The main finding in the two weeks of advanced R&D is the effectiveness of the servo for braking. The team had planned on creating a part to mount the servo to the AEV, but the apparatus was not ready by the second advanced R&D lab. Instead, duct tape was used to directly mount the servo to the AEV. The precision and reliability of the setup was unexpected. The power vs distance plot revealed that the servo used less power than power braking and was able to stop the AEV within 3 inches. This is highly desirable for potential consumers of the AEV, as over time, the energy savings will bring down costs of usage. Additionally, consistency and reliability are vital for long-term usage.
Through motor testing, the team found that, on short runs, battery voltage has an insignificant impact on motor performance. The team also found that each run uses a relatively small amount of power compared with the battery’s storage, with voltage differences being only as high as 0.03 V. As seen on the power vs. distance plot on the corresponding lab page, distance traveled did not have a clear correlation with the difference in voltages. However, the sample size was small, and the test was not a perfect representation of actual AEV motor commands to be used during performance testing. This lab is applicable to the MCR because overall power usage and performance of AEV at different energy levels are major concerns for consumers.
Overall, the findings from the two advanced R&D labs will make the team’s AEV more marketable by providing a consistent, safe, and energy-efficient way for stopping the vehicle when necessary and necessary battery voltage safety limits.