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Work in progress - Capstone experience - visual navigation of an RC vehicle using wireless video feedback to a PC

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2 Author(s)
Northrup, S. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Western New England Coll., Springfield, MA ; Paros, C.

An innovative Capstone design project was completed at Western New England College by a single student during an 11-week period. The primary pedagogical objective of the project was to provide extensive opportunity for a student to engage in self-directed learning. To this end, a project was chosen that involved image processing, control theory, circuit design, PC interfacing, and software design. A radio controlled vehicle was designed to track predetermined objects using wireless video feedback. The student had no prior knowledge of four of the five engineering principles involved in the system. The system required the control of speed and direction of a radio controlled (RC) vehicle using monocular video images that were wirelessly transmitted to a PC and captured with a video capture card. The camera and video transmitter were mounted on the top of the car. The images were processed on the PC using Visual Basic and vector control was sent to a student-fabricated interface to a handheld RC controller that controlled the speed and direction of the car. A graphical user interface (GUI) was designed to aid in development. It allowed for simplified access to color balance calibration, steering and speed calibration, and image initialization. A summary of the development process, the design, the results, and the pedagogical insights of the Capstone design project are presented in this paper

Published in:

Frontiers in Education, 2005. FIE '05. Proceedings 35th Annual Conference

Date of Conference:

19-22 Oct. 2005