The first competition Dal Robotics will enter is the annual international Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC). We are required to develop a vehicle that is able to navigate a 1000 foot obstacle course autonomously – that is, without any human driver.
The IGVC is sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Foundation, a leading non-profit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community. AUVSI sponsors five prestigious land, air, water, and undersea robotics competitions. Started in 1993, the IGVC attracts between 30 and 50 university teams annually.
To succeed, our vehicle must be able to detect and avoid obstacles, stay within a chalk line lane, navigate to GPS checkpoints, and wirelessly report its position back to a control station. All this must happen within a ten minute time period as it races to finish the thousand foot course.
Most of our competitors are returning teams that re-use the majority of their previous systems. As a new contender, Dal Robotics must create an entire vehicle and navigation system from scratch. This increases both the challenge and the learning opportunities for our team.