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An entry into a intelligent ground vehicle competition for undergrads.
3rd Place Entry
This platform was developed for the 2011 Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition. In short this is a lower cost version of the DARPA Grand Challenge that is targeted towards university undergrads. this platform drew many elements from the prior years system whose frame design, layout, and systems integration I was involved with. For 2011 I took a more overall advisory role and focused on electrical system support / integration. 
A highlight video that features our 3rd place course run.
A diagram of the systems key features and sensors. It should be noted that the front GPS was never added to the real system.
The three zone layout of the platform. The front (blue) and rear (green) were mostly targeted toward sensor payload support. However, the front also held a much improved electronics power distribution setup.
Power distribution for the robot. Everything was powered off of 2 12v deep cycle marine batteries. In all there was a 24V, 5V, 9V, and an 18.5V (laptop) rail. The motors were connected to the emergency stop system so that only motor power could be killed. This allowed for testing and sensor monitor with a fully powered system that had hardware disabled motors. This greatly enhanced testing compared to the previous approach of e-stopping the entire system.
Side view of the center zone that held motor drivers, batteries, data acquisition hardware, and e-stop components.
Encoder integration was developed for the motors. Given the room present for these modifications, significant challenges related to space and miniaturization were not as restricting as with the RoboCup project. But sometimes manufacture supplied specs don't match a product or are for a previous product revision and this was one of those instances.
A picture of the previous year (2010) model in action. Many of the experiences and features of this platform we fed into the newer design.