Date on Honors Thesis

Spring 5-2-2023


Engineering Physics



Examining Committee Member

Michael Siebold, PhD, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Warren Edminster, PhD, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Gheorghe Bunget, PhD, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Aleck W. Leedy, PhD, Committee Member


Ravaged by hurricanes, Florida needed help restoring its natural beauty and returning its wildlife to their homes. This was the task for the IEEE SoutheastCon 2023 Hardware Competition. Florida’s restoration was simulated by returning various ducks and pillars that lay strewn across a game board to their proper places. Ducks needed to return to their pond, pillars needed to be stacked to create statues, and food needed to be placed in the manatee and alligator aquariums. Competing teams were challenged to create an autonomous robot capable of performing these tasks. During the first semester, sensor selection was tackled. Research was done on the appropriate sensors for each application, comparing their costs, abilities, and online resources. Eventually, four different sensors were selected. These were the Vl6180X time of flight sensor, two TCS34725 color sensors, a VL53L5CX time of flight sensor, and two Pixy2.1 cameras. Emphasis was then put on implementing those sensors at both the hardware and software levels within the team’s autonomous robot during the second semester. A Raspberry Pi was used to program each of the sensors mentioned previously as well as the robot’s servos, motors, and other electronics. The logic was then created and implemented for each gameplay function. The robot was built to start automatically, deliver the manatee and alligator food, intake and sort pillars based on color, and stack those pillars in the correct color order. At the competition, the robot could reliably auto start and deliver food to both the manatee and alligator aquariums. These processes were exceptionally consistent through three preliminary rounds, leading to the robot qualifying for the single elimination tournament. The team eventually placed seventh in the IEEE SoutheastCon 2023 Hardware Competition.