Mission Objective #2: Heading and Navigation

Rover Exploration Test 1: RET-1


Our last Mission Objective was to create the chassis for your rover. Various sensors will be used as part of your rover design so that you can sense your environment surroundings and have your rover make informed decisions on how to move. Sensors that are commonly used are compass sensors for heading and navigation and sonar sensors for detecting distant objects that may be in your path.


Mission Objective

Your mission is to program your rover to move in a straight heading, without the need for human intervention. Using the 9-DOF sensor for compass heading and the ultrasonic sensor for detecting objects, you will need to have your rover move 20 meters in a straight heading.

You must be able to recover your heading if your rover is bumped off course. The better your recovery from a standard bump, the better your grade will be.

If your wheel alignment is slightly misaligned, your rover will veer off course. You must be able to compensate for any heading adjustments, based on the feedback you obtain from your 9-DOF compass sensor.

If an object is blocking your path, just instruct your rover to stop, even if you have not achieved the minimum 20 meter distance from your starting position. If the object is removed from your path, your rover must restart its movement.

Your rover will be considered on-course if it remains within a 2 meter width path along the 20 meter distance, unless a bump event has occurred and your rover must recover its heading. Once the heading has been recovered, your rover must remain within the 2 meter width path.



  1. A written report must be submitted which will include the following sections:
    • Detailed description of any algorithms you create for heading, course corrections, steering and obstacle detection
  2. Completed and commented code.
  3. If you have redesigned your rover based on your RET-1 testing, include the design modifications with diagrams.
  4. Photos and video of your rover tests.

Allow sufficient time to test your navigation, steering and obstacle detection subroutines!!!


Grading Plan

Grades are calculated using the following rubric:

  • There are two Design Review which will be graded and added to your overall Mission Objective 2 grade.
    • DR3 will be graded out of 2.5 in Week 15
    • DR4 will be graded out of 2.5 in Week 17
  • Completed project milestone on time
  • Rover accuracy
    • Does the rover move in a straight heading?
    • Does the rover recover from inadvertent course changes?
    • Does the rover maintain heading within a reasonable path?
    • Does the rover calculate distance to an obstacle?
    • Does the rover control its speed?
  • Written report detailing your heading, course corrections and steering algorithms.
  • All completed code with proper commenting
  • Photos and videos of your rover in action
  • The remaining grade of 15 will be calculated based on the satisfactory completion of the above plans.

Due Date: Week 18: week of January 18th

There are no extensions to this Mission Objective for any reason.
Late submissions will be docked by 4 points.