Materials List: Ultrasound Imaging

Each group needs:

To share with the entire class:

  • small cardboard box
  • box cutter (for use by the teacher)
  • LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robot, such as EV3 Core Set (5003400) at
  • LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Software 1.2.1, free online, you have to register a LEGO account first. At
  • computer, loaded with EV3 1.2.1 software
  • LEGO ultrasonic sensor (included in LEGO core set, above); at
  • LEGO parts to build a sensor mount; one method: attach sensor using four long LEGO pins and make a cursor/pointer from 1 long LEGO pin, which are items included in the base set (see Figure 1)
  • USB cable (included in LEGO base set)
  • ruler and marker, to measure and draw a grid on the top of the box corridor (see Figure 1a); to avoid any confusion, number the grid as shown in the photograph; also, choose two grid sizes, such as ½ inch and 1 or 2 inches.
  • an assortment of objects from which one (or more) will be hidden in the box, choose objects with simple yet distinguishable shapes, such as a ball, cube, soda can, coffee cup or bowl, that are not too small and that fit in the box


Note: This activity can also be conducted with the older (and no longer sold) LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT set instead of EV3; see below for those supplies:

  • LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robot, such as the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Base Set and NXT 2.1 software
  • computer loaded with the NXT 2.1 software

(left) A photograph shows a palm-sized device that has two round openings. (right) A drawing shows three shapes: red pyramid, yellow sphere, blue cube.
(left) A LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 ultrasonic sensor. (right) Example simple shaped objects that work well in the ultrasound activity. Simple household objects such as a soda can or coffee cup work well, too.
Copyright © (left) LEGO; (right) 2008 Mysid and Elisabethd, Wikimedia Commons