Last month saw the successful conclusion of the Arm-enabled Cornell Cup final, held against the majestic backdrop of the rockets and space vehicles at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Arm-enabled Cornell Cup is an embedded design competition open to all colleges and universities in North America. Run by Cornell University's Systems Engineering Department, the aim of the competition according to its founders is to empower "student teams to become the inventors of the newest innovative applications of embedded technology".
The Arm Education team were proud sponsors of this year’s event and we were impressed with the quality, diligence and thought that went into all the submissions, especially those who made it to the final.
Festivities kicked off on the evening of Thursday 2nd May, with a welcome reception for all the twelve participating teams and guests at the Marriott Hotel at Cocoa Beach. It was an early start on the following day as the teams set up their exhibition space and met the judges at the Kennedy Space Center. That evening, many of the teams (and quite a few of the sponsors) stayed up late to watch the Space X launch on the beach close to the hotel. The next day saw the last opportunity for the judges to interview each of the teams and ask any final questions before casting their votes. That evening the awards ceremony was held under the imposing and awe-inspiring shadow of the Space Shuttle Atlantis.
The calibre of competition was incredibly high, with twelve teams proposing truly innovate solutions that showcased technology from the Arm partner ecosystem. After rigorous judging, this year’s worthy winners were the S.S. MAPR team from the University of Pennsylvania. Their design was an autonomous water craft that can measure the quality of waterways in a cost effective and efficient manner. The craft uses a Raspberry Pi 3 to manage autonomous navigation and control systems. To look after low level control, the team chose the NXP mbed LPC1768 board because of its ubiquity and extensive library support. The goal of the craft is to provide authorities with an easily deployable resource that can quickly assess the quality of drinking water sources during an environmental crisis.
Second place went to Team TerraNova (also from the University of Pennsylvania), who submitted a truly unique proposal of a ‘jumping’ lunar rover designed to explore the skylights and caves on the moon’s surface. The rover takes advantage of the ARM-powered Teensy 3.6 microcontroller development board to control its electronic systems. The rover’s gimbal motors are controlled by an Arm powered board developed in-house by the University of Pennsylvania’s robotics lab.
Third place went to FWMAV (Flapping-Wing Micro Air Vehicle) Project at the University of California Irvine. Taking inspiration from flying birds and insects, this entry aimed to re-envision modern UAV technology by replacing spinning blades with flapping wings. An STM32 powered flight controller manages the flight algorithms and gyros. Take a look at a video of the project here.
As Arm is also a supporter of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, we were particularly pleased to see our technology being used in a range of team projects that align with some of the UN’s key goals including:
All the the participating team's project summaries can be found here.
Our thanks go to Arm participants Bob Boys, Product Manager with our Development Solutions team, a judge at the event, and John Goodenough, Arm’s VP for Standards and Research Collaboration, who delivered a rousing key-note speech on the last day of the finals.
Our dedicated Research Collaboration and Enablement team work closely with institutions around the world, providing insight, support, and access to technologies to facilitate projects and enhance research success. We support a wide range of projects and initiatives, including those that demonstrate a commitment to sustainable development and solving problems of future generations.
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Our final thanks go to David R. Schneider, founder of the Cornell Cup and Senior Lecturer in Systems Engineering at Cornell University. David and his team did an amazing job in organising the event this year and in inspiring the next generation of engineers.
To find out more about the educational services we offer students, aspiring engineering professionals and academic faculty please visit the Arm Education website.
The following round-up video was produced by Hackaday, showcasing the incredible creations of the Cup’s participants.