IFT 6757 Autonomous Vehicles (Duckietown)

Welcome to the webpage for the class 2019 Autonomous Vehicles at l’Université de Montréal which is informally known as “Duckietown”.

MIT Duckietown

For students interested in taking the class

I wish I could take everyone, but due to space and other considerations there are only 18 spots available for the class this year. If you would like to be one of them, please fill out the application form. Please include anything that might help you stand out. This class is a collaborative learning experience and I’m looking for a good mix of student backgrounds.

I invite all to come to the first class Wed Sept. 4 @ 11:30 in rm. Z-315 Pavilion Claire-McNicoll.

Decisions about admissions will be made following the first class and the successful applicatants will be notified by Friday Sept. 7 by email.

Once you have been admitted you should see Céline Bégin (Rm 2151 Pav André Aisenstadt), she will have the list of admitted students. If you are worried that you may not be admitted please register for a backup course

There are no “prerequisites” for the course but a strong programming background, as well as any knowledge of basic probabilities, computer vision, or control will all help.

If you are not sure whether or not you would like to take the class I would encourage you to:

The AI Driving Olympics Competition

Again this year we are running the class in conjunction with the “AI Driving Olympics” competition at NeurIPS 2019. Submitting entries to the competition will be an element of the class and if yours is among the best in the world I will pay for your trip to NeurIPS 2019 in Vancouver (details tbd).

Anyone that wants to help

We have many needs from small to large. If you are excited about the project and want to help but are not interested to take the class, please contact me.

What makes this a special class?

This class is unique in many ways.

Class philosophy

The best engineers are the ones who have solid theoretical foundations, as well as practical experience in the domain of interest.

In autonomous robotics, it is important to get the “feeling” of what actually makes a robot work, how the success or failure depends on subtle interaction between many hardware and software components.

To this end, it is necessary to study a complete system like Duckietown. The materials might be cheap, the appearance might be playful, but the complexity of behaviors and representations is comparable to those of deployed robotic systems.

For more information about the pedagogical philosophy of the class, please refer to this paper:

Jacopo Tani, Liam Paull, Maria Zuber, Daniela Rus, Jonathan How, John Leonard, and Andrea Censi. Duckietown: an innovative way to teach autonomy. In EduRobotics 2016. Athens, Greece, December 2016.

A Personalized Experience

Each student gets their own personal Duckiebot to build and love.

A Global Class

This class is offered at the same time at several other institutions, including:

  • Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago and the University of Chicago, led by Prof. Matthew Walter.

Your code can live on

This class is a living thing, it will never be the same twice. The best projects from each year will be added to or replace existing code in the duckietown codebase. If you do a good job, your project will be what next year’s students use and try and improve upon.