With the zenon Challenge an international competition was born - where the technical know-how, creativity and innovative spirit of automation experts are the key focus. The task of the participants is to build a model using zenon and a LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 kit which would come to life with COPA-DATA’s control and visualization.
Innovation has always been important at COPA-DATA and has strongly shaped the company and its HMI/SCADA and Reporting software - the zenon Product Family - over the 25-year corporate history. In 2011 COPA-DATA developed firmware for the product series LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0.
It hereby provided the opportunity - with the help of zenon - to both program as well as visualize and analyze the actions of a LEGO Mindstorms NXT Robot or other autonomous, interactive LEGO Mindstorms models. Based on this firmware, in the summer of 2012, COPA-DATA launched the international competition zenon Challenge for interested parties from the automation industry.
Programming and visualization
Participants of the zenon Challenge were asked to develop innovative and creative LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 models. These were to be programmed with the IEC 61131-3-based zenon Logic control system and visualized with the SCADA system, zenon Supervisor. For the realization COPA-DATA additionally provided a complete and integrated automation toolkit - the zenon Science Package.
Presentation and persuasion
The conditions to be considered for the competition and the subsequent evaluation were to present the project by means of a short, convincing video and to submit the associated written documentation. The videos were required to show the LEGO model as well as the zenon visualization and the documentation. Participants were not set any limits in regard to production, camera work and audio visual design. A total of seven entrepreneurial teams - four from Germany, one from Poland, one from Portugal and one from Spain - successfully entered the competition.
Evaluating and voting
After the submission deadline of the 12th October the seven video entries were made public atwww.copadata.com/zenonChallenge2012, where they could be rated until the 4th November by the fans of the project teams and all those interested. Each individual voter could cast one vote for their favorite video. In addition to the public online voting which counted for a quarter of the total evaluation, the projects were also examined and assessed by a jury of three people.
Concentration here was on the following three criteria: degree of difficulty, usability and creativity of the projects. These three aspects each counted as a further quarter in the total evaluation, after which the jury rating accounted for the main proportion. At the end, the winner was the project which reached the highest overall marks from the jury and the public.
The winners of the zenon Challenge
At the beginning of November, after around three weeks of a neck-and-neck race between several teams, the project SynergyRGB of Synergy Polska Sp. z.o.o was proclaimed winner. Second and third place went to the projects: EDAG Production Solutions GmbH & Co. KG from Germany (project name: A.W.E.S.O.M.E.) and LIFTECH PT from Portugal (project name: Mindstorm Cable Car). The two top-placed teams won prizes worth a total of € 2,000 which was given in the form of company visits and non-cash prizes.
"The participation in the zenon Challenge 2012 has helped us to become familiar with a range of possibilities which the zenon software offers to its users. The great effort which was put into the implementation of the project has borne fruit in the form of interesting experience, broadened knowledge including areas which we were not previously familiar with. zenon meets the highest usability and functionality standards and has allowed us to change the considerable challenge into a creativity training and excellent team-building fun," says Mr. Wojciech Gregorczyk from Synergy Poland about their win.
Lisette Lillo Fagerstedt, COPA-DATA Partner Program Manager and Jury member covering "Project Creativity" congratulates the winner team and explains:
"This project was not only a nice bird-looking model that graciously picks up a single ball to sort into the selected container. This was also a lean solution rich of functionality with the smoothest HMI appearance. SynergyRGB was well created from all aspects - and with a nice video that made it easy to follow. The team of Synergy Poland is a worthy winner of the zenon Challenge 2012."
Details on the competition and all project videos can be found at: www.copadata.com/zenonChallenge2012