WRO Future Engineers Self-Driving Car

Hi, we are a robotics competition team from Germany and we developed a WRO Future Engineers Competition Robot based on the TotemMaker Robocar Chassis kit. As the as-is robocar cannot be used in WRO (it is not complaient with the rules), we redesigned it and added the necessary sensors and programming.
It made it to second place in the German National Finals and will now represent Germany in the international WRO Finals in Panama.


Congrats on the second place! Your car looks impressive and it even literally has it’s own brains in there :slight_smile: what kind of sensors are you using? And as for compliance in the WRO, what were the main obstacles with it?

And best of luck in the finals!

This is quite a unit. No doubt in success with such large brains! Congrats :clap:
I see it is built for vision based autonomous driving. Not an easy task to achieve!

Thanks, the brain is meant as an eyecatcher, as this is a “smart car”. For the challenges in the competition, you must use a camera as the minimum sensor. Most teams use at least distance sensors and a camera. We actually have a camera, 3 ultrasonic distance sensors, an absolute IMU (Bosch BN055) and an LCD display installed.
The main obstacles to use the Robocar chassis out-of-the box are:

  1. Motorization: a differential drive as provided in the kit with two motors each driving one wheel independantly is not allowed by the rules. Either one driving motor or two driving motors mechanically coupled by a gearbox with one emerging drive shaft are allowed.
  2. Size: the chassis is too big, we had to shrink it substantially and needed to use smaller wheels
  3. Sensor- and camera connectivity: There are too few free GPIOs on the controller board included. We tested some time with TOF distance sensors, but they do not work consistently on the competition parcours. We need to sense very small and rather large distances (2cm up to 3m) with the same sensors, distance sensing targets are black, which is worst for TOFs, and ambient light situations vary at competition locations, which influences the range of TOFs, so we resorted to ultrasonics.
    Apart from those, the building set is very good, as we were able to construct a sturdy car which fitted the rules for maximum weight easily. It so far has survived travelling all around Germany to competition locations without structural damage.
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@bstraker Very nice work. Congrats on your achievement!!
I think it should read Bosch BNO055?

:-), yes of course, thanks for spotting the typo