Date of Graduation
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Mechatronics is a synthesis of mechanical engineering and electronic engineering, and computer engineering, distinct areas that overlap in the design of systems. It represents the interdisciplinary nature of design and development of today's products.;The current research focuses on the design, construction and testing of a computer controlled autonomous model car which can exhibit intelligent behavior such as timed course execution, obstacle detection, and response to sensor inputs. The car is intended as a mechatronics design project that will be integrated into an existing one-semester mechanical engineering undergraduate instrumentation course.;The car was designed around a microprocessor board (Tern Analog Drive) controlled by a 16-bit microcontroller (Tern V104) and equipped with several sensor channels. Two stepper motors were used to propel and guide the car. Photocells were used to detect the path. The control program was written in Turbo C.;The car was tested on a path of reflective white tape about 2 inches wide. The path consists of a 36-inch straight portion followed by a 17-inch radius of curvature curved portion, and completed by a 6-inch straight section with an obstacle at the end. The autonomous car successfully traversed the path and stopped when it detected the obstacle.;It was concluded that a successful mechatronic design project could be developed around the construction and testing of an autonomous car.
Sachidanand, Aparna, "Computer-controlled autonomous model car: A mechatronics project" (1998). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 934.