Xidian University Students Win MEMS Design Contest
Dec 13, 2012
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Semiconductor supplier STMicroelectronics, a global manufacturer of MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) named Dragon Dance Team from Xidian University as the winner of the 2012 iNEMO Design Contest in China.

The open competition for students and young engineers in China to design innovative applications around ST's iNEMO smart multi-sensor technology began on May 25, 2012, and ran until November 28, with the aim to promote MEMS design innovation among university students in China.

Nearly 500 students and young engineers from 44 universities in China submitted 117 designs to the 2012 iNEMO contest - a 200% increase in the number of entries over last year. Entries were judged based on a combination of function and practicality, implementation, innovation and creativity, as well as commercial potential and applicability. Contest winners were named at an award ceremony in Beijing.

Dragon Dance Team, with students from Xidian University in Xian, China, utilized the iNEMO evaluation board and 10 degrees of freedom to develop a snake-shaped robot for subaqueous environment detection. Using the STM32 microcontroller as the core control board, the snake-shaped robot acquires data from the accelerometer, the gyroscope, and the magnetometer on the iNEMO board and performed sensor data fusion using an extended Kalman filtering algorithm. This operates a 16-node steering-gear controller, on a closed-loop principle, to maintain the stability of the robot's joints in a complex water environment. In addition, the pressure sensor on the board measures the seals of the robot.

The robot can be deployed to inspect complex ocean environments, detect mineral resources, inspect oil pipelines and dams, perform underwater repairs of drilling platforms, test underwater cables, and investigate archaeological sites.

The first place team won RMB 20,000 (approx. US$3200). The second place team won RMB 10,000. Two third place winners, and two special award-winners for Best Market Potential and Most Creative Design, won RMB 8,000 each.

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