PJ Morley: Integrating ROS with a Self-Driving Car

University of Akron Student Spends Summer at the Controls of a Driverless Car

PJ Morley had a lot on his mind this summer as he sat in the in the passenger seat of the University of Arizona’s CAT vehicle, or cognitive and autonomous test vehicle. No one was in the driver’s seat, and he was getting ready to test his research on the driverless car.

“In engineering you take the theoretical and apply it to the physical world.  Nobody solves engineering problems just because,” he said. “There is always a purpose to them.”

As part of a prestigious National Science Foundation program, Morley spent 10 weeks in Tucson this summer with nine other college students from across the nation helping advance the University of Arizona’s CAT vehicle. The program, Research Experiences for Undergraduates, provides opportunities for students to work with faculty and graduate student mentors at universities throughout the United States.

“The students leave here knowing what research is and how interested they are in doing research,” said UA electrical and computer engineering professor Jonathan Sprinkle, a recent NSF Career Award winner who led the 2013 University of Arizona REU program.

Morley and his two project teammates worked on a code generator to integrate two architectures -- ROS (open source architecture for robots) and JAUS (joint architecture for unmanned systems) -- used in the robotic car’s controls. His work laid the groundwork, so future researchers could focus on other challenges.

“This saves time and effort and allows researchers to focus on higher level ideas instead of lower-level compatibility,” said Morley.


To view a video about PJ Morley’s REU experience, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcDMuRtITLQ&list=PLcXdwRQiNMIrddWAggJ_6M7xa6kxrhkp7

For more on the UA CAT vehicle program, visit http://catvehicle.arizona.edu/

To learn about the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, visit http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/


Professor Jonathan Sprinkle, University of Arizona College of Engineering