MAVRIC-IIB Powers DARPA Grand Challenge Fully Autonomous Vehicle
"The BDMICRO MAVRIC-IIB is the central component of our DARPA Grand Challenge vehicle controls. The MAVRIC-IIB gives us the ability to process all of our vehicle sensing, actuator controls and feedback, precisely respond to commanded truck speed and direction, and drive our status displays all from a single processor board. This greatly simplifies our control system and ensures high speed response to our sensor inputs. We couldn't be happier with its performance and capabilities."
--- Grayson Randall, Team Lead, Insight Racing
"The MAVRIC-IIB is the work-horse of our control system. With our single MAVRIC-IIB board we are able to fully control all of our vehicle's actuator functions including closed loop steering, throttle, brake, and transmission controls and have processor cycles to spare for the associated high frequency floating point PID loops. In addition to actuator control, we use it to interface with our high resolution quadrature encoder which senses truck speed and also for sampling engine timing which is used to calculate engine RPM. We use these vehicle parameters in our PID calculations also performed by the MAVRIC-IIB which drives the overall motion of the truck to the speed and direction commanded by our higher level navigation computer. And even after all that, we have enough I/O and processing power left over to use the MAVRIC-IIB to drive our primary panel status display, handle remote control operations and emergency stop, and monitor system battery voltage and power levels. Last but not least, we love the screw terminal connectors which allow us to quickly and reliably make the connections to our sensor and control interfaces.
"We are also very pleased our new BDMICRO REACTOR RX50 h-bridges which pack more than enough power to drive our heaviest loads such as steering and brake controls. We use them for all of our actuators now including steering, brakes, throttle, transmission shift, and for aiming one of our obstacle sensor packages. Even though they handle alot of power, they are compact enough so we can fit all five into our 2U controls cabinet along with the MAVRIC-IIB primary control board."
For more information about Insight Racing and their DARPA Grand Challenge efforts, visit their web site at http://www.insightracing.org/. To find out more about the DARPA Grand Challenge, visit the DARPA web site at http://www.darpa.gov/grandchallenge/.