May Newsletter

4.2 Release and In Person Racing Coming to Oakland

Donkey Car 4.2

In April we released Release 4.2, which comes with the following features (you can already try them in the Dev branch):

  • The Donkey Gym simulator, which is both super useful for training at home as well as what we use for our virtual races, has been significantly improved. Along with new tracks, it now supports virtual Lidar.

  • Speaking of which, lidar is now supported on real Donkey Cars, too. RPLidar and YPLidar (in beta) 2-D lidars now have parts in Donkey Car - so you can do effective obstacle avoidance, slam, drive in the dark or have a donkey F1/10.

  • Instructions (with pictures!!) how to setup the car to drive with the RC controller that is usually shipped with any car -  this provides  the ‘classic’ RC driving feel. 

  • A new Donkey UI app: 

    • You can edit your tub using the app, this replaces donkey tubclean

    • There is also support for training the model 

    • You can run and compare two pilots

    • On OSX/Linux you can transfer data between the car and the PC

  • Support for L298 motor controller in the car app

  • Support for both simple and quadrature encoders to add odometry learning and driving

  • Enabling storage of position, gyro, acceleration, velocity in the tub when using the Donkey Gym!

  • MQTT logging

  • donkey findcar now working on RPi 4

Contributors: zlite, showsep93, sctse999, Maximellerbach, Meir Tseilin, fengye, Heavy02011, BillyCheung10botics, EricWiener, DocGarbanzo. 

Resumption of in-person racing at Circuit Launch

While we continue our monthly virtual races (the next one is this Saturday, April 24th), we’re now finally able to resume in-person racing quarterly at the newly-renovated Circuit Launch in Oakland. The first event will be on Sat, May 22.  

The usual indoor races will now be joined by outdoors races, which allow the use of GPS and other external positioning systems. Our guest speaker will be the Amazon AWS DeepRacer team, which has just open-sourced its code and will be demoing it. As before, it’s free and Brazillian BBQ will be provided. It will be so good to see everyone again! Competitors sign up here; spectators sign up here

Donkey Car Forum 

We are going to sunset the Discourse forum server.  It has gotten very little usage and just confuses new users, although we’ll leave it up for legacy and google search reasons. Our Discord server is where the action is for real-time discussion and questions, so please join if you haven’t already.

For forum-like technical questions and static user content that can be found in search, we’re shifting to Stack Exchange using the “donkeycar” tag. 

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