Drinks & Drones at Pendleton UAS - June 5th

UGV

Sigma Design 430

Sigma Design collaborated with a client to develop an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) engineered for complete autonomous operation. Our team successfully integrated a suite of systems enabling autonomous navigation, including GPS and LiDAR technologies, allowing the vehicle to see and interact with its environment. Additionally, we enhanced the UGV with sophisticated drive mechanisms for electric motors, steering, braking, and an array of safety protocols.

Ginkgo Ugv Chasis

Challenge & Solution

Challenge

The challenge presented by our client was multifaceted: spearheading the integration of a custom-built UGV designed for autonomous navigation in outdoor settings. A critical requirement was the vehicle's capability to autonomously return to a designated "home location" for battery recharging, eliminating the need for human intervention.

Solution

Our approach was a concerted effort among Sigma Design's engineering teams, tackling both the electrical and mechanical intricacies of the vehicle.

Battery Charger Ugv

Systems

Electrical System Development

A detailed schematic was initially drafted to encapsulate the essential components for operational autonomy. This comprehensive schematic laid the groundwork for developing a robust electrical architecture and wiring schematics that surpassed the operational demands of each system component.

 

Mechanical Engineering Solutions

Our mechanical engineering team devised multiple strategies to ensure the vehicle's operational efficiency, easy access to essential service components, and autonomous recharging capability.

 

Electrical and Communication Architecture

We devised a comprehensive electrical and vehicle communication framework, incorporating four distinct networks: two CAN networks, along with Ethernet and EtherCAT networks. This complex system necessitated the creation of 58 unique wiring harnesses, employing a wide range of wiring gauges from 30AWG to 00AWG to meet the intricate network requirements.

 

Mechanical Innovations

Our team engineered, prototyped, and manufactured a novel guide ramp system facilitating the UGV's entry into a charging enclosure. A pneumatically actuated scissor mechanism aligns with the vehicle's underside to enable wireless charging. To enhance serviceability, a slide mechanism was integrated at the vehicle's core, allowing easy access to critical components without the need to dismantle the bodywork, significantly reducing maintenance downtime.

 

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