Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Larry E. Banta.


The objective of this research is to develop a low-cost autonomous rover platform for experiments in autonomous navigation. This thesis describes the design, development, and testing of an autonomous rover platform, based on the commercial, off-the-shelf Tamiya TXT-1 radio controlled vehicle. This vehicle is outfitted with an onboard computer based on the Mini-ITX architecture and an array of sensors for localization and obstacle avoidance, and programmed with Matlab/SimulinkRTM Real-Time Workshop (RTW) utilizing the Linux Real-Time Application Interface (RTAI) operating system.;First, a kinematic model is developed and verified for the rover. Then a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) feedback controller is developed for translational and rotational velocity regulation. Finally, a hybrid navigation controller is developed combining a potential field controller and an obstacle avoidance controller for waypoint tracking.;Experiments are performed to verify the functionality of the kinematic model and the PID velocity controller, and to demonstrate the capabilities of the hybrid navigation controller. These experiments prove that the rover is capable of successfully navigating in an unknown indoor environment. Suggestions for future research include the integration of additional sensors for localization and creation of multiple platforms for autonomous coordination experiments.