Every possible location on the Earth’s surface has been mapped by coordinates,which makes it possible to express any location accurately. Satellites broadcast to theselocations so that any receiver may realize its location. This is the theory behind theGlobal Positioning System (GPS). The purpose of this project is to build a robot that iscapable of navigating itself by taking full advantage of this technology.
In order to fulfill the objectives of this project, certain requirements must beoutlined. These parameters will shape the way this project is carried out, from designdecisions to economic constraints. The most crucial objective will allow an operatingvehicle to navigate from one point to another using an onboard GPS navigation system.The vehicle should not get stuck or turn over easily. The destination and any neededinitializing inputs should be the only data input into the system. The vehicle should beable to traverse multiple types of terrains and navigate the entire course (point A to pointB) that has been input by the operator. Simple obstacles in the vehicle's path should benavigable. The overall weight of the vehicle, with all components applied, should weighless than 10kg (22 lbs.). The overall cost of the project, which includes testing and other incidental costs, should not cost more than one thousand dollars.
Since the Garmin GPS-LVS16 only provides a calculated compass heading outputwhen the unit is moving, a stand-alone compass is needed in order to determine thedirection that the vehicle is facing. The initial design involved a PNI V2Xe 2-axis 360degree resolution digital compass. This compass required a 3VDC input which wouldhave been easily pulled from the Zilog microcontroller board. The means by which itoutput data to communicate with microcontrollers is SPI communication protocol.