The Global Positioning System based Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) is a prototype demonstrating the ever increasing need for sophisticated technology and intelligent vehicles satisfying the present day needs. It is small, lightweight, capable of navigating and reaching a predefined destination using a Global Positioning System receiver. The vehicle is controlled from a remote base station over a wireless communication link. The base station has the map of the area. It can control and monitor the vehicle with in a range of 500 m. The vehicle can identify its present location using a GPS receiver. This information is sent to the base station over the wireless link. The base station allows an operator to indicate a destination on the map. The UGV independently drives to the indicated destination utilizing the on-board GPS receiver and electromagnetic compass. It only moves on tracks/roads and selects the shortest possible path for reaching the destination. During its entire journey the base station has complete information about its location in the form of GPS coordinates. The real time obstacle detection and avoidance is achieved with an efficient algorithm and an ultrasonic sensor.
The system has been developed using the Arduino At-mega microcontroller. The Microcontroller board, RF transceiver, GPS receiver module, magnetic compass, ultrasonic sensor and DC motors are mounted on the UGV. The GPS module records its present location and transmits it to the base station using RF transceiver. The Arduino uses advanced algorithms and its state control program to find the desired destination. Geared DC motors are used to drive the vehicle and an ultrasonic sensor detects obstacles in the path. The vehicle thus navigates itself independently to the desired destination following the roadmap.
The system is fully tested at different locations and achieved the targeted objectives. Thus an intelligent and self-relying machine has been developed with auto navigation which finds its application in area surveillance, surveying and rescue operations.