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“Pioneering the Future: Volusia County’s First Fully Autonomous Ground Vehicle Contest”

“Pioneering the Future: Volusia County’s First Fully Autonomous Ground Vehicle Contest”

Get started with modern computers and robotics in a competition

“Join the Revolution: The Ultimate Autonomous Ground Vehicle Challenge”

Volusia Market Technology: Engaging the community in technology and robotics, shifting away from the traditional and less environmentally friendly industries dominating the area.

Harnessing modern tech’s potential requires structured learning, clear goals, essential tools, and integrating fun into education.

The capabilities of contemporary technology and manufacturing are nothing short of remarkable, offering vast opportunities for innovation and progress. Engaging the younger generation in this technological revolution necessitates a structured approach to learning, with clearly defined steps, goals, and verification methods to ensure comprehension and mastery. These elements are foundational to cultivating a qualified and intelligent workforce ready to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. Essential to this educational journey is not only the clear definition of technology and provision of necessary tools and a supportive learning environment but also the integration of enjoyment into the process. By introducing a variety of new and fascinating technologies, alongside the skills needed for self-directed learning in electronic robotics, we aim to inspire and equip students for a future where they can thrive and innovate.

So we will just do it on our own. Our past endeavors have primarily focused on aerial drones, Daytonadrone.com, which presented a rich and dynamic learning landscape. The integration of various disciplines and the navigation through multifaceted challenges provided an immensely rewarding experience. However, the operation of flying drones also introduced a significant risk of injury, particularly for novices. For those who have piloted commercial drones, the potential dangers become quickly apparent. In an effort to mitigate these risks, we’ve pivoted towards the development and programming of ground-based machines. Our expertise has expanded into the realm of tracked, tank-like units, marking the start of an exciting new chapter in our exploration of robotics. This shift not only enhances safety but also opens up a fresh avenue for innovation and creative problem-solving.

So lets have a competition with some sweet prizes

Course Design Guidelines

The obstacle course should be designed to test various capabilities of the AUGVs, including speed, maneuverability, object detection, and task execution. Consider including:

  • Straight paths and sharp turns to test navigation.
  • Ramps and uneven surfaces for mobility challenges.
  • Black lines for IR sensor navigation tests.
  • Obstacles for the ultrasonic sensor to detect and navigate around.
  • QR codes placed at strategic points requiring detection and interpretation for direction changes or task execution.

We don’t want to put limits on the designs or creativity but allow imaginations to flourish

Blueprint for AUGV Design

We encourage participants to be innovative and to think outside the box, emphasizing that while there are guidelines, the ultimate goal is to explore the vast potential of autonomous ground vehicle technology.

Hardware Components:

  • Chassis: Design a lightweight chassis to accommodate all components while staying under the 4-pound weight limit.
  • Motors and Wheels: Utilize the two DC motors for propulsion. Incorporate the Steel Caster Round Ball for stability and omni directional movement.
  • Sensor Integration: Strategically place the IR sensors for line tracking, the ultrasonic sensor for obstacle detection, and the USB webcam for QR code reading and live streaming.
  • Control Unit: Use the Raspberry Pi 3 as the brain. Ensure efficient power management with the 3400 mAh Power Bank to maintain a balance between performance and operational duration.


  • Develop software to control the vehicle’s movement, process sensor inputs, and execute navigation algorithms.
  • Implement QR code reading for direction instructions and task-related actions.
  • Create obstacle detection and avoidance routines utilizing the ultrasonic sensor data.

Testing and Iteration:

  • Test the vehicle in a controlled environment to calibrate sensors and refine the control algorithms.
  • Practice on a mock-up course to ensure reliability and performance under competition conditions.

The components necessary for the implementation of the AUGV are listed below:

Parts and components list: Basic outline

  • •DC Motors:

Two DC Motors will be used. They are fast – the more the power supplied, the faster they will rotate. Two such motors shall be used, combined with a Steel Caster Round Ball, which will allow the vehicle to be balanced and to move in any direction.

  • •H-Bridge Controller (L298n):

A connection needs to be made between the two DC Motors and the Pi such that the latter can control the motors. The L298n module will allow this connection. The functionality of this module is that is able to invert the positive and negative terminal of power so as to rotate the DC Motors in clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. It can support up to 50 V of power.

  • •Power Bank:

The Pi 3 will be powered using a 3400 mAh Power Bank. The latter is quite small and not too heavy which will help reducing the total weight of the vehicle. The Pi 3 is a very power efficient minicomputer, thus the power bank should last for quite some time on a single charge.

  • •GPIO Extender:

The Pi has 40 GPIO pin and since these are very small, it will be very difficult to distinguish between the different pins and it can happen that wrong connections are made. This GPIO extender takes all the pins on the Pi and extends it to the Breadboard for easier access and labels each of the pins.

  • •USB Webcam:

This camera will be used to detect and decrypt QR codes that will tell the AUGV in which direction to turn depending on the destination to reach. It will also be used to provide live streaming video feed such that the vehicle can be controlled remotely.

  • •IR Sensors (FC-51):

The IR transmitter emits infrared radiation and gets reflected and captured by the receiver. Black Line has the ability to absorb any kind of radiation, thus this property can be used to enable the vehicle to navigate from one place to another. Consequently, three IR sensors will be used; the left and right IR will be used to make the vehicle stay between the line and the middle IR to detect whether the vehicle has been lost, i.e. if the vehicle is not on any line for a given amount of time, it will be assumed to be lost.

  • •Ultrasonic Sensor (HC-SR04):

This module will be used to check whether there is an obstacle in front of the AUGV while the vehicle is moving. A threshold value will be set and if the distance obtained from the sensor is below this threshold, the vehicle will stop and perform designated tasks.

USB Webcams do not provide very wide viewing angle. Thus there will be cases where the part of the QR code will not be found inside the webcam’s field of view. Thus the Servo Motor will be used to rotate the webcam up and down slowly to get the whole QR code in frame.

An Example of a 3d printed ground robot

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