Aug. 6,2002-Engineering students on the Robot Study Team (RST) at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., took full advantage of a Thales Navigation BR2G-S global positioning system (GPS) receiver to finish among the leaders in a field of 25 university teams in the recent Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).
The IGVC competition is an annual event sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), was held in July in Orlando.
The Thales receiver was mounted on the Trinity team’s ALVIN III robot and accurately directed the autonomous vehicle to a series of checkpoints in the competition’s Navigation Challenge, in which the vehicles were required to avoid various course obstacles in locating the points.
ALVIN III is a 99-pound vehicle that uses its vision system to drive within lanes and avoid potholes, traps, barricades and other vehicles. The vehicle’s sophisticated onboard vision system allows it to see obstacles in advance and plan a path around them. Alvin uses a differential drive system, consisting of 16-inch bicycle wheels powered by electric motors. The Thales Navigation receiver was selected for its combination of accuracy, ease of use and lightweight. The team used Coast Guard Beacon signals to get DGPS corrections, both in their Connecticut practice sessions and in the Florida competition.