Self driving car

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The goal of this project is to create a car that can move on it's own using sensor input. Writing from early 2017 self driving cars are still in development. Nevertheless many, including everyone is this lab, believe that they are the future. For the moment our car is a little RC car that has a $4 electric motor. We are using a pair of Raspberry Pi 3's for the brain of the car and are using varies sensors to act as the eyes, ears, and balance for the car. This wiki will serve as a guide for work that has been completed so far and work that is left.


Completed So Far

Raspberry Pi's (RP): For this project we have two RP's that will connect all our sensors, process their input, and make decisions on where to go, when to stop, when to turn, etc.

Slave-Master: The RP's are setup in a slave/master pair. The master node will connect all our sensors and will run the majority of our code. The slave node will be used to enhance the computing power of the master node. The two are hooked up through a WiFi signal.

WiFi enabled: Currently the RP's are configured to automatically send out a WiFi signal on start up. From this signal we can connect to the RP's from any WiFi enabled device (right now we are using a laptop).

Sonar: Following this tutorial we were able to hook up the sonar system. Important note: Our set up differs from this guide in that ours is plugged into GPIO pin GPIO05 instead of GPIO23 and GPIO12 instead of GPIO24. These pins were set up differently in the code (TRIG = 5 and ECHO = 12) but otherwise everything is identical to the guide.

GPS: The GPS is an Adafruit Ultimate GPS Breakout. Following this guide we were able to get the GPS working in the atrium. We have hooked it up through a USB to TTL cable. We also have the optional antenna for it which helps pick up a signal in about 2 minutes (as opposed to about 15 minutes). The end of the antenna is magnetic which helps if you need to place it up high somewhere that is metal.

Compass/accelerometer: The details for the device can be found here. This

To Do

Sonar: When we tested the sonar it had a range of about 1 meter before the data got to gargled. In general though the data is pretty noisy. One solution would be to write code that acts as a high/low pass filter for the times the sensor goes way off track.

GPS: The GPS works great, what we need to do is write our own code to grab the data and store it. The guide for the GPS has some example python code that shows how the GPS works.


Helpful Links

Besides what has been posted above there are a few links that will be helpful in this project

RP3 GPIO pins: This links to a comprehensive guide about the pins on the RP3. This will prove helpful when connecting future devices or reconnecting current ones in a different configuration.