The Smart Car Project: A Case Study in Computer-Mediated Interfaces


In this work, we investigate the development, implementation and testing of an inexpensive scaled-prototype "Smart Car" test bed. The test bed consists of retrofitting a commercially available Radio-Control (RC) truck with a PC/104 based computer, various embedded sensor- and actuator-subsystems together with multiple modes of communication (Radio Frequency (RF) and IEEE 802.11b wireless Ethernet).

The overall goal of our work is the creation of an inexpensive test-bed capable of operating in real time equipped with a real-time mediated control system to enhance the overall system autonomy and robustness. This test bed enables us to study several concepts including: (i) Mediation of human user control of complex robot systems; (ii) Multi-user shared teleoperation; and (iii) Robustness of the control in the presence of varying grades of communication that are relevant to a number of current and future generations of military/civilian systems.


Research Issues:

The proposed system will allow us to test a variety of issues that are relevant to a number of current and future generations of military as well as civilian systems, including distributed command and control algorithms, multi network communications, human computer interface and high confidence software for distributed computation. In general, this framework is also very well suited for control of multiple semi-autonomous mobile agents in the field by a single operator giving relatively high-level commands, taking advantage of the partial autonomy of the individual controllers. In the intelligent vehicle system domain, mediation can be used to modify the driver's responses in X-by-wire (brake-by-wire, accelerate-by-wire and steer-by-wire) systems. For example, these different inputs can be modified to avoid obstacles that are detected by the on- board suite of sensors. This test bed can also serve as a useful testing ground initially for studying HCI issues in individual drive-by-wire systems or for examining issues related to "Ground Traffic Control" in an Intelligent Vehicle Highway System.


Overall Platform:

The MATLAB / Simulink / Real-Time Workshop Implementation Framework:

- Plug-n-play functionality

- High level block diagrammatic development

- Initial simulation based refinement

- Subsequent Hardware-in-the-Loop testing


 Students Involved:

- Seung kook Jun, M.S., University at Buffalo [Graduated]

- Daniel O. Gott, M.S., University at Buffalo [Graduated]



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 Related Publications :
[01] Jun, S. K., and Krovi, V., "The Smart Car Project: Development and Implementation of a Modular Scaled Testbed," DETC2003/CIE-48258, Proceedings of the 2003 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences, Chicago, Illinois, September 2 -6, 2003. [PDF]
 Related Documents :

Gott, D. O., "The Smart Car Project: A Case Study in Computer-Mediated Control," M.S. Project Report, Dept. Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, SUNY at Buffalo, Jun 2003.

[05] Jun, S. K., 'Smart Car Presentation Slides", 2003. [PDF]
[04] Jun, S. K., 'Smart Car Part List", 2003. [PDF]
[03] Jun, S. K., 'Smart Car Circuit Diagram", 2003. [PDF]
[02] Jun, S. K., 'Smart Car - Technical Manual (Internal Document)", 2003. [PDF]
[01] Jun, S. K., 'Smart Car - How to run Smart Car (Internal Document)", 2003. [PDF]


Sponsor: This project is funded by the NYSCEDII.

by Automation, Robotics & Mechatronics Laboratory, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University at Buffalo
Last Updated: October 27, 2008