Running-Mate Racer

Spring 2013

Student
Matthew Burnett
Advisor
Philip Koopman
Project description

(Joint project with Kevin Waters) We want to design a robot car that acts as pace-keeper for runners. The user will program the car to travel at his/her desired pace for a set distance. This will be done with 3 push-buttons and an LCD. The car will drive ahead of the runner, following a white line painted on a track. Using a distance sensor, the car will maintain a set distance from the runner. When the runner slows down, the car will slow down and use LEDs to prompt the runner to speed up. When the runner is going too fast, the car will speed up with the runner but alert the runner to slow down to the proper pace. The car will be an off-the-shelf outdoor RC car. We will program an Arduino Leonardo to control the velocity and steering of the car. The Arduino will also control the indicator LEDs. The distance sensor will be an ultrasonic sensor with a reflector worn by the runner or a laser rangefinder. We will integrate this sensor with the Arduino to keep the car on track and on pace. We will use phototransistors and red LEDs to make the car follow the white line. The phototransistors detect the reflection of the LED light off of the white line. Minimum Goal: The car can follow the white line around the track. Middle Ground Goal: The car can follow the white line around the track at a set pace for a prescribed run distance. Ideal Goal: The car can follow the white line around the track at a set pace and for a prescribed run distance. The distance sensor with LED indicators work to maintain a proper distance from the runner as well as prompting the runner to alter his/her speed.

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