The RACECAR platform has been used in three MIT courses so far. One more for high schoolers is on the way, scheduled for the summer of 2016. All courses use the powerful RACECAR platform, feature technical lectures and lab exercises, and end in a challenge that involves racing in realistic environments fully autonomously.
January 2015: Hackathon 1
The first offering of the course was in the month of January of 2015 as an MIT Independent Activities Period (IAP) class. The teams used the first version of the RACECAR. They programmed the cars to race in MIT’s tunnels fully autonomously. The video introducing this hackathon is here:
January 2016: Hackathon 2
Second hackathon took place in January 2015. The cars were updated with new hardware, including Nvidia Jetson TX 1 computers. The cars were made faster. Here is the winning run from the race:
Spring 2016: MIT Undergraduate Course
MIT’s robotics course, entitled “Robotics: Science and Systems” (6.141/16.405) is teaching robotics with the RACECAR platforms. The lectures teach the foundations of robotics. The lab exercises allow students to practice their skills in building perception software as well as motion planning and control software. The challenge now includes obstacles and floor markers that earn the teams extra points. It will be run on May 9th, 2016.
Summer 2016: Residential Robotics Course for High School Students
RACECARs will be programmed by high school students this year. Stay tuned!