Ultrasonic Volume Measurement with Arduino Physical Programming


Mesut ULU


In this learning scenario, it is aimed to determine the volumetric amount by using the height (depth) of the liquid or solid product in a tank or container by means of level measurement. Level measurement is a measurement application frequently encountered in many different engineering fields. In the study made with ultrasonic level detection method, HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Sensor and Arduino Uno data acquisition and control card were used. Our container to be filled is determined as a cylindrical container with a radius of 5 cm and a height of 20 cm. It was taken as π = 3.14 and these measurements were coded over the m Block and the volume was measured. In addition, the occupancy warning is also provided by the lighting of the led lamps at certain levels, which warns the tank fullness. Thanks to Arduino physical programming, it has been observed that there is a 99% agreement between the volume value found by ultrasonic volume measurement and the volume values measured with graduated cylinder.


Arduino, m Block, Volume, Ultrasonic

Problem situation:

Problem situation: Archimedes and Newton are students at school with their teachers, who are involved in an experiment in which precise volume measurements are made. Their teachers asked them to measure 630 ml of alcohol to use in the experiment. While measuring with a graduated cylinder, it suddenly slipped from their hands and fell and the graduated cylinder broke. When they couldn’t find any other graduated cylinders in the laboratory, their experiments were left unfinished and they were very upset about this situation. Thereupon, their teachers asked them to research whether there is a material suitable for today’s technology and with which they can measure volume more precisely, and to get help from information technology teachers in this regard. Their teachers expect these students to think like a scientist and develop a material used for measuring volume with simple Arduino materials. Despite the situation above, students are expected to design a volume measurement tool that is faster and more accurate than a graduated cylinder, in accordance with today’s technology.

Age of students


Teaching resources (material)

Arduino uno

HC-SR04 Ultrasonic sensor

jumper cables

led bulbs



IR Transceiver

IR Receiver Module Wireless Remote Control,

medium and large bread-board,

16×2 LCD screen


styrofoam foam

scissors, glue and double-sided tape


 (The determined materials were given to 6 student groups.)

Subject (s)

1. Science Dimension of the Activity: Electrical circuits, connecting circuit elements on a breadboard, particulate nature of matter and fluids, volume measurement.

2. Technology Dimension: Physical programming with Arduino, material selection for the material to be used in volume measurement, usefulness and cost in the design product.

3. Mathematics Dimension: Recognizing geometric shaped containers to be used in volume measurement, taking into account the criteria and limitations. For the solution of the problem, using the processes of estimation, induction, description, generalization and verification of mathematical thinking and reaching the solution of the problem by considering all the factors (reasoning-reasoning). Knowing the volume formulas in cylinders and prisms and applying them in the coding program24

4. Engineering Dimension: In the process of designing the material system to be used in volume measurement, determining the criteria and limitations, schematizing the design by taking into account the shape, size and visuality, prototyping, testing, development.

5. Visual Arts Dimension: Recognizing the properties of geometric shapes, using visuality and symmetrical compatibility in the design of the design to be produced.

6. Information Technologies: knowing the basic programs on the computer, using the m Block program, coding the formulas used in volume measurement in the program

Electrical based measurement methods

1) Electrode (conductive) based

2) Ultrasonic based

3) Radar based

4) Laser based

5) TDR based

6) Capacitance based 7) Magnetic field based

STEM Subject

It makes inferences that measuring volume has an important place in our daily life and is used in the food and energy sector outside of science. Designs a unique volume measuring tool. Understands that science and engineering are closely related. He knows that electrical engineers use their creativity as well as their science and math knowledge to solve their problems. Knows that the engineering design process consists of steps that can be used to solve problems. Develops problem-solving, teamwork, communication and creative thinking skills while working through engineering design challenges.

Engineering design

Developed solutions to the problem (An algorithm was created).
At this stage, the students were asked to produce at least 3 different solutions according to the problem situation. Different solutions were developed in line with the criteria and constraints determined for the volume measurement material.
By evaluating the process steps (algorithm) of the solution step by step, the solution was tested and sensitive and reliable volume measurement devices were designed with computer support using the ultrasonic method.

Testing and Refinement of Code

The written code was tested together with the physical components and their controls were provided. The prototype was assembled to the volume measuring device model created with simple tools. At this stage, Arduino components were mounted on the design made with simple tools such as design, cardboard, foam, in line with the criteria and restrictions determined.

Steam IT project – YouTube

Evaluation and results

  1. Do you think you have reached the most ideal design for the solution of the problem? Please explain with reasons.
  2. Briefly explain the engineering design process steps you follow in volumetric design.
  3. If you had enough time and the materials you wanted, what else would you do to improve your design? Please explain the reasons.

All groups were thanked for the design they developed. The material with the most beautiful design and the most precise measurement was rated by student groups. As a result, the material of the second group was chosen as the best design. A material with 99% success in volume measurement has emerged.