An autonomous RC car guided by TensorFlow machine vision

demo gif

The blue line is what the model thinks it should do, the green line is what I actually did when a human was steering it.

From Hackaday, a great project showing how to create a self-driving R/C car that can follow a complex road pattern without human intervention. It uses TensorFlow running on an Intel processor onboard. Click through to read more about the importance of polarizing filters and how to implement TensorFlow.

Unexpectedly they have eschewed the many ARM-based boards as the brains of the unit, instead going for an Intel NUC mini-PC powered by a Core i5 as the brains of the unit. It’s powered by a laptop battery bank, and takes input from a webcam. Direction and throttle can be computed by the NUC and sent to an Arduino which handles the car control. There is also a radio control channel allowing the car to be switched from autonomous to human controlled to emergency stop modes.

They go into detail on the polarizing and neutral density filters they used with their webcam, something that may make interesting reading for anyone interested in machine vision. All their code is open source, and can be found linked from their write-up. Meanwhile the video below the break shows their machine on their test circuit, completing it with varying levels of success.

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