From MAE/ECE 148 - Introduction to Autonomous Vehicles
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Team Members

Kennan Gonzales (MAE)

McKinley Souder (ECE)

Cade Wohltman (MAE)

Project Overview

UCSD has access to plenty of robots with autonomous capabilities however, a lot of them are sitting in a lab waiting to be used. Our team aims to implement a ROS package that would allow all of those robots to be of use even when people aren't in the immediate vicinity. To alleviate this issue a room would be setup with a camera such that an individual could log into one of UCSD's robots, deploy their programming package, and when they were done using it our ROS package would launch. Our ROS packaged intends to autonomously navigate itself to a designated location marked with an AprilTag.

Functional Requirements

  • Make use of an Ackermann Steering RC car
  • A camera with at least 30 FPS
  • An RPLidar for collision prevention
  • A SBC for data processing
  • A PWM for both the servo and stepper motor

Hardware Design


Camera Mount

Lidar Mount


Electrical Design


  • LiPo Battery
  • Battery Monitor
  • Stepper Motor (Throttle)
  • Servo Motor (Steering)
  • Electronic Speed Controller
  • USB Camera
  • RPLidar
  • 12V - 5V Buck Converter
  • Jetson Nano
  • Relay Module & Key Fob
  • LED
  • PWM (16 Channels)

Software Design



We used our TA's package ucsd_robo_car_simple_ros to use his convenient launch file for throttle and steering, and to house our script and launch file.

Our project also depends on the apriltag_ros package as well as the rplidar package to support both identifying AprilTags through the webcam and getting the sensor data from the lidar


Future Plans & Improvements

The team originally planned on using the hector_slam ROS package to map out the environment with the RPLidar. Then the car could instantly localize itself in the room using a combination of AprilTags and ScanMatcher packages. This would have allowed the navigation stack in rviz to be used for setting goal positions and path planning. However, there were some issues integrating the AprilTag and RPLidar transforms together in the rviz environment. Due to time constraints the team decided to use