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Design and Implementation of an Embedded Sensing and Control Platform for 1:43 Scale R/C Race Cars


M. Dahinden, Christian Stocker

Semester Thesis, HS 11 (10109)

Until now, the ORCA system for autonomous racing uses the original Kyosho transmitter and receiver to control the dNano race cars. To increase the controlling speed and performance, a new solution had to be found for this opaque and–in terms of controlling–“slow” part of the system. In addition, the new system should be able to measure acceleration and yaw rate, and also the motor current, paving the way for new and better position and motor controllers. The system that we developed is implemented on a custom made printed circuit board, replacing the Kyosho board in the R/C car. Our board features an interface to connect a Gumstix module for more calculation power onboard, a wireless link allowing the transmission of data between real-time computer and race car, and sensors for acceleration, yaw rate and motor current. The traction motor, the servo motor and potentiometer and the battery do not have to be changed. In order to fit inside the small race car, the ORCA board must have the exact dimensions of the Kyosho board. The board's form factor was the main challenge we had to face. Limited to the size of the original board, our board has to accommodate more components and features than the Kyosho board. Several boards were soldered and a first test showed that the microcontroller works properly. The peripheral components could not be tested during this semester thesis. The testing of the peripheral components and full implementation of the firmware were passed on to another group. Once the firmware framework is fully implemented, new possibilities are opened for controlling algorithms by using accelerometer data, gyro data and motor current as feedback, and in addition having a much faster control loop.


Type of Publication:

(13)Semester/Bachelor Thesis

A. Domahidi

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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@PhdThesis { DahSto:2012:IFA_4129
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