Thursday 19 May 2022

TEC students create autonomous vehicle prototype for multiple uses

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HQ – A group of four TEC – Costa Rica Institute of Technology – students created an autonomous vehicle to transport people, parcels, or other things, with which they won the Purdy Mobility Challenge for innovation and entrepreneurship in mobility.

Tech to Go is the name of this product created by Elena Garzona, Andrés Navarro, Sergio Solórzano and Fabián Álvarez.

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“Tech to Go is an autonomous vehicle, that is, it can go from point A to point B completely on its own. We implemented technology such as artificial intelligence, through visual and sensory communication, so that the cart could feel and see what is in its environment and act accordingly,” indicated Elena Garzona, coordinator of the winning team A&E Innovation.

They only received a golf cart and took it upon themselves to modify it so that it had autonomy (without the need for a driver).

“It is currently a prototype but it can be implemented in a company to deliver internal parcels, hotels offering tours in place, you ride and the cart goes, it is already useful,” she added.

The young people used communication through ultrasonic cameras that detect sounds, as well as cameras.

In the event that a person or object gets in the way, it detects it and brakes the vehicle automatically.

The development of the model had a cost of less than US$2,000, but they ensure that the final product would be less expensive.

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“Anyone who wants to work with us can contact us, we just need more time and resources to improve the systems, to make them more efficient,” said Garzona.

The prototype with which they won uses two electric motors, one replaces the power steering and the other the brake, in addition to having a potentiometer to accelerate.


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