Hello everyone, and welcome back to another weekly design challenge summary. It’s the seventh 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 3rd - February 9th, 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  #2 - Getting Ready to Build



In the second update to project R2B4 by 14rhb, we got a better look at the overall scope of the project and what hardware and software will be used. Like each of the other projects, a STNucleo development board will be used along with the STSensor Tile kit, a small TE Connectivity load cell, thermistor, and an accelerometer. 14rhb chose to utilize the KEIL MDK, IAR software, and Mbed. 14rhb includes a few code examples that he used to familiarize himself with the software. He also covers his progress with the ST Sensor Tile Cradle, and you can check out his results at the link above.



Project: R2B4- Sixth Sense Design Challenge Blog  #3 - Drive Motor Calculations, Drive Train Design, and Control Design


This week’s second update is also from project R2B4, and dives deeper into the drivetrain control for the robot. With plans to utilize NEMA17 stepper motors to drive the robot, 14rhb settled on the ubiquitous L298 stepper driver to get the job done. After doing some math, he determined that this driver along with the specific stepper motors that were chosen will provide ample torque to move the robot, even if one wheel stalls out, and with those calculations finished, it was time to move on to making some wheels. 14RHB says that the wheels will be cut from plywood, after contemplating creating them by creating a form and casting it with hot glue, or some form of a sawdust and glue mixture. Check out the full post at the link above for the complete rundown.



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.