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This page will provide a high level overview of the system and the interaction between software and hardware to make the autonomous system run. It may be overwhelming at first but following the documentation and researching piece by piece will provide you with an indepth, if not, at least a general understanding of the various components that work together to make this system run.

First, the heart of the software system is ROS. It is a community driven middleware that helps faciliate communication between various Python/C++ programs. ROS makes it easy to import other community solutions to problems such as path planning, object detection, hardware drivers, etc. Watch this series of videos (opens in a new tab) to understand how ROS is used to run a autonomous vehicle, start to finish. This is a MUST WATCH. It will save you HOURS of research and confusion.

Similar to the robot created in the video, we are following essentially doing the same thing with 2 major differences:

  1. Use of IMU/GPS module
    • We are using the SBG system's IMU system where both the GPS and the IMU are in one module.
  2. Custom motor driver
    • We are using the HDC2460 motor controller which drive our wheel chair motor. The motors do not come with built-in encoders so we are using the CUI Devices AMT encoders to track the position of the wheels.

The diagram below is a high level overview of the different hardware components and their communication Hardware Component Diagram

This diagram displays the various ROS nodes that will be running in our system. It is hiding a lot of details, espicially in the slam_toolbox and nav2 components but it provides a general overview. ROS Software Components

The last diagram shows the interaction between the hardware and software that we have. Software and Hardware Interaction Diagram

This is a lot to take in when you are just coming in, but take your time and just be consistent. Continue to watch the videos and understand the various major components in ROS that are used and things will start to make sense. Look into the documentation of the libraries that we use like Nav2.