OpenPodcar: An Open Source Vehicle for Self-Driving Car Research

Camara, Fanta, Waltham, Chris, Churchill, Grey and Fox, Charles (2023) OpenPodcar: An Open Source Vehicle for Self-Driving Car Research. Journal of Open Hardware, 7 (1). pp. 1-17. ISSN 2514-1708

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OpenPodcar: An Open Source Vehicle for Self-Driving Car Research
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OpenPodcar is a low-cost, open source hardware and software, autonomous vehicle research platform based on an off-the-shelf, hard-canopy, mobility scooter donor vehicle. Hardware and software build instructions are provided to convert the donor vehicle into a low-cost and fully autonomous platform. The open platform consists of (a) hardware components: CAD designs, bill of materials, and build instructions; (b) Arduino, ROS and Gazebo control and simulation software files which provide standard ROS interfaces and simulation of the vehicle; and (c) higher-level ROS software implementations and configurations of standard robot autonomous planning and control, including the move\_base interface with Timed-Elastic-Band planner which enacts commands to drive the vehicle from a current to a desired pose around obstacles. The vehicle is large enough to transport a human passenger or similar load at speeds up to 15km/h, for example for use as a last-mile autonomous taxi service or to transport delivery containers similarly around a city center. It is small and safe enough to be parked in a standard research lab and be used for realistic human-vehicle interaction studies. System build cost from new components is around USD7,000 in total in 2022. OpenPodcar thus provides a good balance between real world utility, safety, cost and research convenience.

Keywords:open source hardware, robotics, self-driving, open source
Subjects:H Engineering > H671 Robotics
Divisions:COLLEGE OF HEALTH AND SCIENCE > School of Computer Science
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ID Code:56199
Deposited On:13 Sep 2023 13:37

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