Document Type

Restricted Campus Only

Publication Date



The purpose of this project is to develop a user controlled mobile robot that maps an area of terrain such as a floor of a building. The motivation for this project is to build a robot that can perform tasks that are too menial, difficult, or dangerous to be performed by humans. The robot is a radio-controlled truck with a computer system and sensory equipment attached to it. The user, who stands in the room with the robot, drives the robot through a room with a radio control system while the robot uses its rotating SONAR to detect the surrounding terrain. The robot records its position with every point of the SONAR data so that it can accurately modify a map stored in the memory of its computer system. It calculated this position with a compass and an optical wheel encoder. The time required to map an entire room is anticipated to be less than an hour. Objects such as walls, doorways, trashcans, desks, etc. will be mapped. SONAR data is in the form of a time required for sound to travel to an object and be bounced back. An object's distance from the truck is calculated by knowing the time measurement and the speed that sound travels in air under standard conditions. The SONAR transducer is mounted to a servomotor mast that is controlled by an algorithm so that its direction is has traveled in. After this data is transmitted to the computer a map of the area can be generated. The success of this project will be determined by the accuracy of the map generated.


Advisor: Dr. Kevin Nickels