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Canadian designer wins element14 Sixth Sense challenge

Community members leveraged the STMicroelectronics Sensor Tile and TE Connectivity Component Pack to create autonomous vehicles


Canadian designer Douglas Wong, creator of GraffitiBot, has been named the grand prize winner of the ‘Sixth Sense’ design challenge organized by element14.com, the community for engineers. 

Wong’s creation is a fully autonomous ground vehicle capable of printing graphics on the surface it traverses and producing a liquid canvas drawing. Although the GraffitiBot itself might be small, the scope of the project was anything but, incorporating mechanical, electronics, software and hydraulic design.

As one of five challenges the element14 Community runs each year, element14 encouraged its members to create a small, remotely-operated or autonomous vehicle, leveraging the powerful processing capabilities of STMicroelectronics and TE Connectivity products to improve remote vehicle sensing and data collection.

element14 Community members can learn from these designs

The element14 Community team of judges also selected a runner-up winner for the design challenge: Rod B of the United Kingdom. This creation involved a robot to help those working in construction by hauling heavy materials such as sand or gravel. To achieve this, Rod made his own pcb to host the TE Magnet sensor so that it would be board-mountable, showing an inventive way of using the required technology.

Through detailed blog posts, the challengers made all of their build steps and code open source, so other element14 Community members can learn from these designs and replicate projects on their own. 

“As the development distributor, we are committed to being a champion for makers and are proud to help drive innovation for our 600,000-plus member community,” says Dianne Kibbey, global head of community and social media for the element14 Community. “As always, we were very impressed by the creativity and innovative spirit our community demonstrated with this challenge and are looking forward to offering more opportunities for our members to push the boundaries of electronic design.”

The element14 Community is part of Newark, the development distributor, which helps design engineers, maintenance and test engineers, makers, parents, and teachers develop the future generation of coders and products.