Hardware Section at MCAV

Our Hardware Team is responsible for all things physical at MCAV. In 2020 and beyond the Hardware team is working on a number of projects, from retrofitting a Subaru Forester with autonomous capability to experimental robotics.

We develop the systems that enable the Subaru's perception, computation, actuation, and power, as well environmental elements such as dynamic obstacles.

We also manage the team's work-spaces and hardware tools to allow people to focus on their work.


Perception Hardware

  • We use a range of sensors on our vehciles, including 3D Lidar, Cameras, Ultrasonics, GPS, and IMU

  • Our sensors are mounted in a range of ways, from a custom designed roof mounting platform to 3D-printed magnetic camera housings

Power System

  • Our Subaru uses a custom designed rechargeable power system, providing the juice to all our on-board systems

  • We developed software to monitor battery charge levels in real-time for system feedback that integrates into our autonomy system

Image by Brett Jordan

Computation Hardware

  • We manage a computation stack including a range of specialised computers mounted in a hardware cage in the rear of the vehicle.

  • We use Nvidia Drive PX2, a dual-system computer built for autonomous vehicles

  • Other systems include Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, and general purpose micro PCs

Actuation Systems

  • We are developing cross-disciplinary designs to enable autonomous capability of a road going vehicle. This currently includes steering, braking, and gear shifting.

  • We produce integrated CAD drawings to facilitate effective collaboration and to ensure our designs are feasible.

  • We utilise in house machining facilities at Monash (CNC, milling, bending/folding and laser cutting) to manufacture specialised componentry.


Armoured Dynamic Obstacle

  • This year we are designing custom built, armoured, remote controlled, small vehicles to facilitate dynamic obstacle-avoidance research.

  • Highly cross-disciplinary including original mechanical, electrical and software design.