Ville Robotics Team Has Standout Showing at International Robotics Competition

The Ville Robotics team went, saw, and conquered (almost) this year’s 29th Annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) at Oakland University in Michigan.

Ville Robotics left everything on the course. With on-site sensor tuning to last-minute code tweaks to late-night tech retrofits, they pushed every step of the way. And it showed: the team brought back four awards, including 1st to Qualify, 2nd in Design, 6th in Performance, and 4th Overall. These results culminate hundreds of hours of engineering design, development, testing, and refining by the AEST department’s student team members and faculty advisors over the past four months.

The IGVC AutoNav competition requires undergraduate and graduate teams to design, build, and program a fully autonomous robot to navigate a course, stay within a lane, not hit obstacles, and head to GPS waypoints. These constraints and criteria push teams to develop on the cutting-edge of autonomous vehicle design.

Ville Robotics entered two robots into the AutoNav competition: A.Li.E.N. 2.0 and A.Li.E.N. 3.0 (A.Li.E.N. stands for Autonomous LiDAR-Based Environment Navigator). A.Li.E.N. 2.0’s control was distributed with smart sensors (LiDAR, Machine Vision, and GPS/Compass) connected to a 32-bit microcontroller. A.Li.E.N. 3.0 was controlled via a pc-based Robot Operating System (ROS) that mapped the course and path-planned its movements using a LiDAR, camera, GPS, and wheel encoders. While 3.0 did not qualify this year, it made 4/5 qualifying checkpoints and was a great testbed for next year’s competition in 2023.

Ville Robotics again showcased their engineering skill alongside large state, national, and international engineering universities, many of whom are household names inside and outside technical circles. A few of Millersville University’s 21 competitors included Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Oklahoma University, Cedarville University, Penn State University, The Indian Institute of Technology, Hosei University – Japan, Rutgers University, Lawrence Technological University, University of Toronto, The University of Newfoundland.

It is noteworthy that this year was only Ville Robotics’ second time competing at IGVC. The first was in 2019, in which they failed to qualify. This year the team outperformed their last showing and was in contention to place on the podium for the overall award, a feat that illustrates the depth of their technical skill and team resolve. Congratulations to the universities who made the podium: Cedarville University – 1st, University of Oklahoma – 2nd, Hosei University (Japan) – 3rd.

Also, a special thanks to our team sponsors: Millersville University of Pennsylvania (AEST, SGA, OGSPR) and Phoenix Contact for travel support. And Todd Echterling for donating the wheelchair base!

Below is Ville Robotics’ longest run on the course (164′). Even though A.Li.E.N. 2.0 got turned around, it traversed the sixth farthest on the course of any of the 22 robots in the competition!

A.Li.E.N. Competes in Michigan

Ville Robotics Team Has Standout Showing at International Robotics Competition. The Ville Robotics Team Competed in the 29th Annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition at Oakland University in Michigan.https://blogs.millersville.edu/aest/

–  Contributed by Dr. John Haughery

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