Out of the Suitcase
For their final project in Microprocessor System Design (ECE 4535), John Woehr (CpE, '99), shown at left, and Chris Price (CpE, '99), at right, went a step beyond developing a system using the microcontroller suitcase kit. Interested in developing an autonomous system, Price and Woehr mounted their microcontroller on a remote-controlled car.
The result was an autonomous vehicle with coat-hanger-and eraser bumpers that could run forward and reverse while avoiding obstacles-even the edge of a table.
"It was interesting being in undocumented territory," Woehr said. "We had nothing to look at in developing our system."
Challenges included motion control and getting power to the microcontroller. "Our 9 volt battery wasn't powerful enough, so we added an extra battery pack of 4 AA batteries," Price said.
"It's very rewarding to see it run," Woehr said. "Especially since it worked the way we expected."