Sensors
  • Ultrasonic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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