Hello everyone, and welcome back to another weekly design challenge summary. It’s the eleventh 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 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 Past Week In Review
Over the past several days, March 3rd - March 9th, we have had a total of six updates posted across three projects. This week, I will be highlighting three of my favorite updates from this past week, but before I get to that, let's take a look at which projects were updated.
This Week’s Top Updates
Project: GraffitiBot - Sixth Sense Design Challenge Blog #14 - RTD
Project GraffitiBot is back with its 14th update, and this time Douglas Wong showcases the custom PCB he built around the PTFM101C1G0 RTD from TE Connectivity. The board utilizes the Maxim MAX31865 which is specifically designed for RTD devices thanks to its onboard 15-bit A/D converter. Additionally, Douglas has designed the board to be 2-wire compatible and works with Arduino and the Nucleo series. “A similar RTD card is in the Newark catalog but was not in stock for this order. Adafruit makes an Arduino library for this chip and provides an example program. Unfortunately, the example will not compile with the Nucleo as a target,” he wrote. “My interface card is compatible with both the Nucleo and standard Arduino, so I plugged the temperature sensor interface card into an Uno to see if it would work. The example program worked flawlessly, demonstrating the high performance of the RTD and also showed my interface card works with this sensor.” Check out the full update at the link above for a quick demo video of the RTD board in action.
Project: R2B4- Sixth Sense Design Challenge Blog #8 - STM32F411RE-Nucleo Coding
If you have been following along as 14RHB continues to progress on project R2B4 you will be familiar with the issues he has been having with merging the code necessary to get the SensorTile Datalogging working correctly with the project. With time quickly running out, he has realized that he has two options; continue attempting to merge the SensorTile data logging code with his project code and face being stuck with no solution, or to switch gears and utilize another sensor. With finishing the project in mind, he decided to go with option 2. With this new direction chosen, he set out to begin implementing the TEConnectivity Magnetometer to help aid in the robots navigation.
“For three waypoints I will need to know the three distances to travel and the three angles to turn R2B4 by. The distances should be easy to work out using the stepper motors as a rough estimate - however, if the wheels slip then the error margin will increase in time,” he wrote. “The angles were to be read from the SensorTile data and UART. Now I will try and utilize the TE Connectivity Magnetometer to achieve the same - coupling this sensor directly into my STM32F411RE-Nucleo board.” Head over to the full post for some code examples, and more information on how he plans to utilize this sensor for navigation purposes.
Project: Automatic Weeding Robot - Sixth Sense Design Challenge Blog #8 - Running With A MCU Controlled Motor Driver
Project Automatic Weeding Robot is back again to wrap things up for this week with its eighth update. After weeks of work, failures, and triumphs, the project finally was able to move around on its own. Unfortunately, to get to this point Cheah Wei Leow had to switch to an Arduino IDE compatible MCU to control the robot after he discovered some issues with pin conversions when using the STNucleo with MBED.
“As I was testing nucleo64 in mbed notice that some Arduino pin convention needs to be changed: for example, the pinMode in Arduino needs to be updated
pinMode(_pin1, OUTPUT) ---> reconfigured as DigitalOut
I am wondering if there is any tutorial documentation that shows how to do a conversion to MBED, listing every compatible command in Arduino ide to what we have in MBED” He wrote. Head over to the full post to check out the demo video of the robots first adventure on its own.
That is going to wrap up this weeks coverage of the Sixth Sense Challenge. 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.