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Wanting to upscale their successful experiences with autonomous robots, a team set out to compete in the 2004 Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition. The goal of the competition is to produce a fully autonomous unmanned ground robotic vehicle that can negotiate around an outdoor obstacle course marked by white spray-painted lines similar to lane lines on a highway. The robot must have sensors and processing hardware to detect the lane lines as well as avoid the obstacles placed on the track. The obstacles consist of construction barrels, construction saw horses, sand traps, ramps and, toward the end of the course, even broken lane lines.
Although the robot worked well during indoor testing at Cedarville, the bright sunlight at competition generated glare which was so intense that the robot had difficulty seeing the white lines on the ground. Having learned from their experiences, students Tim Linden and Tyler Bixel solved numerous last-minute problems which hurdled the 2005 robot to successfully navigate about 236 feet in the autonomous challenge course...requiring it to stay inside white lines painted in grass and avoid construction barrels. Out of 37 robots there, only 7 robots made it farther than CU's. Virginia Tech brought three vehicles which took the top three places in the competition. CU's robot placed ahead of teams from the University of Cincinnati, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Robots which did not qualify included two from West Point and two from Georgia Tech.