UT is registered to compete in the 2017 IGVC competition! The team is excited and preparing so that we can be competitive this year. As the competition takes place in June, we have about three months to finalize the software and finish testing. Right now, we are testing our visual processing, GPS, and automated code on Gazebo, a simulation program. This allows us to ensure our code is functional before testing it on the actual robot so we can debug hardware and software separately. Pictures of the simulation with the robot and some obstacles on the field can be seen below.

In addition to simulating software, we have implemented a wireless emergency stop that has a range of about 210 feet. This is a requirement for qualification to the competition so it’s good progress. Likewise, we have begun modifying the user control motor code so that it is more user-friendly. While not inherently useful to the competition, it eases transporting the robot around and allows us to demonstrate the robot at various outreach events, such as Explore UT and Girls Day. In addition to developing new software and testing required hardware, we maintain our currently functional hardware, such as the motor base and its batteries, to ensure no replacements are necessary and that we will be ready for competition.

As the competition approaches, more people join the team and contribute to the effort. With the team expanding, we are able to get more done and become more familiar with what we need to do. With the team ever growing, we are preparing for the 2017 competition and looking ahead for the 2018 competition. If you are a UT student and are interested in joining, feel free to come by the RAS office and participate. If you are willing to sponsor IGVC, you can contact the corporate representative of UT RAS. Stay tuned for more news about the 2017 competition and for the progress of everything else UT RAS participates in.