The CEID is buzzing with students again after a quieter winter break. Among the groups who have gathered to engineer, innovate, and design are five sophomores: Kevin Abbott, Jason Brooks, Alex Carrillo, Pranay Maddi, and Phil Piper. The team of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science majors is building a fully autonomous vehicle to compete in the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition this June. The vehicle must navigate an obstacle course on a grassy field, staying within white painted lines and navigating to GPS waypoints autonomously.


The group is modifying a Segway Robotic Mobility Platform (RMP) donated by Dr. John Morrel to create a three-wheeled vehicle configured a bit like a tricycle. The third wheel will be added to the Segway’s platform which they will rotate ninety degrees. The team uses an extremely accurate GPS with half-meter resolution to travel to the appropriate locations in the obstacle course and two laser range finders to reflect light off objects and see surroundings. A camera points at hyperbolic mirror facing the grass to image the ground around the vehicle and help it stay within the lines of the obstacle course.


Currently, the team is making mechanical structure and working on algorithms. Later they will test their modified Segway at a mock up of the field. The group expressed appreciation to Yale SEAS, the US Military Acedemy, the Yale Computer Science Department, and Novatel for their support of the project.