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Challenge

Build a robotic car that can navigate a unique obstacle course in the shortest amount of time without any human input.

Primary Components

  • PIC Microcontroller
  • Servo motors
  • Infrared sensors

In CS 100, students build a robotic car that can find the most efficient path through an obstacle course. Students have no prior knowledge of the layout of this course, so they must design their car to “read” the course on the fly. To achieve this, students program the car’s microcontroller to receive data from a series of infrared sensors, interpret that data into a mathematical representation of the car’s environment, and deliver instructions to a pair of servo motors that steer the car away from obstacles – all in real time. This project is a test of students’ ability to develop streamlined operating systems – the more efficiently their car can receive, process, and transmit data, the more quickly it will make it through the course.