This project describes how to build a micro Self Driving Car (uSDC), a smaller version of Ogma Corp's 1/10th scale R/C based self driving car. Both versions use a controller to drive the SDCs and a front-facing camera, to provide input into an online Machine Learning predictive algorithm that learns how to autonomously drive around a track. Details of both version can be seen on GitHub here.
The Machine Learning algorithm uses an online learning technique known as Sparse Predictive Hierarchies (SPH). The predictive hierarchies take as input streaming data, in this case a camera image and steering information, and predicts (infers) what the next steering information it expects to be shown. The predicted steering information can also be fed back into the predictive hierarchy to enable autonomous driving behaviour.
Control of the uSDC
There are two Python3 scripts included in the GitHub repository to test the uSDC:
motorTest.py - A script to test the Explorer pHAT, Steam controller, and drive the uSDC around.
main.py - The main script containing using the EOgmaNeo library. Allowing for learning, inference, and self-driving on the RPi ZeroW.
Steam controller daemon
Both of the included python scripts require the Steam controller daemon to be running. After the daemon has been started, it emulates the Steam controller as a Xbox controller. PyGame can then connect to and obtain joystick and button information. The motorTest.py and main.py scripts can then make use of the controller to drive the uSDC around.
Starting the daemon requires the following bash command:
sudo python3 ~/steamcontroller/scripts/sc-xbox.py start
and the following command to stop the daemon:
sudo python3 ~/steamcontroller/scripts/sc-xbox.py stop
The motorTest python script
To test the Steam controller and Explorer pHAT motor driver, the following commands and script can be used:
cd ~/EOgmaDrive/Configuration3 sudo python3 ~/steamcontroller/scripts/sc-xbox.py start sudo python3 motorTest.py sudo python3 ~/steamcontroller/scripts/sc-xbox.py stop
Similar controls as used in the main.py script are used here:
- The joystick controls left or right steering,
- Trigger buttons apply forward/backward drive,
- The `A` button cleanly exits the script.
The `trimming` global variable allows for trimming of the forward/backward motion, so that applying motion using the triggers ensures that the uSDC travels in a straight line.
The main python script
The `main.py` Python3 script is used for training (manual driving) and inference (self driving). All processing occurs on the Raspberry Pi ZeroW board.
It can be started using the following bash commands:
cd ~/EOgmaDrive/Configuration3 sudo python3 ~/steamcontroller/scripts/sc-xbox.py start sudo python3 main.py sudo python3 ~/steamcontroller/scripts/sc-xbox.py stop
The uSDC can then be controlled using the Steam controller with:
- The analogue joystick controls left or right steering.
- Trigger buttons apply forward/backward drive.
- The `A` button toggles between training and prediction modes.
- The `B` button saves the current camera image.
- The `X` button saves the current state of the hierarchy.
- The `Y` button exits the script.
If you train and save out the current state of the hierarchy, that saved state can be reloaded by starting the script with a `load` parameter. For example:
sudo python3 main.py load
Note: Saving the hierarchy to the a file on the SD card can take a minute or so to perform. Console text will announce when saving starts, and also when saving has completed.
If the uSDC doesn't travel in a straight line using one of the trigger buttons, a `trimming` global variable can be modified to compensate for any drift. For example this could be set to `trimming = 0.2`
An `RGB` image is captured from the camera module at each time step. This is converted into a grey scale...Read more »