Scotty Hoag
Programmer Portfolio  (209)-298-2622


Dick DastardlyIn the Spring of 2010, I competed with a team from Berkeley in the Intercollegiate National Semiconductor Autonomous Racecar Challenge. A wire with an electric current running through it marks the course outline. The car has to follow the wire without any human asistance for a lap to count. Each team has five minutes in which to produce their best lap time.

Berkeley had an amazing year, and the seven Berkeley teams swept 1st through 7th place in the competition. Everyone on my team left for jobs or graduate school the month before the competition (Including myself) so we didn't get to polish the car as much as we wanted to, but we still managed to claim 6th place and beat every non-Berkeley competitor.

I worked with Tony Demarco and Simran Basi on Berkeley team #3, nicknamed "Dick Dastardly". I assisted mainly with the software and PCB design. Our car implemented a learning algorithm which allowed it to memorize the track. Our strategy was to let the car drive one lap around the course slowly to learn the direction of the turns as acurately as posible. Then, subsequent laps can be driven at more reckless speeds since the car already knows which way it is supposed to go. This worked out almost too well and every other team in our class jumped on board with similar learning strategies after we got ours working.

From the UC Davis results page of the top ten teams:

2010 Race Results

The course was 301.5 feet long (A drawing is shown below this table). The top 9 teams are listed. 13 teams came to the competition from 5 schools: UCD = University of California, Davis; UCB = University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Los Angeles; UC Riverside; and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

1st UCB5 32.28 9.34 Stephen Gu, Danica Chang & Fredy Monterroza
2nd UCB8 32.48 9.28 Vincent Lee & John Ng
3rd UCB2 35.31 8.54 Ronen Sarig, Jeff Patzer & Quincy Chan
4th UCB4 38.62 7.81 Stewart he, Matt Hammond & Ryan Luecke
5th UCB1 38.97 7.74 Han Woong Bae, Greg Leshner & Timothy Liu
6th UCB3 43.14 6.99 Loring Scotty Hoag, Simran Basi & Tony DeMarco
7th UCB9 46.23 6.52 Nikita Mikhaylin & Walter Li
8th UCD1 52.58 5.73 Soham Chowdhury, Elizabeth Mrizek & Chris Cruz
9th UCD4 57.81 5.22 Wendy Huang, Danny Thach & Gene Woo

Dick Dastardly Car Car Design

Course 2010 PCB

Group Photo