Autonomous Car_MIE

June 25 – July 6, 2018, from 10 am – 3 pm 

Registration is open for the UIC Robotics Summer Camp. The summer camp is a two-week program designed to give qualified middle and high school students a hands-on experience on state-of-art-robotics technology. A four wheeled mecanum car kit is used as the self-driving hardware platform.  This car has four independently driven wheels via DC motors and gear reducers.  Students will install various sensors needed for a self-driving car, i.e. ultrasonic range/obstacle sensor, simple line tracking sensor (similar to a vision system), GPS receiver for global position information and wireless communication (Wi-Fi or Bluetooth). The embedded controller is an Arduino board (ATmega 328).  Programming language will be implemented in C/C++.  MATLAB and Simulink programming will also be discussed.

The students will learn, build, and test the following:

  1. Mechanical assembly of the kit and actuation system (car frame, DC motors, gear reducers, sensors, amplifiers, DC power supply)
  2. Sensors: Ultrasonic range/obstacle, line tracking vision sensor, GPS receiver, inertial measurement unit (IMU). Sensor working principles, physics and interface to microcontroller.
  3. Develop control software to interface sensors and command signal.
  4. Develop control software for the car to self-drive on a test-range, i.e. follow a road line, avoid other cars and obstacles.

The summer camp will conclude with a competition to see who can make their car drive a test-range with obstacles. The exact location of things on the test range will not be known in advance of the competition. The car needs to detect and safely finish the course with minimal travel time.

Week #        Topics Covered

Week 1:          

Introduction to Robotics: a mechatronic system; mechanisms, actuation, sensing and control software.                         

Sensors: principles and interface to microcontroller

Microcontroller Arduino development system hardware and software.

Learn the microcontroller hardware and I/O pins, and interface circuits.

Learn software development environment tools (integrated development environment IDE) for microcontroller.

Learn C programming language

■     Basic data structures

■     Flow and logic control statements

■     Functions: passing input and output arguments between functions

■     I/O interface functions

■     Interrupt driven programming

Week 2 :       

Control software development for the self-driving car.

■     Sensor interface and software drivers

■     DC motor motion control algorithms

■     Desired motion plan: objective/target location.

■     Navigation and real-time path planning based on sensor data.

Put it all together and get ready for the competition. Trial tests and debugs before the competition.

Prerequisites: Middle and high school students with an interest in robotics technology.

Location and Times: 842 W. Taylor St, Chicago IL 60607, Monday-Friday from 10 am – 3 pm

Registration at UIC Robotics Summer Camp.

For information, please contact Professor Sabri Cetin at