ME 131 BARC (Berkeley Autonomous Race Car)

BARC used in final race.

The first revision of the BARC (Berkeley Autonomous Race Car) was using the Traxxas RC rally car which is based on the real life Ford Fiesta. The RC car was equiped with an ODroid computer running Linux and ROS  (Robotic Operating System) with an IMU and velocity encoders on the wheels to determine velocity.

I was unsatisfied with the Traxxas based RC car and decided to use my own RC car which is the Tamiya TT02 which has more accurate turning and more compact size allowing for more room for margin of error.

The modifications that we needed to do to be able to mount the electronics from the Traxxas car included cutting new holes for the base plate for a mounting surface of electronics as well as 3D printing new velocity encoders.

We decided to abandon using the wheel encoders due to the thresholds on the encoders not being triggered even though the oscilloscope was showing a working sinusoidal change in the wheels. Our solution was to use the speed of the rc car being determined by the E.S.C (electronic speed controller) of the rc car. Since we were using a more sophisticated brush-less based E.S.C. we were able to program it to maintain a certain velocity.