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JP2017049042

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This translation is machine-generated. It cannot be guaranteed that it is intelligible, accurate,
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DESCRIPTION JP2017049042
Abstract: To increase the visibility of an ultrasonic sensor that shows the presence of an own
vehicle and warns a pedestrian outside a vehicle and a passenger of a surrounding vehicle by
emitting light to the outside of the vehicle. An ultrasonic sensor (10) comprises a member
through which light is transmitted, a diaphragm (11) for transmitting and receiving ultrasonic
waves in the air, a vibrator (13) for vibrating the diaphragm (11), and vibration of the vibrator
(13). A transmission member 14 for transmitting to the diaphragm 11 and a light source unit 15
disposed on the back side of the diaphragm 11 and emitting light emitted to the front side
through the diaphragm 11 are provided. [Selected figure] Figure 1
Ultrasonic sensor and obstacle detection device
[0001]
The present invention relates to an ultrasonic sensor, and an obstacle detection device that
detects an obstacle with an ultrasonic sensor.
[0002]
Conventionally, a vehicle-mounted ultrasonic sensor transmits and receives ultrasonic waves
from the diaphragm toward the vehicle periphery by vibrating a diaphragm made of a member
that does not transmit light such as aluminum using a ceramic vibrator or the like.
The obstacle detection device detects an obstacle around the vehicle based on the transmission /
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1
reception result of the ultrasonic wave emitted by the ultrasonic sensor and reflected back by the
obstacle. Then, when the obstacle detection device detects an obstacle around the vehicle by the
ultrasonic sensor, for example, it outputs a buzzer sound from a speaker in the vehicle
compartment or blinks a warning light to warn the driver. Prompt.
[0003]
For example, in the obstacle detection device for vehicles described in patent documents 1, a
transmitting and receiving part and LED (Light Emitting Diode) are stored in the bezel for
attaching an ultrasonic sensor to a bumper. The bezel is formed of a light transmitting member,
and radiates the light emitted from the LED provided inside to the outside of the vehicle through
a portion provided around the light transmitting / receiving unit which is an aluminum
diaphragm. By emitting light emitted from the LED from the bezel around the aluminum
diaphragm to the outside of the vehicle when an obstacle is detected, it is possible to notify that
the vehicle is approaching toward the outside of the vehicle.
[0004]
JP, 2005-178536, A
[0005]
Conventionally, the area of the bezel exposed on the bumper surface has been reduced so that
the ultrasonic sensor installed on the bumper surface is not noticeable.
Therefore, there is a problem that the area of the light emitting part is narrow and the light is
inconspicuous when viewed from the outside of the vehicle only by the configuration in which
the light of the LED passes through the bezel as in Patent Document 1 above.
[0006]
The present invention has been made to solve the problems as described above, and by emitting
light to the outside of the vehicle, the presence of the own vehicle is revealed to the pedestrian
outside the vehicle and the occupants of the surrounding vehicles. An object of the present
invention is to increase the visibility of an awakening ultrasonic sensor.
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2
[0007]
An ultrasonic sensor according to the present invention comprises a member through which light
passes, a diaphragm for transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves into air, a vibrator for
vibrating the diaphragm, and vibration of the vibrator to the diaphragm. A transmission member
and a light source unit disposed on the back side of the diaphragm and emitting light transmitted
to the front side through the diaphragm are provided.
[0008]
According to the present invention, by using the light transmission type diaphragm, the area for
emitting light is increased as compared with the case where the light transmission type
diaphragm and the light transmission type bezel as in the prior art are used. be able to.
Therefore, the light emitted from the ultrasonic sensor can be made to stand out, and the
visibility of the ultrasonic sensor can be increased.
[0009]
It is a sectional view showing an example of composition of an ultrasonic sensor concerning
Embodiment 1 of this invention.
5 is a cross-sectional view showing a modification of the ultrasonic sensor according to
Embodiment 1. FIG. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS It is a block diagram which shows
the structural example of the obstacle detection apparatus provided with the ultrasonic sensor
which concerns on Embodiment 1, and an ultrasonic sensor. FIG. 1 is a diagram showing an
example of a hardware configuration of an obstacle detection device according to a first
embodiment. FIG. 2 is a view showing an example of a vibrator according to Embodiment 1; FIG.
7 is a view showing a modification of the diaphragm in the ultrasonic sensor according to the
first embodiment. It is sectional drawing which shows the structural example of the ultrasonic
sensor which concerns on Embodiment 2 of this invention, and is an example from which the
surface of a diaphragm is convex surface. FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view showing a
configuration example of an ultrasonic sensor according to Embodiment 2, in which the surface
of the diaphragm is concave. It is a top view which shows the shape of a diaphragm and a
holding member among the ultrasonic sensors which concern on Embodiment 3 of this invention.
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It is a figure which shows the structural example of the ultrasonic sensor which concerns on
Embodiment 4 of this invention. FIG. 18 is a view showing a modification of the transmission
member in the ultrasonic sensor according to the fourth embodiment. FIG. 18 is a view showing a
modification of the ultrasonic sensor according to the fourth embodiment.
[0010]
Embodiment 1 FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view showing an exemplary configuration of an
ultrasonic sensor 10 according to Embodiment 1 of the present invention. The ultrasonic sensor
10 comprises a member through which light is transmitted, a diaphragm 11 for transmitting and
receiving ultrasonic waves, a holding member 12 for holding the diaphragm 11 in a vibratable
manner, a vibrator 13 for vibrating the diaphragm 11, and vibration. The transmission member
14 for transmitting the vibration of the element 13 to the diaphragm 11, the light source unit 15
disposed on the back side of the diaphragm 11 and emitting light transmitted to the front side
through the diaphragm 11, and a case 16 ing.
[0011]
The case 16 is formed, for example, using a member that does not transmit light. The case 16 is
attached to, for example, a bumper 1 of a vehicle. The method of attaching the case 16 to the
bumper 1 may be any method such as bonding, screwing or claw fitting.
[0012]
The holding member 12 is formed using a member having flexibility and waterproofness. The
holding member 12 holds the diaphragm 11 so as to be able to vibrate at the opening of the case
16. The diaphragm 11 is exposed to the outside of the vehicle from the hole of the bumper 1
with the case 16 attached to the bumper 1. Further, the vibrator 13, the transmission member 14
and the light source unit 15 are installed inside the case 16. Here, the surface of the diaphragm
11 facing the outside of the vehicle is a surface, and the surface of the diaphragm 11 facing the
inside of the vehicle, that is, the case 16 side is a back surface.
[0013]
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The vibrator 13 is an actuator that generates a driving force that vibrates the diaphragm 11 in
the front and back direction. The vibrator 13 generates a driving force for vibrating the
diaphragm 11 such as, for example, a piezoelectric actuator using a piezoelectric element, an
electric actuator using an electromagnetic force, or an electrostatic actuator using an
electrostatic attraction. Anything may be used. In FIG. 1, a multilayer piezoelectric element is
schematically illustrated as the vibrator 13.
[0014]
The transmission member 14 has one end joined to the vibrator 13 and the other end joined to
the back surface of the diaphragm 11, and can vibrate on the surface of the diaphragm 11 by
receiving the vibration of the vibrator 13. The vibrator 13 vibrates the vibration member 11 by
vibrating the transmission member 14 to transmit (radiate) ultrasonic waves toward the outside
of the vehicle. The ultrasonic wave reflected by the obstacle 2 is received by the diaphragm 11,
converted into an electric signal by the vibrator 13, and output.
[0015]
The diaphragm 11 is formed using a member such as a resin that transmits light. The diaphragm
11 in Embodiment 1 has rigidity, and the whole diaphragm 11 vibrates in the front and back
direction. One or more light source units 15 such as LEDs are disposed on the back side of the
diaphragm 11. The light emitted from the light source unit 15 is transmitted through the
diaphragm 11 and radiated to the outside of the vehicle. Since light can be emitted from the
entire surface of the diaphragm 11, the area for emitting light is greater than when using a
conventional aluminum light-impermeable diaphragm and a light-transmissive bezel. Can be
increased. Also, the radiation efficiency can be enhanced. Therefore, the light emitted from the
ultrasonic sensor 10 can be made to stand out.
[0016]
It is preferable that not only the diaphragm 11 but also the transmission member 14 be formed
using a member through which light passes so as not to block light incident on the diaphragm 11
from the light source unit 15. Alternatively, the diaphragm 11 and the transmission member 14
may be integrally formed by injection molding of a resin material. Of course, the diaphragm 11
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and the transmission member 14 may be separately formed and then joined and integrated.
Examples of the resin material through which light passes include polycarbonate resin, acrylic
resin, and styrene resin. Since the resin material is high in strength and light in weight, the area
of the diaphragm 11 can be increased. Thereby, the sensitivity of the ultrasonic sensor 10 is
improved. In addition, light emission can be made to stand out.
[0017]
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view showing a modification of the ultrasonic sensor 10 according to
the first embodiment. In the example of FIG. 2, a prism 17 serving as a light guide member is
installed inside the case 16. The light emitted from the light source unit 15 is guided to the
diaphragm 11 by the prism 17, transmitted through the diaphragm 11 and radiated to the
outside of the vehicle.
[0018]
Next, an obstacle detection device 20 using the ultrasonic sensor 10 will be described. FIG. 3 is a
block diagram showing a configuration example of the obstacle detection device 20 using the
ultrasonic sensor 10 according to the first embodiment. The obstacle detection device 20
includes an ultrasonic sensor 10, a transmission / reception control unit 21, an obstacle
detection unit 22, and a light emission control unit 23.
[0019]
The transmission / reception control unit 21 outputs an instruction to transmit an ultrasonic
wave to the transducer 13 of the ultrasonic sensor 10. Further, when instructing the transducer
13 to transmit an ultrasonic wave, the transmission / reception control unit 21 outputs a
notification notifying the transmission of the ultrasonic wave to the light emission control unit
23. The vibrator 13 vibrates the diaphragm 11 via the transmission member 14 in accordance
with an instruction from the transmission / reception control unit 21 and transmits ultrasonic
waves to the outside of the vehicle. Thereafter, the vibrator 13 receives the ultrasonic wave
reflected by the obstacle 2 by the diaphragm 11, converts it into an electric signal, and outputs
the electric signal to the transmission / reception control unit 21. The transmission / reception
control unit 21 receives an electrical signal from the transducer 13 and measures the time taken
from transmission of an ultrasonic wave to reception. Then, the transmission / reception control
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unit 21 calculates the distance from the diaphragm 11 to the obstacle 2 using the measured time,
and outputs the calculated distance to the obstacle detection unit 22.
[0020]
The obstacle detection unit 22 receives the calculation result of the distance from the
transmission / reception control unit 21. When the distance is equal to or less than a
predetermined distance, the obstacle detection unit 22 detects that the obstacle 2 is present
around the vehicle. Then, the obstacle detection unit 22 outputs, to the light emission control
unit 23, a notification notifying that the obstacle 2 has been detected.
[0021]
The light emission control unit 23 outputs a light emission instruction to the light source unit 15
of the ultrasonic sensor 10 when receiving a notification notifying transmission of an ultrasonic
wave from the transmission / reception control unit 21. When the light emission control unit 23
receives, from the obstacle detection unit 22, a notification notifying that the obstacle 2 has been
detected, the light emission control unit 23 outputs a light emission instruction to the light
source unit 15 of the ultrasonic sensor 10. The light source unit 15 emits light in accordance
with an instruction from the light emission control unit 23. The light emitted from the light
source unit 15 is transmitted through the diaphragm 11 and radiated to the outside of the
vehicle.
[0022]
By emitting light to the outside of the vehicle when the ultrasonic sensor 10 transmits ultrasonic
waves, it is possible to notify a pedestrian or the like around the vehicle that an obstacle
detection operation is being performed. In addition, when the obstacle detection device 20
detects the obstacle 2, the ultrasonic sensor 10 emits light to the outside of the vehicle, whereby
the vehicle approaches the pedestrian or the like detected as the obstacle 2 Can be notified. At
that time, by making light emission stand out by emitting light from the entire surface of the
diaphragm 11, it is possible to more reliably notify a pedestrian or the like.
[0023]
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Although illustration is omitted, when the obstacle detection unit 22 detects the obstacle 2, the
obstacle detection device 20 outputs a buzzer sound from a speaker in the car room or blinks a
warning light in the car room. To warn the driver. By sharing the detection of the obstacle 2 by
both the driver and the pedestrian, the occurrence of a touch accident and the like can be
suppressed.
[0024]
In addition, when a plurality of ultrasonic sensors 10 are installed on the surface of the bumper
1, the obstacle detection device 20 can also control transmission / reception and emission of
ultrasonic waves for each of the plurality of ultrasonic sensors 10. . In the case of this
configuration, the obstacle detection device 20 may control so that only the ultrasonic sensor 10
that detects the obstacle 2 emits light, or when the obstacle 2 is detected in any of the ultrasonic
sensors 10 Not only the ultrasonic sensor 10 but also other ultrasonic sensors 10 may be
controlled to emit light in conjunction.
[0025]
In addition, a plurality of light source units 15 having different emission colors may be provided,
and the light source unit 15 emitting light may be arbitrarily selected according to the situation.
For example, the obstacle detection device 20 causes the green light source unit 15 to emit light
when transmitting an ultrasonic wave, and causes the yellow light source unit 15 to emit light
when the obstacle 2 is detected.
[0026]
Next, a hardware configuration example of the obstacle detection device 20 will be described.
FIG. 4 is a diagram showing an example of the hardware configuration of the obstacle detection
device 20 according to the first embodiment. Each function of the transmission / reception
control unit 21, the obstacle detection unit 22 and the light emission control unit 23 in the
obstacle detection device 20 is realized by a processing circuit. That is, the obstacle detection
device 20 controls transmission and reception of the ultrasonic wave from the diaphragm 11 by
the vibrator 13, detects the obstacle 2 using the transmission and reception result of the
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ultrasonic wave, and transmits the ultrasonic wave from the diaphragm 11. A processing circuit
is provided to cause the light source unit 15 to emit light when the case and the obstacle 2 are
detected. The processing circuit is a processor 31 that executes a program stored in the memory
32.
[0027]
Each function of the transmission / reception control unit 21, the obstacle detection unit 22, and
the light emission control unit 23 is realized by software, firmware, or a combination of software
and firmware. The software or firmware is described as a program and stored in the memory 32.
The processor 31 implements the functions of the respective units by reading and executing the
program stored in the memory 32. That is, when executed by the processor 31, the obstacle
detection device 20 controls transmission and reception of the ultrasonic wave from the
diaphragm 11 by the vibrator 13, and detects the obstacle 2 using the transmission and
reception result of the ultrasonic wave. A memory 32 is provided for storing a program that will
cause the step of causing the light source unit 15 to emit light when transmitting ultrasonic
waves from the diaphragm 11 and when detecting the obstacle 2. Further, it can be said that this
program causes a computer to execute the procedure or method of the transmission / reception
control unit 21, the obstacle detection unit 22, and the light emission control unit 23.
[0028]
The processor 31 is also referred to as a central processing unit (CPU), a central processing unit,
a processing unit, an arithmetic unit, a microprocessor, a microcomputer, or a digital signal
processor (DSP). The memory 32 may be, for example, a nonvolatile or volatile semiconductor
memory such as a random access memory (RAM), a read only memory (ROM), a flash memory,
an EPROM (erasable programmable ROM), or an EEPROM (electrically EPROM). Or a magnetic
disk such as a hard disk or a flexible disk.
[0029]
An example of the vibrator 13 is shown in FIG. The vibrator 13 in FIG. 5 is a piezoelectric
actuator, and includes a multilayer piezoelectric element 13a in which piezoelectric elements
having positive and negative electrodes are stacked, a power source 13b, and a receiving
amplifier 13c. The transmission member 14 is bonded to the multilayer piezoelectric element
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13a. When the vibrator 13 receives an instruction to transmit an ultrasonic wave from the
transmission / reception control unit 21, the vibrator 13 applies a voltage to the multilayer
piezoelectric element 13 a to expand and contract the multilayer piezoelectric element 13 a in
the stacking direction. The diaphragm 11 vibrates via the transmission member 14 by this
expansion and contraction motion. When the diaphragm 11 vibrates due to the ultrasonic wave
reflected by the obstacle 2, this vibration is transmitted to the multilayer piezoelectric element
13 a via the transmission member 14. The multilayer piezoelectric element 13a converts
vibration into electric power and outputs an electric signal. The reception amplifier 13 c
amplifies this electric signal and outputs it to the transmission / reception control unit 21. In the
above description, a configuration using multilayer piezoelectric elements is shown, but a singlelayer piezoelectric element may be used as long as sufficient characteristics can be obtained.
[0030]
As described above, the ultrasonic sensor 10 according to the first embodiment includes the
member through which light is transmitted, the diaphragm 11 transmitting and receiving the
ultrasonic wave into the air, the vibrator 13 vibrating the diaphragm 11, and the vibration. The
transmission member 14 for transmitting the vibration of the element 13 to the diaphragm 11,
and the light source unit 15 disposed on the back side of the diaphragm 11 and emitting the
light transmitted through the diaphragm 11 and radiated to the front side. With this
configuration, it is possible to increase the area for emitting light as compared with the case of
using a light-impermeable diaphragm and a light-transmissive bezel as in the prior art. Therefore,
the light emitted from the ultrasonic sensor 10 can be made conspicuous, and the visibility of the
ultrasonic sensor 10 can be increased.
[0031]
Further, the obstacle detection device 20 according to the first embodiment uses the ultrasonic
sensor 10 described above, the transmission / reception control unit 21 that controls the
vibrator 13 to transmit and receive ultrasonic waves, and the failure using transmission and
reception results of ultrasonic waves. It has an obstacle detection unit 22 that detects the object
2, and a light emission control unit 23 that causes the light source unit 15 to emit light when
ultrasonic waves are transmitted from the diaphragm 11 and when the obstacle detection unit 22
detects the obstacle 2. It is a structure. With this configuration, it is possible to notify the
pedestrian in the vicinity of the vehicle, the passenger of the surrounding vehicle, and the like
that the obstacle detection operation is being performed. Further, it is possible to notify the
pedestrian detected as the obstacle 2 and the passengers of the surrounding vehicles that the
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vehicle is approaching.
[0032]
The diaphragm 11 may have a function of scattering light. For example, the diaphragm 11 is
formed using a translucent member such as a milky white resin. Thereby, light emitted from the
diaphragm 11 becomes scattered light. Further, for example, fine asperities are formed on the
surface of the diaphragm 11 to form a frosted glass. Also in this case, light emitted from the
diaphragm 11 becomes scattered light.
[0033]
Since the diaphragm 11 has a light scattering function, light can be emitted over a wide range.
Therefore, the light emitted to the outside of the vehicle on the surface of the bumper 1 can be
further highlighted. In addition, by giving the entire surface of the diaphragm 11 a light
scattering function, the entire surface of the diaphragm 11 emits light uniformly, so that the
unevenness of light is reduced and the design as illumination is improved.
[0034]
In addition, the diaphragm 11 may have an optical characteristic of diffusion or focusing. A
modification of the diaphragm 11 is shown in FIG. 6 (a) is a plan view of the diaphragm 11, and
FIG. 6 (b) is a side view of the diaphragm 11. FIG. Four transparent convex lenses 11 a are
formed on one side of the diaphragm 11. The convex lens 11a has an optical characteristic of
diffusing light emitted to the outside of the vehicle. Moreover, although illustration is abbreviate
| omitted, the four light source parts 15 are arrange | positioned at four places which oppose the
four convex lenses 11a. With this configuration, light is emitted from each of the four convex
lenses 11a, so light can be emitted in light source units.
[0035]
Although not shown, the diaphragm 11 may have an optical characteristic of diffusion or
focusing by forming an arbitrary multi-face shape such as a concave lens or a brilliant cut, a
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prism, an emboss, or the like. In addition, when noise is generated in the ultrasonic wave by
applying the shape processing for giving optical characteristics to the surface of the diaphragm
11, it may be applied to the back surface of the diaphragm 11.
[0036]
By the diaphragm 11 having diffusion optical characteristics, light can be emitted over a wide
range. In addition, light can be emitted far by the diaphragm 11 having the optical characteristic
of light collection. Therefore, the range and direction of light emission can be set arbitrarily.
[0037]
Alternatively, light may be emitted from the diaphragm 11 in a plurality of directions outside the
vehicle. For example, the plurality of light source units 15 are installed in directions in which the
light emission directions are different from each other. Thus, light can be emitted in a plurality of
directions, and the light emission of the diaphragm 11 can be made more noticeable.
Alternatively, the four convex lenses 11a shown in FIG. 6 may be formed such that the optical
axes of the respective convex lenses 11a are in directions different from each other. By forming
irregularities on the surface of the diaphragm 11 to refract light, light can be emitted in a
plurality of directions, and the light emission of the diaphragm 11 can be made more noticeable.
[0038]
Furthermore, when the ultrasonic sensor 10 includes a plurality of light source units 15 and can
emit light in a plurality of directions outside the vehicle, the light is selectively emitted in the
direction in which the obstacle 2 is detected. It is also good. In that case, in the obstacle detection
device 20, the obstacle detection unit 22 calculates the direction in which the obstacle 2 is
present, using the transmission / reception result of the ultrasonic wave. A method of calculating
the direction of the obstacle 2 may use a known technique, and therefore the description thereof
is omitted. Then, the obstacle detection unit 22 outputs, to the light emission control unit 23, a
notification notifying that the obstacle 2 has been detected and the direction in which the
obstacle 2 has been detected. The light emission control unit 23 controls to emit light from the
light source unit 15 that emits light in the direction in which the obstacle 2 is detected among
the plurality of light source units 15 when the notification is received from the obstacle detection
unit 22 . With such a configuration, it is possible to emit light to a pedestrian or the like detected
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as the obstacle 2 and to notify the approach of the vehicle.
[0039]
Second Embodiment In the first embodiment, a configuration example in which the surface of the
diaphragm 11 is flat is shown, but in the second embodiment, a configuration example in which
the surface of the diaphragm 11 is convex or concave is shown.
[0040]
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view showing a configuration example of the ultrasonic sensor 10
according to the second embodiment, and the surface of the diaphragm 11 is a convex surface
11 b. FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view showing a configuration example of the ultrasonic sensor 10
according to the second embodiment, and the surface of the diaphragm 11 is a concave surface
11c. In FIG. 7 and FIG. 8, the same or corresponding parts as in FIG. 1 to FIG.
[0041]
As shown in FIG. 7, when the surface of the diaphragm 11 is a convex surface 11b, light emitted
from the convex surface 11b converges, and ultrasonic waves transmitted from the convex
surface 11b diffuse. As shown in FIG. 8, when the surface of the diaphragm 11 is a concave
surface 11c, light emitted from the concave surface 11c is diffused, and ultrasonic waves
transmitted from the concave surface 11c converge. Although in FIG. 7 and FIG. 8 the entire
surface of the diaphragm 11 is made convex 11b or concave 11c, part of the surface of the
diaphragm 11 may be made convex 11b or concave 11c.
[0042]
As described above, according to the second embodiment, it is possible to select diffusion and
convergence of radiation light and ultrasonic waves depending on whether the surface of the
diaphragm 11 is the convex surface 11 b or the concave surface 11 c. For example, in the case
where the surface of the diaphragm 11 is the convex surface 11 b and the ultrasonic waves are
transmitted in a wide range, the number of ultrasonic sensors 10 installed in the vehicle can be
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reduced. Also, for example, in the case where the surface of the diaphragm 11 is the concave
surface 11c and the configuration is such that the ultrasonic wave is transmitted to a distance, an
obstacle at a position away from the vehicle can be detected.
[0043]
As in the first embodiment, also in the second embodiment, the diaphragm 11 is made of a
semitransparent member, or the convex and concave portions are formed on the convex surface
11b and the concave surface 11c to form a frosted glass, A light scattering function may be
provided.
[0044]
Third Embodiment
In the second embodiment, a configuration example is shown in which the diaphragm 11 has a
convex surface 11 b or a concave surface 11 c to give directivity. However, in the third
embodiment, the aspect ratio of the diaphragm 11 is changed to have directivity. An example of
the configuration to be provided is shown.
[0045]
FIG. 9 is a plan view showing the shapes of the diaphragm 11 and the holding member 12 in the
ultrasonic sensor 10 according to the third embodiment. In FIG. 9, parts that are the same as or
correspond to those in FIGS. 1 to 8 are given the same reference numerals, and descriptions
thereof will be omitted. Here, on the sheet of FIG. 9A and FIG. 9B, the vertical direction
corresponds to the vertical direction when the ultrasonic sensor 10 is installed in the bumper 1
of the vehicle, and the horizontal direction corresponds to the horizontal direction. It shall be.
[0046]
The substantial peristaltic surface of the diaphragm 11 shown in FIG. 9A has a rectangular shape
that is long and short. Further, the substantial swinging surface of the diaphragm 11 shown in
FIG. 9B has an elliptical shape which is long in the vertical direction and short in the horizontal
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direction. With these configurations, the ultrasonic waves transmitted from the diaphragm 11
have narrow directivity in the longitudinal direction and broad directivity in the lateral direction.
Although illustration is omitted, when the substantial peristaltic surface of the diaphragm 11 is
formed to be short vertically and horizontally long, the ultrasonic waves transmitted from the
diaphragm 11 are directed wide in the longitudinal direction and narrow in the lateral direction
Have sex.
[0047]
As described above, according to the third embodiment, the directivity of the ultrasonic wave can
be arbitrarily changed by making the peristaltic surface of the diaphragm 11 different in length
in the vertical direction and in the horizontal direction. Therefore, the detection range of the
obstacle can be optimized.
[0048]
Fourth Embodiment In the first to third embodiments, a configuration example using a member
having rigidity as the diaphragm 11 is shown, but in the fourth embodiment, a configuration
example using a member having flexibility as the diaphragm 11 is shown .
[0049]
FIG. 10 is a view showing a configuration example of the ultrasonic sensor 10 according to the
fourth embodiment. 10 (a) is a plan view of the ultrasonic sensor 10 viewed from the surface of
the bumper 1, FIG. 10 (b) is a cross-sectional view of the ultrasonic sensor 10 cut along the line
AA ', FIG. 10 (c) 2 is a cross-sectional view of the ultrasonic sensor 10 taken along the line B-B '.
Also, in FIG. 10, parts that are the same as or correspond to those in FIGS. Here, on the sheet of
FIG. 10A and FIG. 10B, the vertical direction corresponds to the vertical direction when the
ultrasonic sensor 10 is installed in the bumper 1 of the vehicle, and the horizontal direction
corresponds to the horizontal direction. It shall be.
[0050]
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In the fourth embodiment, the diaphragm 11 is formed using a member having flexibility. The
outer edge of the diaphragm 11 is fixed to the opening of the case 16. That is, the outer edge
portion of the diaphragm 11 functions as a holding member 12 which holds the diaphragm 11 so
as to be capable of vibrating.
[0051]
Further, since the diaphragm 11 in the fourth embodiment has flexibility, a portion of the
diaphragm 11 mainly joined to the transmission member 14 is bent and vibrates. Also in this
configuration, as in the first to third embodiments, the vibrator 13 vibrates the transmission
member 14 to vibrate the diaphragm 11, and transmits the ultrasonic wave to the outside of the
vehicle. Further, the ultrasonic wave reflected by the obstacle 2 is received by the diaphragm 11,
and the vibrator 13 converts it into an electric signal and outputs it.
[0052]
Further, since the portion of the diaphragm 11 which is mainly joined to the transmission
member 14 vibrates, the directivity of the ultrasonic wave is determined by the shape of the joint
portion of the diaphragm 11 and the transmission member 14. Therefore, for example, as shown
in FIG. 10, when the end face of the transmission member 14 to be joined to the diaphragm 11
has a rectangular shape that is long vertically and horizontally short, the ultrasonic waves
transmitted from the diaphragm 11 narrow in the vertical direction Has wide directivity in the
lateral direction.
[0053]
On the other hand, the end face of the transmission member 14 joined to the vibrator 13 may
have any shape. In the example of FIG. 10, the transmission member 14 has a shape that tapers
toward the end face side to be bonded to the vibrator 13, thereby achieving weight reduction of
the transmission member 14. By reducing the weight of the transmission member 14, the
vibration of the vibrator 13 is transmitted to the diaphragm 11 without being attenuated, so that
the amplitude of the vibration of the diaphragm 11 becomes large. Thus, the sensitivity of the
ultrasonic sensor 10 is improved.
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[0054]
Here, FIG. 11 shows a modification of the end surface shape joined to the diaphragm 11 of the
transmission member 14. FIGS. 11A to 11C are views of the ultrasonic sensor 10 as viewed from
the surface of the bumper 1. In the example of FIG. 11A, the end face of the transmission
member 14 joined to the diaphragm 11 has an elliptical shape which is long in the vertical
direction and short in the horizontal direction. In addition, the weight may be reduced by using a
hollow cylindrical shape of the transmission member 14, providing a suitable thickness cut, or
using a foam material that can maintain rigidity. In the example of FIG. 11B and FIG. 11C, the end
face of the transmission member 14 joined to the diaphragm 11 has a cross shape which is long
in the vertical direction and short in the horizontal direction. In the case of the configuration
shown in FIGS. 11A to 11C, the ultrasonic waves transmitted from the diaphragm 11 are narrow
in the longitudinal direction and have wide directivity in the lateral direction. The end face shape
of the transmission member 14 is not limited to the examples shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, and may
be a shape according to the directivity required of the ultrasonic sensor 10.
[0055]
A modification of the diaphragm 11 is shown in FIG. 12 (a) is a view of the ultrasonic sensor 10
viewed from the surface of the bumper 1, FIG. 12 (b) is a cross-sectional view of the ultrasonic
sensor 10 cut along the line A-A ', and FIG. It is sectional drawing which cut | disconnected the
ultrasonic sensor 10 along the BB 'line. In the example of FIG. 12, an annular thin portion 11 d is
formed at the boundary between the vibrating portion of the diaphragm 11 and the portion
functioning as the holding member 12. By forming the thin portion 11 d, the diaphragm 11 is
easily bent and the amplitude of the vibration is increased. Thus, the sensitivity of the ultrasonic
sensor 10 is improved. The shape of the thin portion 11 d is not limited to the example shown in
FIG. 12 and may be any shape that makes the diaphragm 11 easy to bend.
[0056]
As described above, according to the fourth embodiment, the directivity of the ultrasonic wave
can be arbitrarily changed by making the joining surface of the diaphragm 11 and the
transmission member 14 different in length in the vertical and horizontal directions. it can.
Therefore, the detection range of the obstacle can be optimized.
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17
[0057]
In the scope of the present invention, free combinations of the respective embodiments,
deformation of any component of each embodiment, or omission of any component of each
embodiment are possible within the scope of the invention.
[0058]
Reference Signs List 1 bumper, 2 obstacles, 10 ultrasonic sensors, 11 diaphragms, 11a convex
lens, 11b convex surface, 11c concave surface, 11d thin wall portion, 12 holding members, 13
vibrators, 13a multilayer piezoelectric elements, 13b power supply, 13c receiving amplifier, 14
transmission member, 15 light source unit, 16 cases, 17 prism, 20 obstacle detection device, 21
transmission / reception control unit, 22 obstacle detection unit, 23 light emission control unit,
31 processor, 32 memory.
10-05-2019
18
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