Kilkenny man steers WIT students' futures with self-driving car project

Kilkenny man steers WIT students' futures with self-driving car project
News Reporternews@kilkennypeople.iekkpeoplenews

WIT lecturer and Kilkenny native Adrian Cunningham of Golf Links Road led a team of eight electronic engineering students at WIT who recently achieved a first for the Applied Robotics Lab with a Self-Driving Robotic Car. Mullinavat student Mark Dungan also played his part on the braking team.

After just 12 weeks of working on the project students on the one-year BEng in Electronic Engineering, an add on course for the two-year Higher Certificate in Engineering in Electronic Engineering had a Toyota Corolla safely finish a test drive on the institute’s Cork Road campus.

The students are part of the WIT School of Engineering Applied Electronics Stream, a study pathway that allows a student to get an honours degree in Applied Electronics without the prerequisite of Higher Level Maths.

“Achieving the ‘White Board to Self-Drive Car’ project in 12 weeks, eight WIT Electronic Engineering students have proven that anything is possible, if you keep moving forward. They have just completed a project never before attempted within WIT, in 12 weeks and it worked. One of the coolest sounds we have ever heard on a project was listening to the car increasing revs as its gets ready to go,” said lecturer Jason Berry, the Lead Engineer in WIT’s Applied Robotics Lab (ARL) lectures on the Higher Cert in Electronics, BEng in Electronics, BSc in Applied Computing, Masters in Electronic Engineering and Post Graduate Diploma in Business in Innovation Practice.

“The project is the bread and butter of what any engineer is all about – figuring stuff out for yourself. Third year is a big transition for our students into the world of self-learning.”

Head of the School of Engineering at WIT, Ken Thomas outlined the prospects for students of electronic engineering. “Electronic Engineers are in high demand and short supply in Ireland. We in WIT want more Electronics students to equip them with the cutting-edge knowledge and skills that will allow them be very successful – and have great fun along the way with projects like Robo Car.”

The team have since recorded a test drive for IrishTV’s Waterford County Matters show and a video of the initial test drive is also available on www.wit.ie/selfdrivecar2016 and WIT social media accounts.

Berry’s advice for school leavers and college applicants impressed by this project and who want to know if they would be suited a future in electronic engineering to get in contact with WIT staff.

“People can get in touch through the individual course pages. You can come in and have a look around at WIT, there is always a warm welcome in WIT Applied Robotics Lab.”

There are also ways of learning about electronics from home.

“Get yourself an arduino board and play with it right now, they are very cheap and there are loads of cool projects on the web. If you like the projects, who knows you might be onto something.”

Previous graduates have been employed by Intel, Honeywell, Ericsson, Dell, Analog Devices, Bausch & Lomb, EMC.

Career opportunities for graduates of this course exist in various areas such as telecommunications, software and computer industry, research and development, electronic and IC design, production, test/maintenance, and control/automation departments.

How did they do it?

Read the full details, watch the video and browse through the photos at http://www.wit.ie/selfdrivecar2016

ENDS