Electrical Engineering Students Learn Practical Applications of Design Through Autonomous Car Competition


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Autonomous Car Competition winners Sawyer Keller and Mason Torgerson, posing with course professor, Robert Saunders.

Fayetteville and Fort-Smith electrical engineering students came together last month to compete in the annual Autonomous Car Competition as part of their overall grade for Microprocessor Systems Design (ELEG 3924), an electrical engineering course taught by Robert Saunders, assistant department head and instructor.

ELEG 3924 is designed to introduce students to the inner working of microcontrollers. The autonomous car project serves as a cumulative test of the students’ understanding of microprocessor system design, including assembly language, device interface, and microprocessor architecture.

At the end of fall, the ramp in Bell Engineering Center is scattered with obstacles bearing the “Engine Hog” logo, as onlookers watch autonomous cars make their way through the obstacle course. The goal is to avoid the targets and reach the finish line, an objective that carries the weight of one letter grade and potentially, the glory of a win.

Saunders’s goal in creating the course was to provide his students with an opportunity to use class…

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