Through their Senior Design project, electrical engineers flex their skills

A team of electrical engineering students created a workable miniature self-driving vehicle that stays in lane while driving around a track, avoids obstacles placed in the lane, and stops for a stop stimulus .

The project enabled students to utilize a variety of electrical and computer engineering skills.

“Building the car was a lot of hardware, but training the car was a lot of software, so it was a combination of all different skill sets,” said student Shalini Sundar.

The students used a RC Car equipped with a motor, a servo driver, and a battery to power the motor. A wide-angle camera and Raspberry Pi Model 3 B+ sit atop the car. The students used software through the Donkey Car platform and TensorFlow  through a Google Colab training file.

The students did the work remotely, with Sundar’s off-campus house serving as home base for the car.

“The big thing that senior design taught me was how to work in a collaborative environment,” said Sundar.

When everything came together, the feeling was bliss.

“It’s fun to see your project come to life,” said Sundar.

In the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Senior Design students are advised by Professor Chase Cotton and student teaching assistants.

The group created a YouTube channel ‘Engineering Bytes’, with tutorials so that if future students want to pick up the project, they will have a headstart.