Hello everyone, and welcome back to another weekly design challenge summary. It’s the ninth 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 17th - February 23rd, 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: R2B4- Sixth Sense Design Challenge Blog  #4 - Making A Basic Bot



The last time we heard from 14rhb he worked out the motor and motor driver requirements of the robot he's building and made the decision to cut the bot’s wheels out of plywood instead of trying to cast them from materials he had on hand. In the project’s fourth update he focuses on building out the rest of the robot’s chassis, cutting out the wheels, and making axels to drive each weel. Unfortunately, not much progress was made with the electronics though as he is still facing an issue with getting the Sensor Tiles to work, but he's been in contact with STMicroelectronics support, and they might be able to help him get things working. If you would like to follow the step by step build process of the robot’s chassis, check out the link above.



Project: R2B4- Sixth Sense Design Challenge Blog  #5 - L298 Troubles



14rhb wins the second spot this week by default, and in the project’s fifth update we learned about some troubles he ran into with the L298 motor driver. With that driver out, he looked into designing his own but settled on using an A4988-based stepper driver which would be able to handle the current he needs to drive the large NEMA 17 stepper motors. “Realising that I'm deviating way off the course of this challenge I recalled the small A4988 module that I used for My First Stepper Motor - a quick check of the specifications seems to show it can provide up to 2A per coil with cooling and will run from a 12v supply,” he wrote. “Anyone with a RepRap style 3D printer will be familiar with these and that is why I have some as well (as for the last 2-3 years my attempt at making my own 3D printer has sat on the worktop under construction),” he continued. Check out the full post at the link above to see a short demo video of the R2B4 moving under its own power.



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.