My Favorite Project So Far, The Self Automated Vehicle
In the Fall of 2010 I was enrolled in the class Real Time Systems with Dr. Tanner, in which we were assigned a project in which we simply had to use a real time system. My partner and I immediately decided that we were going to attempt to make a self automated vehicle that was capable of navigating through any maze it came across pending certain parameters. We wanted our vehicle to have an array of sensors that allowed the vehicle to encounter and overcome a multitude of obstacles.
Our first task was to decide the best way to construct our vehicle. We ultimately came to the decision of purchasing the Lego Mindstorms kit due to its dynamic nature and flexible IDE. We then built a track that allowed for multiple maze configurations, allowing us to constantly test new scenarios that the vehicle might come across. Next we decided that the vehicle would work optimally with four sensor, one touch, two ultra sonic, and one color sensor.
After all of this, we were left with the most daunting task of programming the beast. Conquering this task ultimately required us to create a continuous loop that had priority based interrupts. Pending no interrupts, the vehicle would move forward using the ultra sonic sensors to continually adjust itself in the middle of the track. While constantly checking to see if the color sensor recognized any incoming turns (yellow tape on the ground indicating a left turn, and blue tape indicating a right turn). Also the vehicle would instantly back up the moment the touch sensor would go off after hitting a wall, and would use the left and right motion sensor to guide itself into figuring out a right or left hand turn.
If you enjoyed this article, I would recommend viewing our video of the vehicle.