Foil – Electric Vehicle 2009

This will be a col­lec­tion of design infor­ma­tion, videos, and pho­tos of Foil, the autonomous device I designed and built for the Elec­tric Vehi­cle event of Sci­ence Olympiad. It won first place at the state tour­na­ment in New York, beat­ing the sec­ond-place team that went on to place #2 at the Nation­al Tour­na­ment.

Foil is designed to trav­el an exact dis­tance spec­i­fied at com­pe­ti­tion, in the range of 5.0 to 10.0 meters, down a track as straight­ly as pos­si­ble, while mod­u­lat­ing its speed so that each run down the track takes exact­ly 45.0 sec­onds; no more, no less. Each of those para­me­ters can be fine-tuned at the com­pe­ti­tion site using an embed­ded inter­face con­sist­ing of a mechan­i­cal rotary encoder with a knob, push­but­tons, and an onboard LCD dis­play. Foil is pow­ered by a PIC24HJ128GP502 micro­con­troller, obtained from Microchip, Inc. as a free sam­ple of their high-per­for­mance 16-bit PIC24H line, run­ning cus­tom C code I wrote for the Microchip C30 com­pil­er, based off of GCC.

Foil was able to trav­el down a 7.6 meter long track and stop exact­ly on the fin­ish line, and reg­u­lat­ed its speed so that it tried to stopped 45.0 sec­onds after I start­ed it. It missed this time by 0.13 sec­onds, for a 0.29% error. Its for­ward point­er, how­ev­er, was about 2 mil­lime­ters to the right and 2 mil­lime­ters off (a 0.03% error) in fin­ish line dis­tance. The result­ing score is offi­cial­ly 199.53 out of 200.

More infor­ma­tion for Foil is not yet avail­able at this time, because I have been very busy. For now, enjoy a CAD ren­der­ing and a video of the gold-medal run at NYSSO states.

Click for full size (1920 × 1200)

Click for full size (1920 × 1200)

You can find addi­tion­al media at the Sci­ence Olympiad Stu­dent Center’s Image Gallery: