OSU Autonomous Golf-Cart Project

Distributed Autonomous System Laboratory

Collaborators and Students: 

M3CAL Faculty mentors:

Dr. Girish Chowdhary (lead)

Dr. Ron Delahoussaye (MAE CAPSTONE)

Dr. Weihua Sheng (ECEN and robotics curricula)


Project Description: 

The OSU Golf-Cart project supports the Mobile Measurements, Mechatronics, Controls and Autonomy laboratory (M3CAL), a novel student-instruction concept based primarily around a fleet of autonomus mobile systems.

In M3CAL, students gain hands-on skills in applying concepts learned througout their engineering curricula to real-world systems. In Spring and Fall 2015, M3CAL is engaging several CAPSTONE design teams in the MAE department, and smaller student teams in ECE and MAE individual classes. WIth advisement from faculty mentors, students are instrumenting and automating a fleet of autonomous Golf Cart systems for on-demand mobility on OSU campus. Students learn about sensor selection and integration, autonomous navigation in cluttered environments, localization and mapping, dynamics and control of surface vehicles, as well as mechanical and electrical drive system optimization through hands-on engineering projects.

M3CAL orginated from a seed project initiated in Dr. Chowdhary's MAE 4053/ECEN4413 (Automatic Control Systems) class. In Fall 2014, seniors and graduate students worked together to put together a detailed design for navigation, path-planning, control, and pedestrial interaction systems for an autonomous Golf-Cart. The goal was to provide an ongoing and exciting real-world application for the control concepts studied in class. Since then, M3CAL has taken off as an indepentent instructional initiative at OSU, funded through the CEAT Dean's office.

Undergraduate and graduate students can participate in M3CAL through a number on ongoing MAE and ECEN classes, such as:

  • Vehicle structural systems:  ENSC 2143, MAE 3233, 4333, 4353, 4344, 4363, OSU car teams
  • Vehicle dynamic systems and control: ENSC2123, MAE 3723, MAE 4053/ECEN 4413, MAE 4063, 4733, 4283, 4344, 4374, OSU Car teams,
  • Vehicle autonomy and robotics:  4733, MAE 5783, ECEN 5060, ECEN 5233