Back-to-back presentations of two projects on autonomous vehicles that are based on the Android OS. The projects demonstrate the potential offered by a mobile device's versatility, deployability and easiness of use, in the domain of autonomous vehicles in an industrial or a purely automotive context. Both of the vehicles, were developed in two different courses in the University of Gothenburg "Software Engineering & Management" program, during the last 3 months.
• Path-following vehicle
The system consists of two components:
1. An autonomous car, programmed on the Arduino platform.
2. An application for a portable “smart” device (a smartphone or a tablet computer), currently running on the android platform. The user draws a path directly on the screen of the portable device for the car to follow. The car and the portable device communicate via Bluetooth. The car is equipped with an obstacle-detecting sensor (currently ultrasound). Should an obstacle be detected, the car stops and the user is presented with two possible choices: either control the car manually, or instruct the car to carry out previously sent instructions if the obstacle is deemed to not be a threat. The user can upload an image (i.e. floor blueprints) to the application and draw the path directly on top of the chosen image. This simplifies the process of drawing a more precise path over a larger area.
The software could be incorporated into alternate hardware for specialized and repetitive tasks, such as moving stock through a factory or warehouse. There is also a potential to use the car for similar tasks in areas and environments which are unsafe for humans.
• Autodriving vehicle
An autonomous vehicle that utilizes machine vision algorithms and techniques as well as data from the onboard sensors, in order to follow street lanes, perform parking maneuvers and overtake obstacles blocking its path. The innovational aspects of this project, is first and foremost the use of an Android phone as the unit which realizes the image processing. It is also responsible for the decision making and wirelessly sending instructions to an Arduino, that controls the physical aspects of the vehicle. Secondly, the various hardware components (i.e. sensors, motors etc) are programmatically handled in an object oriented way, using a custom made Arduino library, which enables developers without background in embedded systems to trivially accomplish their tasks, not caring about lower level implementation details.
The use of a common mobile phone, instead of specialized devices (i.e. a Linux single-board computer), offers much higher deployability, user friendliness and scalability. Android-based autonomous vehicles, which could be deployed on the road, were not found in the literature, therefore the team behind it believes this avant garde work, can constitute the basis of further research on the subject of autonomous vehicles controlled by consumer, handheld, mobile devices.
17:00 - 17:30 Doors open & socializing
17:30 - 18:10 Autodriving vehicle presentation
18:10 - 18:15 Q&A
18:15 - 18:20 Break
18:20 - 19:00 Path-following vehicle presentation
19:00 - 19:05 Q&A
19:05 - 19:30 Live demos, free discussion, more Q&A
IMPORTANT: Due to space limitations, we have to set the maximum number of attendants to 20. If something comes up and you cannot make it to the event, please do change your RSVP to "No", so someone else can take your spot.
Snacks and refreshments will be available for the attendants. Many thanks to Diogo Pontes and HiQ for helping in making this event happen. :)