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Using LabVIEW to Rapidly Build an Autonomous Robot and Compete in the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition

We developed a sophisticated, autonomous ground vehicle using LabVIEW software and NI FPGA-based hardware.

"Without NI Single-Board RIO and the LabVIEW FPGA Module, none of our technical innovations would be possible – by using the parallel processing capabilities of an FPGA, Athena can process LIDAR data scans at 70 Hz whereas a comparable PC-based robot could only process scans at 10 Hz."

- Gray Thomas, Olin College of Engineering

The Challenge:
Developing an autonomous vehicle to compete in the annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC), an autonomous ground vehicle race through an obstacle-filled path marked by painted lines.

The Solution:
Using the NI LabVIEW FPGA Module to design and successfully debug an obstacle-avoidance algorithm on the field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and integrate this low-level processing with a line avoiding algorithm written on a laptop.

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