Autonomous Vehicle Research

Thayer School of Engineering

Project Overview

I started the Dartmouth Autonomous Vehicle Research Group a few years ago with Professor Tillman Gerngross. Currently, our main project is to develop an efficient, cost effective and practical method of controlling a riding lawn mower that can follow a pre-determined path. Current consumer automated lawn mowers on the market move in a random pattern within a constrained boundary. This is inefficient, but acceptable for small residential yards. There are $100,000+ systems that are used on large agricultural farms that can do the job we would like to accomplish, but they are cost prohibitive for an average park or industrial building lawn.

This project combined technology in a new way to build a system that can mow large lawns and be cost effective. The main systems integrated into this project were: location positioning systems such as GPS (ones that are much more accurate than what is in your car or phone), LIDAR, mechanical controls, electronic integration, and software control.

Autonomous Lawn Mower