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January 1999



Out of the Suitcase

photo with carFor 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."

The Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Virginia Tech

Last Updated, May 9, 1999
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