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PUT Motorsport designs autonomous car at Antmicro Labs

December 06, 2019

One of the projects currently carried out in Antmicro Labs is a fully functional model of an autonomous car designed by PUT Motorsport.

The racing team

PUT Motorsport is the racing team of Poznan University of Technology - the biggest interdisciplinary student project at PUT. Established in 2014, its goals have always included designing, building and testing racing vehicles in order to represent the university and its partners in a racing series for students - Formula Student. The team's main achievements include 1st place in the Acceleration category in 2019 FS Czech Republic and 2nd place in Skidpad - FS ATA 2019.

Going autonomous

In 2019 the team started working on their first autonomous racing car. One of the first steps they needed to take was to build a fully functional model of the vehicle and they started their work in Antmicro Labs. The design is based on NVIDIA Jetson TX2 platform as it offers enough computing power and its size is compact enough to easily fit into the model.

To control the motor and servomechanism the team decided to use their own embedded system designed in KiCad environment. As MCU they chose STM with an RTOS based program. RTOS task is to ensure correct operation and quick response to changing conditions. As an operating system the team chose Zephyr thanks to its legible documentation and extremely helpful community. The code was written in C, C++ and Python, as the languages allowed them to write a readable and simple implementation of embedded system machine learning algorithms. They're also using a wide range of libraries which are crucial for the project (e.g Tensorflow, CUDA, OpenCV). For some of the elements the team has also used ROS (Robot Operating System) to control the environment and check how some of the sensors work.

Work is still in progress.

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