CL2 Group

F1TENTH

F1TENTH is a 1/10th scale racing car that serves as a platform to research Head-to-Head Autonomous Racing. I got access to this vehicle by doing a URA under professor Yash Pant since September 2022.

I implemented the entire software stack onto this car (mapping, localization, raceline generation, pure pursuit, obstacle avoidance) using ROS2. During this process, I learned so much about autonomy and realized just how much effort it takes to simply getting Robotics to work.

The F1TENTH is worth $3000+ and equipped with:

  • Nvidia Jetson NX (Compute Platform)
  • Hokuyo 10LX (LiDAR)
  • VESC 6 MkV (Motor Controller)
  • Intel RealSense D345i (Depth Camera) (OPTIONAL)

Engineering Focus (DONE)

Got really good at implementing algorithms on ROS2, including:

Competed at F1TENTH @ CPS-IoT Week 2023 for May 2023. Got fastest qualifying lap. Crashed out for race day due to Localization issues with changing track conditions.

Some things I still want to look into:

Research Focus (In Progress)

Check out Head-to-Head Autonomous Racing and F1TENTH Research Proposal. Very much still in the early phases of ideation. This stuff is hard…

Through the research, I’ve learned about concepts such as

Concepts Learned from Lab Assignments

F1TENTH Notes

Concepts

About the F1TENTH Car

One of the coolest features that was presented is this custom ESC, the VESC - Vedder ESC which has so many COOL features, including built-in IMU chips and Regenerative Braking.

Links

It uses a Velineon 3500 Brushless Motor Motor (BLDC)

  • RPM/volt: 3500, so we operate at 10-12V,
  • Max RPM: 50,000 (this is ridiculously high) It can go up to 30 miles per hour
  • Wire size: 12-gauge

Full voltge: ~12.2V Low Voltage: Around 11V is where it is start to get really low.

Other random things I learned:

Engineering Lessons

  • SLAM doesn’t work when Odometry is inverted
  • Car doesn’t drive well / squeaking, then it is most likely a hardware issue. In my case, it was because the pinion and the spur gear didn’t make a solid connection