Autonomous Rover Team

Regular Meetings: Every Saturday at 3:00 pm in the UTRA Lab (EA First Floor)

The Autonomous Rover Team (ART) designs and builds the components for several robots. Components are designed to be modular and chassis-independent. Therefore we will build a chassis specific to a competition, install or pre-built components to make it autonomous, then tweak the code to competition-specific details. Sounds simple, right? Now we just need you to make those ‘pre-built’ components :)


To date, UTRA has been modifying off-the-shelf vehicles like electric wheelchairs and RC trucks. We need mechanical students with intermediate knowledge to help us make the required modifications (like computer mounts, sensor mounts, etc.).

We would love to build a chassis from scratch, but we’re waiting some highly motivated mechanical students to take the lead!


ART is a great place to learn how to build some simple circuits and gain some hands-on experience in wiring, soldering, etc. We need circuits that range from PCBs for our microelectronics, to high voltage (48V-DC), high current (100A) circuits. Learn and build protection circuitry, motor controllers, filters, and much more!


For high-level artificial intelligence (AI), ART uses off-the-shelf software packages to keep code modular and integration easy. We program in C++ and C#, but are not opposed to Java and Python. Learn how to use and make sense of sensor data to accomplish a task. Test your algorithms in simulation, before putting them on the real robot.

We do our low-level (motor control, analog sensor interface) control on Atmel AVR microcontrollers. We program exclusively in C – we are opposed to assembly. Learn the basics of how to move a motor, read a sensor, communicate with a computer, and much more!


A robot is only as good as its sensors. ART buys a few high-end sensors and shares them across robot platforms. A large portion of our budget goes to these sensors, so we need people that know them inside and out. What they’re capable of, how to communicate with them, how to protect them, and which new sensors are required!

Autonomous Rover Competitions



ART spends half of its time developing modular components that are competition-independent, and the other half on a specific robot meant for a specific competition. Some of the robotics competitions that we have participated in the past include: RoboGames – Robomagellan, Unmanned Ground Vehicle Competition and Robot Racing.

Autonomous Rover Profile: Da Boss

Da Boss

Name: Da Boss

Class: Autonomous Rover

Sensors: Camera, Laser Range Finder (LRF), Global Positioning System (GPS)

Chassis: Traxxas Truck equipped with Remote Control

Suspension: 8-Spring Hydraulics Shocks

Emergency Stop: Manual and Wireless