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S.P.Dhinesh ,V.G.Devika, J.Karthika, M.Pandiyan.

Saveetha Engineering College,

Saveetha nagar, Thandalam,

Chennai-602 105



The objective of the present project is to design and develop an Autonomous

terrestrial vehicle (ATV). The proposed ATV is capable of providing reliable and rugged base
for autonomous navigation using digital image processing (DIP) and global positioning
system (GPS). The developed ATV is designed to perform the important tasks such as
Obstacle avoidance and colour tracking, navigation in the lane using boundary recognition,
Staircase climbing, Crossing over ramps and corrugations, traversing all terrains and
navigation through GPS waypoints , thereby making the vehicle to overcome any obstacles
and navigate itself in any unknown terrestrial environment . In the present system the image
captured by the Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000(webcam) which is mounted on the vehicle, is
processed and the output obtained from the DIP is then fed to the PIC 16F877A micro
controller as input in order to steer the terrestrial vehicle using artificial neural network
(ANN). Also the predefined GPS waypoints are fed into the system that enables the ATV to
traverse in any unknown environment where there are no boundary lanes. The designed ATV
is a six wheeled differential drive vehicle with rubber tyres for good suspension, traction and
capable of carrying the payload of 10kgs. The vehicle is modularised to facilitate fault
diagnosis and self localization. The proposed system is designed and simulated using
simulink in MATLAB fabricated and tested successfully for its stability and Maneuverablity.
This ATV can be modified and extended for applications such as Minefield detection &
neutralisation, hazardous material handling and Target identification.


Autonomous Terrestrial Vehicle; Digital Image Processing; Artificial Neural Network;

Global Positioning System.
1. Introduction
The terrestrial vehicle is designed to provide reliable and rugged base for autonomous
navigation using image processing and GPS waypoints. It is capable of navigating through
different terrains with help of images obtained by the webcam mounted on the vehicle. The
obtained image is processed and fed to the neural networks, the output of which would then
decide the course of action to be taken by the vehicle. It is also capable of traversing through
the unknown environment using the GPS waypoints.

1.1. Problem statement

The ATV is designed in such a way that it can navigate the terrain by avoiding
static positive hard obstacles and traversing through Sand, Gravel, ramps, Corrugations and
staircase climbing. The maximum robot speed is limited by hardware. The Robot is designed
to carry a maximum payload of 10 kg. The robot can navigate with the help of GPS
waypoints & boundary lanes. Facility for wireless E-Stop during emergency is also provided.

2. Approach to the problem

The ATV is designed to navigate by itself through rough terrains and to avoid
natural & man made obstacles in the shortest possible time. The overview to the problem is
illustrated in a block diagram as shown in the figure 1.1.
Figure 1.1. Flow chart for our way of approach to the problem

2.1. Obstacles detection

The image captured by the webcam is fed into the laptop which is mounted on the
ATV and processed by MATLAB software. It converts the live video into 2D image and
processes it and determines whether it is an obstacles or staircase or corrugations or ramps by
comparing their dimensions. If it finds the obstacles it activates the sensors and follows the
obstacle avoiding algorithm. Figure 2.1 shows the flow diagram for Obstacle Avoidance
Figure 2.1 Flow diagram for Obstacle Avoidance Algorithm

2.2Navigating in lane

The ATV is capable of traversing within the lane by using the

boundary recognition techniqes and gray scaling. The boundary recognition method would reduce the
image to a binary image highlighting only the required features, the curved paths on the roads.The
gray scaling of image is used because of its high accuracy. The result remained the same for varying
lighting conditions. The grayscale also reduces the amount of processing to be done on the image.

2.3.Staircase climbing

The novelty of this method deals with dynamics of the robot along with
its kinematics and the geometric constrains of the task.This Locomotor was designed with a ground
clearance of 10” to fulfill the functional objective of climbing the stairs. The six wheeled drive
provides superior locomotion and bigger wheels (D 25”) of good tractions with high motor torque
enables the ATV to climb the stairs easily.

2.4.Navigation through GPS waypoints

ATV uses the GPS system to finds its latitude and longitude position and its
corresponding distance from the waypoints is calculated. Then the map of GPS coordinate system is
converted to cartesian coordinate system.The series of waypoints can also be generated to map the
places. Since the waypoints are in terms of X and Y position, linear paths can be taken. ATV uses
GPS waypoints to make sure that the vehicle is on track.

2.5. Traversing through all terrains

The basic idea behind the terrain-based navigation is to face the safest, most traversable
region and adjust its speed based on the quality of the terrain to be traversed. The figure 2.2 shows
terrain classification using Image Processing. The motor contoller operates in three different operating
speeds based on the terrain. The various speeds for different terrains is depicted in table 2.1

Table 2.1. Different terrains and their Speed

Type of Terrain Speed

Staircase, Gravel Fast speed.
Ramp, Corrugation Medium speed
Sand Slow speed

Fig 2.2 Terrain classification using image processing

Wireless E-stop facility is provided to stop the ATV in case of any emergency
situations. This will stop the vehicle at the instant and prevents it from faulty behaviours.


3.1. Design

The ATV is a six wheeled skid-steer machine using broader tyres as a superior
locomotion to negotiate the three dimensional terrain. The modeling, designing, and
simulation of the dynamics of differential drive is achieved with the aid of ‘Differential Drive
and Global Positioning Blockset’ using MATLAB. The speed of a dc motor is controlled by
PWM method as shown in figure 3.1

Figure 3.1. Speed controller of DC motor

3.2System Architecture

The control unit consists of a PIC micro-controller which is used to control

and interact with several devices such as sensors, robot driving system,motor controller, electronic
compass and encoders. The micro-controller then connects to an on-board laptop via USB port. The
system architecture of the ATV is shown in the figure 3.2. The laptop takes care of data processing
gains from devices. The communication between the robot and control base is done through the
Figure 3.2. The robot’s System Architecture

3.3 Image Processing and GPS

The ATV uses Digital image processing which allows a wide range of algorithms
to be applied as input data to Artificial Neural Network (ANN).The ANN decides the course of action
to be taken by the vehicle. The boundary recognition technique is used for lane following and edge
detection for the classification of obstacles. The flow diagram for autonomous navigation is illustrated
in figure 3.3. In the absence of boundary lines the ATV use GPS waypoints to reach the destination.
Fig 3.3: Flow diagram for autonomous navigation

3.4 System specifications

3.4.1. Softwares used

Software Application
Microsoft Robotics Studio Simulation
GPS Routex GPS navigation

3.4.2. Hardwares used

Components Brand and Version

DC Motor 60rpm high torque(38kg/
Encoder Yaskawa model 200 ASKS 5VM
Compass ADX-CMPS03
GPS GPS BD950w/Antenna
Motor Speed Controller PWM using pc/104
Laser Range Finder Hokuyo URG-04LX
USB Cameras Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000
Laptop Intel core 2 Duo CPU @ 2.00 GHz
Micro controller PIC 16F877A
Wireless transmitter 3 Channel FM 27MHz Radio System With
Transmitter, Receiver & Crystals


Thus the ATV is capable of navigating through different terrains with help of
images obtained by the webcam mounted on the vehicle and traversing through the unknown
environment using the GPS waypoints in a shortest possible time.This ATV can be used in the
army for survailance. These robots will be part of the Low Intensity Conflict / Explosive Ordinance
Disposal (LIC/EOD) program and Homeland Security to carry out tasks into a variety of
undesirable, hazardous, and potentially life-threatening environments in stealth and NBC threats.

5.Future Scope

This ATV can be modified and extended for applications such as Minefield detection &
neutralisation, hazardous material handling and Target identification.

1. ‘An Introduction to neural networks‘ by Ben Krose and Patrick van der Smagt.

2. ‘Application of four-layer neural network on information extraction‘; Min Han & Lei Cheng and
Hua Meng.

3. ‘Neural network vision for robot driving‘ by Dean A. Pomerleau.

4. MATLAB help files.

5. A Book on Image Processing by Anil K. Jain.