Hello everyone, and welcome back to another weekly design challenge summary. It’s the eighth week of the Sixth Sense Design Challenge. Some progress has been made over the past week, but before we get to the good stuff, let’s take a few moments to learn more about the challenge, its challengers, and what hardware they will be using.



Sixth Sense Design Challenge


About The Challenge


Featured as the final Design Challenge of 2018, this challenge task its participants with upgrading an existing robotic device such as a drone, remote control car, or any other remotely operated robot to give it a so-called sixth sense. This could include adding a fire suppression system to an RC helicopter, thermal imaging to a rescue robot, or any other feature that improves on the effectiveness of its host robot. While ten project proposals were chosen to be the official projects of the challenge, entering the challenge is not limited to just those sixteen community members. Anyone can join the Challenge as a non-sponsored Challenger, and still be eligible win one of the three prizes. If you are a non-sponsored challenger all you need to do is integrate the components from the official challenger kit into your design, and post 10-weekly blogs detailing your project’s build.


The Official Kit


The Sixth Sense Design Challenge is sponsored by STMicroelectronics, and TE Connectivity. Each challenger will receive all of the components below plus a wide assortment of additional passive, and digital components to build their projects with. If you would like to enter the challenge for yourself, or if you just want to follow along at home, you can purchase all of the components in the kit right here at Element14.


From STMicroelectronics


From TE Connectivity


To learn more about each of these components as well as the other components included in the kit, visit the official kit announcement page or click the links above to purchase them for your project.


The Prizes


    • Grand Prize:Lulzbot Taz 6 3D PrinterLulzbot Taz 6 3D Printer
    • Runner Up Prize:Lulzbot Mini 2Lulzbot Mini 2
    • Finisher Prize:  It’s a surprise! To be eligible, a challenger has to complete their project, use products from the challenger kit, and post at least 10 updates in the Sixth Sense Design Challenge space.


The Past Week In Review


Over the past several days, February 10th - February 16th, we have had a total of two updates posted across one project. Normally I chose my three favorite updates, but with just two updates this week, I will be highlighting both of them below.




This Week’s Top Updates



Project: GraffitiBot - Sixth Sense Design Challenge Blog  #8 - Load Cell PCB



Douglas Wong is back again this week two more updates to project GraffitiBot. This weeks first update details his progress with the load cell PCBs he designed, and how they work to amplify the signal given by the load cell. He posted a demo video that showcases how the load cell works.  “The signals take some time to settle down because I have a pretty severe low-pass filter on the signal - to minimize fluctuations due to fluid sloshing around,” he wrote. “The output voltage is slightly negative with no load - this is okay because the weight of the empty reservoir with motors in it will bring the signal above zero. This is a good start to getting the custom PCBs working,” he continued. When you are finished watching the video above, check out the full post for more information.



Project: GraffitiBot - Sixth Sense Design Challenge Blog  #9 - Magnetic Angle Sensor


Project GraffitiBot is also our second and final featured update for this week. Douglas Wong’s ninth update he detailed how the Magnetic Angle Sensor works after being assembled on the custom PCB he designed in a previous update. “Note the sensor chip is on the underside of the card to allow it to be near the magnet without interference from other components. The extra long pads I used for the magnetic sensor proved very useful in making the small chip hand solderable. I used a little flux and wicked the solder under the chip. It is a relief that the magnetic sensor was solderable on the first try and I didn't damage it because I have no spares,” he wrote. To test the circuit I mounted a neodymium bar magnet on a shaft that allowed the magnet to be rotated in front of the sensor by a gear motor.” Douglas later updated the post with a follow up video showing the sensor mounted to the bots steering column, and it seems to work well. Check out the link above to watch that video.




That is going to wrap up this weeks coverage of the Sixth Sense Challenge. The past few weeks have been pretty slow with updates, but I expect that to change now that the holiday season is over. Check back soon for another weekly design challenge summary. If you would like to learn more about this challenge or to see what progress has already been made, head over to its official challenge page. I'll be back next week for another installment of the Design Challenge Weekly Summary series here at Element14.