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Design of a Smart Miniature Vehicle

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

A Technology Potpourri III

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Juliet E Kaiser Purdue University Northwest

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Kaiser graduated from Purdue University Northwest in 2018 with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Technology and is continuing her education to obtain a master's degree.

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Omer Farook Purdue University Northwest

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Omer Farook is a member of the faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at Purdue University, Nothwest. Farook received the diploma of licentiate in mechanical engineering and B.S.M.E. in 1970 and 1972, respectively. He further received B.S.E.E. and M.S.E.E. in 1978 and 1983, respectively, from Illinois Institute of Technology. Farook’s current interests are in the areas of embedded system design, hardware-software interfacing, digital communication, networking, image processing, and biometrics, C++, Python, PHP and Java languages. He has a keen interest in pedagogy and instruction delivery methods related to distance learning. He has a deep commitment to social justice and in achieving economic and educational equity.

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Design of a Smart Miniature Vehicle

The paper expounds the design project which served the purpose of a capstone course for Electrical Engineering Technology program. The design is based on the utilization of ultrasonic and infrared sensors, microcontrollers, servo motors, a gyro sensor, Bluetooth, and C++ programming to create a small, remote controlled vehicle that moves at a user’s instruction while maintaining its own well-being so as to prevent self-damage.

Elaborated in the paper is the design functionality of the project's robot for detecting upcoming events in terms of encountering, holes, openings or extreme tilting in its path that may cause harm if current trajectory is further continued. When such obstacles are detected, the vehicle’s programming instructs it to cease movement, back-up as necessary, and override and disregard the user’s instruction that would point it toward harm’s way. Where a directed path is deemed hospitable, the vehicle follows the preprogramed instruction unconditionally.

The vehicle utilizes a Parallax Boe-Bot kit chassis while the information processing and movement program is run through an Arduino Mega board; these separate components are connected by means of a fiberglass platform. The device’s remote controller is programmed with the aid of an app that communicates the the vehicle’s steering direction and forward movement in addition to a Bluetooth device to communicate these instructions. Both the vehicle is powered by common batteries connected to the Arduino boards via barrel jacks. Found in this paper is the vehicle's design framework, programming code, and experimentation data. Where this project's vehicle hosts the ability to move forward and backward, turn left and right, and to detect its relevant surroundings, its size and design limit its present ability within the current project's defined parameters. The paper goes into greater detail regarding these restraints and the project's value as a scaled-concept model to like-projects with higher utilization ability.

The paper serves as a pointer to fellow academicians in incorporating a class project that ties together various disciplines of Electrical Engineering. Such a course accomplishes the ABET’s objective of having a capstone course in the curriculum. The paper also discusses the horizontals leaning that takes place among students along with providing the students the environment where they could practice the designing of a complex system. This provides the students confidence and autonomy.

Kaiser, J. E., & Farook, O. (2019, June), Design of a Smart Miniature Vehicle Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32605

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