So at university I am tasked with a team to modify a go-kart to complete laps of a race course autonomously. We have a conceptual plan right now and plan to start actually ordering the parts and working on it soon. I am trying to look over our plan and verify it but I have never done something like this and feel a bit out of our element. I am going to lay out our design plan and if any of you experienced folk would like to let me know if it seems fine, has some issues, or is straight up invalid I would really appreciate it.
(everything below is hypothetical right now):
So our main microcontroller to collect vision data is an ODROID, which we plan to run ROS on. We have an RPLIDAR sensor on the front of the kart. The RPLIDAR will connect to the ODROID via USB directly to send its data (angle and distance).
We have a sonar sensor on either side of the kart. The two sonars are each going to be connected to their own Arduino Uno, each of which will send its data (distance) to the ODROID.
There is a potentiometer on the front left wheel so we can know the current angle of the wheels. The potentiometer (middle pin obviously) will be connected to one of the ODROID’s pins.
For steering, we have a stepper motor and a rack and pinion actuator. The stepper motor will be connected to the ODROID. The motor will receive commands for how to turn based on the logic we implement in the ODROID. The logic will determine output decisions based off of what we’re seeing from the LIDAR, sonars, and potentiometer (current angle of wheel).
For the driving, the car is driven by a DC motor. For our purposes the motor will be kept at a voltage that keeps it around 5mph. Now, the kart actually has to be able to be switched back and forth between manual and autonomous mode for our “customer.” So there is a speed controller and the throttle input to that controller will be attached to a switch. In manual mode the switch will feed the actual throttle to the ESC but in auto mode it will feed an output pin from the ODROID that gives it the voltage that corresponds to ~5mph (which is something low like 2V on a 0-5V esc).
So that’s our conceptual plan for now. We’ve been coming up with it up until now, and now that it’s starting to feel “complete” I’m trying to figure out if the entire system makes sense. So if anything doesn’t make sense feel free to roast me r/robotics because I’d much rather fix our plan now before we’ve done anything physical. To anyone who offers their help and time, thank you so much!