Sharknado Spring '14 SDSU Senior Design Project

Mission Status: Complete

Sharknado is an autonomous vehicle submission for the Spring 2014 SDSU Engineering Capstone Project.
We have implemented some novel ideas and would like to share our discoveries with the world on this site.

8/5/14: Competition day has come and gone. Read our post-mortem analysis w/ at link below:

Read more »


Autonmous Vehicle Challenge

The challenge is to design and build a vehicle that can autonomously navigate in an open space and deliver small payloads (golf balls) to several predetermined locations. The project will consist of multiple teams competing to design and fabricate the fastest and most accurate delivery system possible on a fixed budget. The delivery locations will be given as GPS coordinates specified as longitude and latitude and a transmitting beacon. The competition will be scored on both speed and accuracy.

Sharknado is a fully autonmous vehicle which uses an array of sensors to find a target beacon and drop a payload.

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Custom Designed Hadware

We designed 3 custom PCBs that would help elimi- nate loose wires and clean the overall design of the robot. One PCB attaches to the top of our Arduino packaged microcontroller. This “shield” allows us to minimize the number of loose wires linking sensors/ components to the microcontroller’s I/O pins. Two other PCBs hold the circuitry for our ultrasonic sen- sors and antenna gain stage.


SOFTWARE DESIGN

Sharknado’s software routines are designed around a simple state machine. When the system boots, it is transitioned into the Start state where it initializes system settings and confirms the sensors are ready. When the start button is pressed, it is then transitioned into the Search state where the bulk of processing time remains. In the Search state Sharknado navigates to the Lat./Lng. target using its Macro- location algorithms which utilizes the GPS and magnetometer sensors. When sharknado reaches a target it will then transition to the Beacon State, or if it runs into an obstacle it will transition to the Escape State.

Learn More (State Machine) »

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SOFTWARE DESIGN

We only had 2 months to build our competition submission from scratch. Along the way we recorded our progress in various technical posts to this website. Each of these posts documents our learning process from beginning up to the competition and demo day at the end of the semester.


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Alex Egg

Alex was previously a Software Engineer at Qualcomm. He holds a BS in Computer Engineering/Computer Science and a minor in Korean from San Diego State University. He enjoys creating useful products from scratch and seeing people use his creations in the wild. Avid Crossfitter and rock climber.
Learn more about him at: eggie5.com

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Kevin Shinkle

Kevin Shinkle had switched majors multiple times before he settling for Electrical Engineering. Those majors included History, Computer Science, and Computer Engineering respectively. He graduated in August of 2014. He was Sharknado’s technician and PCB designer. His goal is to work in a field that focuses not only on RF but analog circuits.

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Jeff O'Brian

Jeff graduated from SDSU with a BS in Electrical Engineering. He wants to find a job that focuses on RF and/or analog circuits. He currently lives in San Diego with his wife.

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Alvin Lacdan

Alvin is a computer engineer graduating in May 2014 at San Diego State University. He was born and raised in San Diego and dreamed to become a computer engineer ever since his early years as a high school student. After college, Alvin's goal is to work in a job focused in software programming and would like to do more traveling if he has the opportunity. He enjoys playing and coding simple video games as well as sports such as bowling and tennis.

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Andrew Goria

Andrew is an Electrical Engineer. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from San Diego State University. His expertise is in analog circuitry with an emphasis in microelectronics. Having recently received his E.I.T. certificate, Andrew hopes to one day become a licensed P.E.. In his free time, Andrew enjoys exercising and reading.

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Daniel Tarantino

Daniel Tarantino is a Computer Engineer minoring in Computer Science at San Diego State University. Eventually he would like to obtain a Master’s degree in computer science or business. Daniel currently works as an Application Developer creating business solutions for the manufacturing department at General Atomics ASI. He enjoys playing recreational team sports such as softball and soccer and is always looking for an opportunity to broaden his horizons.