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The Innovation cell of IIT Bombay recently secured 4th position in the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) 2016. Read on to find out more about the autonomous ground vehicle, its navigation systems and the journey that made it happen.
Innovation cell, founded by Prof.C.Amarnath, aims to foster an atmosphere of creativity, innovation, discovery and exploration on the campus. Over the years, it has evolved from nurturing small hobby projects to solving complex industrial challenges.
This year the Autonomous Ground Vehicle – SeDriCa, made by Innovation Cell, has made the institute proud after securing 4th position globally in the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) 2016. The team stood 4th in the Basic Auto-Nav Challenge and 5th in the Advanced Auto-Nav Challenge beating teams from top ranked universities like CMU, Virginia Tech. and 30 other universities. This has been the best performance till date by any Asian team in this competition.
IGVC is an annual international robotics competition for teams of undergraduate and graduate students co-sponsored by Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) . IGVC is held every year at Oakland university, Rochester hills in Michigan, USA and has taken place every year since 1993.
The problem statement mainly involves navigating a track autonomously while avoiding obstacles, staying between the white lanes and achieving the given gps points accurately. Teams design and build a vehicle capable of completing several such challenges. The competition is well suited for senior level design courses as well as co-curricular design projects. The performance is judged based on the vehicle design and it’s run during the basic and advanced challenges.
SeDriCa had a near-flawless run in the competition this year. In fact, Sedrica was the only vehicle to have successfully cleared the Basic AUTO-NAV challenge on Day 1. The team built an electric vehicle with sensors mounted on the vehicle for sensing the environment. The Vehicle has a GPS, an IMU and wheel encoders to localize itself in the environment. The vision system detects the lanes and LiDar is used to detect the static obstacles. The Innovative path planning and decision making codes finally processes all the collected information to successfully complete the challenge.
After this performance, the team is preparing for Mahindra RISE Driverless Car Challenge. The challenge consists of 5 stages out of which 3 stages have already been cleared by the team. The next task is to autonomously maneuver Mahindra’s electric car, Mahindra E2O, on Indian roads. Participating in IGVC helped in benchmarking their performance since it was a competition with established teams in North America, Australia and Europe who have been working in this area for a long time.
The struggle doesn’t end here because after the Driverless Car Challenge, it aims to shift its focus towards Autonomous Aerial Vehicles. The cell intends to participate in the International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC) 2017. IARC has developed over the years and is currently on its Seventh Mission, which is divided into two parts. Mission 7a requires a single autonomous aerial robot to herd as many of the 10 autonomous ground robot targets towards a boundary line as possible with 4 moving obstacles in the arena. Mission 7b pits the best teams from 7a against each other, one on one, to get as many of its own ground robots across the boundary while misdirecting the opponent’s ground robots.
Currently 30 students are part of Innovation cell, which is working on over 12 projects related to different fields and includes students from almost every branch including M.Techs and PhD candidates. The enormous success of the team in the past competitions and projects can be attributed to this reason.