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An autonomous race car design competition

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2 Author(s)
T. W. Matthews ; Dept. of Electr. & Electron. Eng., California State Univ., Sacramento, CA, USA ; R. R. Spencer

This paper describes an innovative collaboration between industry and academia in creating a meaningful design experience for undergraduate electrical engineering students. The design project involves designing, building and testing an autonomous model racecar. The course culminates in a competition. A primary goal of the competition is to provide undergraduates with a meaningful design experience with an emphasis on electronic circuits. This contest has a different flavor from the well-established IEEE Micromouse competition in the sense that it places the emphasis on the design and construction of an electronic sensing and control system without the microprogramming necessary to solve a maze (although a microprocessor can certainly be used). It is hoped that by placing the emphasis on the circuitry, the course will encourage more undergraduates to go into the field of electronic circuit design. The learning experience offered by the competition is shaped by, among other things, the format and rules of the competition, the students preparation in terms of circuit and control system theory and practice, and by the format of the design project course. This paper describes the competition in detail and discuss factors affecting the educational experience

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 2 )