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Students Innovate with Digi: Formula Buckeyes

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Some of the most creative applications of our products come from students. Every year, we are involved with student-led projects that are breaking new ground in industries like automotive, solar power, smart energy, and more. We support these efforts as it leads to insightful feedback on our products and fuels a talented workforce. Here is one of the many projects Digi is helping to support.

The Formula Buckeye SAE Race Team is made up of students from all disciplines. From mechanical engineers, to business, to art students, it’s truly a team effort. The completely student led team must fund, design, build, and test, a high performance racing vehicle that will compete across the country in races with over 100 schools. The car can accelerate from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds!

This year, the team has decided to implement a telemetry project to monitor engine performance and troubleshoot issues. Data is currently stored locally on the car’s ECU and this telemetry project would allow for remote access to these data points. The Digi product being used is an XTend Serial Module. With this module, they are able to read sensor data at a range of more than 15 miles!

Around 20 different sensors are gathering data on the car. They include:

  • Engine Temperature
  • Incoming Air Temperature
  • Vehicle Speed
  • Traction Control
  • Steering Wheel Position
  • On/Off Switches
  • Manifold Air Pressure
  • And More

They plan to create either a Java or Labview application, which will act as a virtual cockpit for the vehicle. The application will display the read outs of each sensor on a computer monitor. This will enable the team to remotely troubleshoot and diagnose performance issues in the vehicle. Future plans hope to accomplish remote control of the engine.

Preparations for the 2014 racing season are underway! Check out their website and Facebook Page for updates.

Are you student? Are you working with Digi products? Let us know how you are innovating on Twitter, our Facebook Page, or in the comments below. And check out the other student projects we are a part of here.

Autonomous Vehicles

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By Team Wasps

This project, created by Team Wasps, is made up of four vehicles that can navigate around a course without any external input. Using a variety of sensors and XBees to communicate, the vehicles can safely navigate a four way intersection. The vehicles also include infrared sensors which allow them to avoid collisions with each other  or an object that is placed in their path. The robots are programmed through an Arduino sketch (C / C++). They use an NXShield, which allowed the control of LEGO NXT motors/sensors through an Arduino Uno. XBee radios and XBee shields were stacked on NXShield to communicate with Arudino Uno. The team won first place in the Junior Exhibition at RoboFest World Competition in 2013. In the video below, you can watch the vehicles in action.

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