Simulink Student Challenge Winners

MathWorks announces the winners of the 2019 Simulink Student Challenge. Congratulations and thanks to all the students who entered.

1st Place (Tie)

Velocimeter using Advances Digital Filters (VADER)

Bochum University of Applied Sciences – Felix Schneider

This project uses Simulink and Model-Based Design approach to create a high-accuracy optical length and velocity sensor named 'VADER.' This sensor uses the technique of "spatial filtering velocimetry" to measure the velocity of the detected object. The project implemented a custom integrated circuit board (FPGA) to capture camera data and perform calculations for multiple spatial filter functions. The processed data from this custom board is sent through a serial interface to a TI digital signal processor for extracting velocity information. The entire system, including the multi-channel serial interface between the boards, was modeled in Simulink and then verified using Simulink Test. By deploying the respective code to the individual hardware boards, the project was able to test the accuracy of the sensor. This project is an excellent example of how Simulink can be used to model, simulate, iteratively test, and generate code for sensors for industrial applications.

1st Place (Tie)

SafeTown

Technische Universität Dresden – Mustafa Saraoğlu

The SafeTown project aims to create a small-scale road map where autonomous vehicle robots drive freely without colliding with each other. The project demonstrates the control of a group of autonomous vehicle robots (LEGO EV3) on the road map using only Simulink and Add-on Toolboxes. Real-time traffic management is implemented with wireless communication to the vehicles using UDP and with image recognition using a camera and a workstation. The project is an excellent example of using Simulink to develop models for real-life mobile hardware, where the system needs to account for the effects of noisy sensors, changing environmental conditions, and the changing charge status of the batteries on the vehicles.

2nd Place

Robotic Arm on Caterpillar Tracks

Donetsk National Technical University – Aleksei Labeev

This project uses Simulink to develop a robot with a three-link manipulator on a movable platform with caterpillar tracks. The robot utilizes an onboard microcontroller that receives commands from a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone and implements them with the robot's actuators. The project imported CAD models of the robot's components into Simscape Multibody to calculate the actuator torques needed to perform the robot's expected operations. These calculations were used to choose DC motors with appropriate gearboxes and incremental encoders that could be powered by the onboard Lithium-Phosphate battery. The project then uses Simulink to develop closed-loop controls for the movement of the robot and the positioning of its manipulator. This video is an example of how Simulink and Simscape Multibody can be used to choose the actuators for a robot from its 3D model and subsequently develop its controls.

3rd Place

Smart Grid Incorporating Electric Vehicle

Macquarie University – Usama Bin Irshad

This project demonstrates the integration of Electric Vehicles (EVs) to a Smart Grid that allows parked EVs to provide energy and associated services to the electricity grid. The additional support from the parked EVs helps avoid voltage and frequency issues in the power supply due to a mismatch between power generation capacity and power demand in the grid. Simulink is used to develop a controls architecture for the electricity grid that allows EV parking lots to form localized virtual power plants. The controls scheme takes into account variations in power capacity of the parking lot due to vehicle arrivals/departures, battery degradation, travel patterns, and battery charge/discharge rates. Testing of the controls scheme is accomplished by prototyping the controls from Simulink directly into Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) simulation hardware. This video demonstrates how Simulink can be used to develop and test controls for power electronics applications.