Final project progress: mini-Tesla car


For my final project, I am planning to build a mini-Tesla car that will feature both autopilot mode and manual mode. When the autopilot mode is enabled, the car will be able to move around and avoid all obstacles. Whereas for the manual mode, the user will be able to control the car through processing using the arrows/buttons.

The car will be using an ultrasonic sensor mounted on a servo to detect obstacles around it, and DC motors to spin the wheels. Basically, the car will move forward until an obstacle comes within the range of the sensor. The servo is then used to rotate the sensor, and decide on which direction the car should move. If both sides are blocked, the car will turn around and drive back out the way it came. 

The processing display window will show a menu with a couple of options (autopilot mode, manual mode, instructions) that the user can choose from. If manual mode is chosen, arrows/buttons will be displayed and will enable the user to control the car’s movement.

Material needed:
x1 L298N motor driver shield
x1 Servo
x4 DC motors
x4 wheels
x1 Ultrasonic sensor
x4 LEDs (2 yellow, 2 red)
x1 Battery pack
Hardest Part:

I think the hardest part would be figuring out the perfect algorithm for the autopilot mode and choosing the minimum distance. The car will have to decide which way is free depending on the results received from the ultrasonic sensor. Even though the ultrasonic is the most suitable component to use, it is still inaccurate, and might have some difficulties in reading the distance from curved objects, and maybe very thin ones too. The noise might also affect the algorithm so I will try to discard it.


As for now, I am working on the coding part on both Arduino and Processing. I have set the basic layout (necessary functions, variables, flags, etc…), and I believe I will have the hardest parts done by Nov 30th. I am also waiting to get the rest of the material needed from the IM lab, to proceed with the circuits, and build the car.

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