The students’ challenge: Build a self-driving mini-robot car that can zip around a tunnel maze track while navigating its twists and turns. During the three-week class, students prototyped and tested autonomy algorithms leading to a timed race around the basement hallways of MIT.
To give the cars their autonomous abilities, students design and program algorithms using a Jetson TK1 embedded computer. Jetson TK1 helps the 1:10-scale cars deploy the open-source Robot Operating System, assess their environment and develop a language to help them race the fastest while careening around the course.
For next year’s course, the professor has big plans — a Formula 1-style race arena with a dozen cars jostling for pole position. After harnessing the power of Jetson, he’s ready to add GPU-powered stereo cameras and feature detection.