Autonomous Robotic Racecars

Project number: 
Tucson Embedded Systems, Inc
Academic year: 
Do you like autonomous theory, fast cars, racing, and robotics? TES-I needs a reference design to support ongoing training and system integration for internal tools and projects.

Tucson Embedded Systems, now TES-I, is a leader in model-based systems engineering (MBSE) within the aerospace and safety critical industries. To better showcase our tooling and provide real-world training, TES-I is in need of an open architecture integrated system that includes sensors, actuators, processors, mechanical chassis, power electronics and control software. This team will build upon years of previous senior capstone projects to create small mobile robots capable of racing autonomously through a track.

The robots will be based on existing projects at TES, with a foundation aligned with the F1Tenth ( competition and research programs, but with modifications to support available components and sensors. Most of the system software will be based on Robot Operating System ( Additional sensor systems will be added to support ongoing research and integration efforts.

The team will design and build at least two high speed robotic race vehicles. The sensor and processing electronics will be packaged in a removable and portable sub-chassis for installation on different sizes and types of vehicles. The design phase will also include the fabrication of a test track. Simulation and testing will demonstrate the differences between the theoretical fastest track speed, manual driving speed, and various autonomous driving algorithms.

The key output of the program is a working design with documentation capable of supporting an in-depth model-based engineering analysis of the robot's systems. This analysis and modeling will be done by TES-I engineers in parallel and after this year's efforts. Based on available student talents, the project will be modified to meet the strengths and capabilities of the team members.

TES, through previous Engineering Design Program projects, has developed numerous small autonomous vehicles for the development of traffic control systems, distributed sensor networks, self-healing mesh network communications, and search and rescue robotics. Teams have also fully instrumented full-size vehicles and adapted turbine and turbine-electric powertrains into full-size cars. This project will bridge the gap between smaller and slower robotic platforms and real-world automotive systems.

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