Ultraino: An Open Phased-Array System for Narrowband Airborne Ultrasound Transmission

Asier Marzo*, Tom Corkett, Bruce W. Drinkwater

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)
1237 Downloads (Pure)


Modern ultrasonic phased-array controllers are electronic systems capable of delaying the transmitted or received signals of multiple transducers. Configurable transmit-receive array systems, capable of electronic steering and shaping of the beam in near real-time, are available commercially, for example, for medical imaging. However, emerging applications, such as ultrasonic haptics, parametric audio, or ultrasonic levitation, require only a small subset of the capabilities provided by the existing controllers. To meet this need, we present Ultraino, a modular, inexpensive, and open platform that provides hardware, software, and example applications specifically aimed at controlling the transmission of narrowband airborne ultrasound. Our system is composed of software, driver boards, and arrays that enable users to quickly and efficiently perform research in various emerging applications. The software can be used to define array geometries, simulate the acoustic field in real time, and control the connected driver boards. The driver board design is based on an Arduino Mega and can control 64 channels with a square wave of up to 17 Vpp and π/5 phase resolution. Multiple boards can be chained together to increase the number of channels. The 40-kHz arrays with flat and spherical geometries are demonstrated for parametric audio generation, acoustic levitation, and haptic feedback.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8094247
Pages (from-to)102-111
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number1
Early online date2 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Acoustic levitation
  • airborne
  • Arduino
  • open hardware
  • parametric audio
  • phased arrays
  • ultrasonic haptics
  • ultrasonics


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