Engineers who want to test their design mettle will get a
chance in an upcoming contest that calls on them to take a nine-inch tall
walking robot and make it respond to touch, motion, vibration and other
which announced the contest at the Embedded Systems Conference
yesterday, said it has introduced a sensor development kit in the form of a
nine-inch tall, four-degree-of-freedom bipedal robot for the contest. The kit
includes a 32-bit processor, a three-axis accelerometer for balance and a
mechatronics circuit board that allows designers to write software for the
robot's sensor applications. Freescale said it will give away the robots and
boards to contestants who complete a training course at the Freescale
(FTF), June 20-23 in San Antonio, TX.
"The whole idea of the robot is to show how easy it is to
get it up and running," notes Eric Gregori, embedded firmware product
specialist with Freescale.
Contestants who attend FTF and take the two-hour training
course will have an opportunity to work on their robot designs in an on-site FTF
Lab. "Contestants can take their robots to the dedicated lab and there will be
extra parts there and computers and people to help them out," Gregori said. He
added that if contestants bring their own laptops, they can work on the robots
in their hotel rooms.
The kit and the robot will allow users to experiment with
acceleration, magnetic, pressure and touch sensors, as well as
electromechanical controls. The standalone circuit board combines a 32-bit
ColdFire microcontroller with controls for sensors and actuators.
Freescale's Make It Challenge will give contestants a little
more than a day to produce a working robot with sensor-based capabilities.
Entries will be judged on the final day of the conference by Joe Grand, former
host of the Discovery Channels, Prototype
First, second and third place winners will receive $3,000, $2,000 and
$1,000, respectively, among other prizes.