We are using Python and Matplotlib in our current autonomous vehicle
entry ( http://pegasusbridge.blogspot.com/ ) into the DARPA Grand
Challenge race and this for several reasons:
- Python is close to pseudo-code and the learning curve for newcomers
into the team as well as veterans is very smooth.
- Python is providing glue and libraries for all kinds of needs
expressed within the project (so far)
- Matplotlib is helping us debug IMU, GPS other sensors readings while
collecting data. We used Octave but people want to "stay" within
Python to see the data near real time. There is something to say also
about the fact that with Matplotlib, you don't have to "learn" a new
language even though learning Matlab is trivial for instance.
- for the moment, Python is fast enough on Windows but we do not feel
we would be losing too much sleep having to switch to a different OS
or having to create modules that are specifically faster in C. Using
the Windows OS helps in debugging the programs since our team is very
distributed geographically and they generally use Windows on their
We don't know how far we will go but with a team so small we could not
have made it without Python this far.
Igor Carron, Ph.D.
Pegasus Team, DARPA Grand Challenge 2005: http://pegasusbridge.blogspot.com/