Since the beginning of April 2014, Lego bricks have been again taking over the desks and offices of students, engineers and automation experts. With the zenon HMI/SCADA software from COPA-DATA and LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots, new zenon applications are being playfully researched for the zenon Challenge 2014 competition. The first teams have already kicked off the race.
Active and potential members of the COPA-DATA Partner Community have already started to apply the newest versions of zenon and Lego Mindstorms to transform their creativity into tangible, functioning control and visualisation applications. Later in the year an expert jury will evaluate the projects and supporters will have the chance to vote for their preferred submission. The winning teams will get their hands on a zenon party worth EUR1000, a tablet with a Windows 8 operating system and a Sony Action Cam.
The first zenon Challenge, in 2012, was won by the Polish team of SYNERGY who were able to convince the expert jury and many fans with their SynergyRGB project. They presented a sophisticated project with the creation of a bird-shaped robot that collected balls and assigned them to particular containers according to their colour. Second place went to EDAG Production Solutions from Germany who enthralled with their A.W.E.S.O.M.E. project, an MES-controlled autonomous transport system.
Zenon Challenge 2014 participants have until September to implement their ideas into functioning projects and win over the public and jury*. Competition entry requires various steps: find ideas – build and engineer solution (robot) – create short video of project – upload video – impress voters – gain points.
How to win the zenon challenge
Three factors contribute to a good score: Firstly, the jury needs to be convinced. They evaluate according to creativity, usability and the engineering. Their opinion makes up 40 per cent of the total evaluation. Another 40 per cent is generated from the public, who can vote for their favourite projects online. The teams can gain the remaining 20 per cent by reaching further predefined 'Steps to Success.'
Voters play an important role in the zenon Challenge. They offer the necessary backing, encouragement and also have as much weight in the evaluation as the jury. Those who can inspire with exciting project videos have a strong advantage in the competition. The winning teams of 2012 also managed to gain most of the 10,000 votes and thereby stayed ahead in the total evaluation. Attractive prizes such as Lego Mindstorms EV3 kits await a few lucky registered voters too.
In the course of the next few months the teams will develop their solutions, post videos, win fans with the first glimpses of their projects, and try to keep their competitors at a distance. Details for participants, fans and any undecided would-be voters can be found at www.zenon-challenge.com.
* Photo shows 2014 jury (left to right): Lisette Lillo Fagerstedt, Partner Program Manager at COPA-DATA, Gero Gruber, Screen and Interaction Designer at COPA-DATA, and Markus Wintersteller, Senior Consultant at COPA-DATA.