Lawrence Technological University’s robotic vehicle, iWheels, finished sixth in the Auto-Nav Challenge, the main event at the 21th annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition held at Oakland University June 7-10. More than 50 teams from around the country and as far away as India and Japan entered the prestigious competition.
IGVC promotes the development of automated and intelligent vehicles that can have both civilian and military applications. Sponsors include the Joint Project Office for Robotic Systems of the U.S. Army, the Joint Ground Robotics Enterprise of the Department of Defense, TARDEC, and the Michigan chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association, and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (both the foundation and the Great Lakes chapter). Corporate sponsors include Lockheed Martin, Continental, Valeo, Magna, and Takata.
Computer science undergraduate students Jonathan Nabozny and Ryan Matthews competed for LTU. Professor CJ Chung was the faculty advisor. Two former IGVC participants Jonathan Ruszala and Christopher Kawatsu, who received master’s degrees in computer science at LTU in 2012, also served as technical advisors.
Chung said the iWheels robotic vehicle could be used in the development of intelligent wheelchairs for paralyzed people.
The sixth-place finish earned LTU a $1,000 prize.