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[edit] What is CajunBot?

DARPA Grand Challenge for Autonomous Vehicles. (Source: DARPA)

The CajunBot project at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has its ties to the DARPA Grand Challenge. In 2001, the U.S. Congress mandated that one-third of all ground vehicles in the U.S. Armed Forces be replaced with robotic vehicles by the year 2015. The director of DARPA, Dr. Tony Tether, believed the problem could be solved by enlisting the creativity and innovation of American inventors and entrepreneurs in the effort. Americans love challenge. Americans love competition. Thus, the DARPA Grand Challenge was born.

The CajunBot vehicle used in the 2004 and 2005 Grand Challenges.
RT3K antennaRT3K antennaC-NAV antennaSICK LIDARSICK LIDAREaton Vorad RadarsIbeo Alasca LIDARIbeo Alasca LIDARIbeo Alasca LIDARRT3K wheel speed sensorIteris LDWCamera for detecting lanes
RaginBot (aka CajunBot-II) in California at the 2007 Urban Challenge.

The CajunBot project was UL Lafayette's answer to the challenge. Two autonomous vehicles were created over the course of the three DARPA challenges, the CajunBot and the CajunBot-II.


The project has been an overwhelming success for the school. Some of the notable accomplishments are:

  • Finalist in 2004 DARPA Grand Challenge (CajunBot)
  • Finalist in 2005 DAPRA Grand Challenge (CajunBot)
  • Semi-Finalist in 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge (CajunBot-II)
  • Local, national, and international news coverage such as CNN and many international newspapers and magazines.
  • Designation of "CajunBot Day" in 2004 for the state of Louisiana by Gov. Blanco.
  • Featured as one of ten teams followed in the Discovery Channel documentary "Robocars".

[edit] What is CBSystem?

What is cbsystem diagram.png

CBSystem is the brain of CajunBot. Much like the operating system on your computer controls all the programs running on it, CBSystem controls all of the programs used to make CajunBot autonomous.

CBSystem can be used to drive a real vehicle (on real roads), or a virtual vehicle in our 3D simulation environment.

[edit] CBSystem for YOU

Thousands of hours of Team CajunBot's collective knowledge is available for you to build your own autonomous vehicle, or experiment with algorithms for any component.

Here are some likely applications:

  • For researchers: Develop a new planning algorithm, or a new strategy for obstacle avoidance, or experiment with the control system of another type of vehicle. You can do all of these using CBSystem's 3D simulator, without acquiring a vehicle, a sensor, or any electronics.
  • For AGV engineers: If you have a vehicle and the sensors, you may use CBSystem to make it autonomous. It is likely we already have drivers for your sensors. Otherwise, all you'd need to do is write the device drivers.
  • For educators: You may use CBSystem to teach students about the hardware and software components of an autonomous ground vehicle. The students can experiment with the affect of various parameters, such as, changing the friction of the surface, gravitation constant, or mounting angles of sensors.

CBSystem can help save you hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars.

Read more to learn: Why CBSystem is worth it.

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After you're done compiling, you can immediately run the test_simulation script to use CBSystem:

Playing back logged data is just as easy:

[edit] Download

CBSystem is free and open source software available for download. There are two options:

1. Virtual Machine

  • Please read the Binary License to use CBSystem.
  • CBSystem Virtual Machine currently contains compiled binaries, and third party libraries already installed.
  • For faster graphic performance install the "virtual box guest additions" for 3D acceleration support after starting the virtual machine.

2. Source Code

  • Download from: Coming soon (Please contact)
  • After you get the source code, you should follow these installation instructions to get it compiled and installed.
  • The install document also lists the third party libraries needed for installing CBSystem.
  • For ease of references, here is the list of environment variables that are needed to customize CBSystem for your environment.

[edit] Tour

[edit] Algorithms

Much of the work on Team CajunBot involves assembling existing algorithms and theories into a single package. However we are still forced to produce new and interesting solutions to problems during the course of the Challenge. This page serves as a place for the detailed research that has gone on inside Team CajunBot.

  • C. Cavanaugh, Design and Integration of the Sensing and Control Subsystems of CajunBot, April 9, 2004 (PDF).
  • S. Golconda, Steering Control for a Skid-Steered Autonomous Ground Vehicle at Varying Speed, M.S. Thesis, February 2005 (Full thesis).
  • A. Lakhotia, S. Golconda, A. Maida, P. Mejia, A. Puntambekar, G. Seetharaman, and S. Wilson, CajunBot: Architecture and Algorithms, Journal of Field Robotics, 23 (8), 2006, 555-578, DOI: 10.1002/rob.20129, (Full paper).
  • A. Maida, S. Golconda, P. Mejia, A. Lakhotia, and C. Cavanaugh, Subgoal-based local navigation and obstacle avoidance using a grid-distance field, International Journal of Vehicle Autonomous Systems (IJVAS), 4 (2-4), 2006, pp. 122-142, (Full paper).
  • V. Venkitarakrishnan, CBWare - Distributed Middleware for Autonomous Ground Vehicles, M.S. Thesis, December 2006 (Thesis: front page, body, PPT Presentation).
  • A. Puntambekar, Terrain Mapping and Obstacle Detection for Unmanned Autonomous Ground Robots Without Sensor Stabilization, M.S. Thesis, October 18, 2006 (Full thesis, PPT Presentation).
  • Solving Urban Transit Problems using SLAM based Algorithms - December 7, 2006

[edit] Customize

To get started learning more about cbsystem modules and how to customize them, please choose one of the following:

[edit] API

Visit the online API for CBSystem.

[edit] Sections

If you want to skip the tour, the wiki is organized into the following sections:

Other documents available:

[edit] Contribute

Want to contribute to the wiki? Send an email to admin at cajunbot dot com to get started. Please include your name, affiliation, and why you are interested in joining the CajunBot community. Thanks!

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