The Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) is an international collegiate robotics competition that requires each university to build a fully autonomous mobile ground vehicle capable of completing an outdoor navigation challenge. This vehicle must be able to complete three navigation challenges set in a road-like obstacle course riddled with painted lane boundaries, potholes, and various types of traffic barriers. RU-IEEE will be approaching this design and programming challenge with an interdisciplinary team of mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and computer scientists capable of meeting both the hardware and software challenges inherent in robotics
In particular, RU-IEEE is approaching these mechanical engineering challenges with a chassis constructed primarily out of 80/20, a lightweight aluminum framing system commonly used for prototyping. In combination with commercial CAD software, this material has allowed RU-IEEE to create an exceptionally modular design complete with a wishbone suspensions without sacrificing cost-effectiveness. On this chassis will be mounted an impressive array of sensors, including an inertial measurement unit, a GPS receiver, a variety of proximity sensors, and a custom stereo camera for depth perception. The output of these sensors will be fed to a on-board cluster of computers running Robot Operating System (ROS), the latest open-source framework for high-end robotics research. See our design report listed under papers for a more detailed discussion of the Navigator’s technical capabilities.