Autonomous Vehicle Navigation with Obstacle Avoidance

Esplandade Runner

Team 5 – Esplanade Runner: Jimmy Ng, Ilya Gribov, Rob Levy, Kevin Mader

Esplanade Runner is a system that enables a mobile platform to navigate a route defined using Google maps while avoiding obstacles in its path without human intervention. The system consists of a PDA for high-level navigation algorithms, a microcontroller for real-time obstacle avoidance and intra-component communication, a handheld GPS unit for positional data, and a compass for directional information.

The $2000 system has a potential impact in both military and commercial applications. Military needs for autonomous vehicles and self-guided navigation are rising at a rapid pace due to an growing emphasis on streamlining operations and increasing safety. In the commercial sector, there is an exploding market for this technology in guiding road vehicles through smart cruise control and automated parallel parking.

“The basic motivation is the same [for both sectors],” said team member, Jimmy Ng. “Create technology to replace human tasks that are trivial, mundane, or dangerous.”