Group 32 wins EEE 2021 Embedded Systems Project race

The Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) has hosted its annual Embedded Systems Project race day, with students joining the flagship Year 2 event remotely.

On Friday, 7 May ten members of staff conducted the race on campus, under strict social distancing measures. They implemented buggy configurations that the students had been working on all semester, and raced the ten fastest buggies to have qualified from heats earlier in the week.

Nine groups successfully completed the track, with the winners, Group 32, setting an impressive time of two minutes, eight seconds. Group 13 came second, at two minutes, 15 seconds, and Group 38 placed third, at two minutes, 18 seconds.

The Department would like to congratulate the students of Group 32 - Aneesa Riaz, Dongjun Ma, Justin Tan, Rishab Gupta, Sofia Beniadis and Zehao Jin - as well as their supervisor, Dr Alexandru Stancu, on their success.

The race day represents the culmination of the second year of study here in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. It was with great sadness that this had to be cancelled last year due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and I'm incredibly pleased that we could find a way to make it happen this year. 

Students and staff have been working under some difficult circumstances this year, and it is important that we are able to celebrate the achievements of the students in the same way that we would have done in any other year. While we were not able to welcome students on campus to enjoy the race, we were pleased to be able to celebrate on their behalf, and that they were able to join remotely.
Dr Liam Marsh, Lecturer in Embedded Systems and Unit Coordinator of the Embedded Systems Project

The Embedded Systems Project is undertaken by all students, who work in groups to design and build autonomous line-following buggies. These then undergo a series of assessed practical tests, with the fastest buggies qualifying to take part in the final race.

In normal years, race day sees over 200 staff and students in attendance, and a huge, unseen, custom-built track put in place for buggies to race on. This year's race took place remotely, with staff and students viewing via a live YouTube stream.

The project traditionally requires students to work on campus to build and test their buggies, however circumstances this year meant this was not possible. The Department was able to arrange to ship around 100 buggies out to students for them to work on remotely, and the students were able to have Zoom labs with staff on campus to test the buggy configurations on specially constructed tracks.

This arrangement was made possible through the use of a common robotic platform, the Puzzlebot, designed by colleagues within the Department and led by Dr Stancu.

We are always proud of the achievements of our second-year cohort, and this year is no exception – groups have not had the opportunity to work together on campus, but instead have worked across cities, countries and continents to design, build and test their buggies; this makes their achievements all the more special.

Race day also allows us to recognise the wide-range of parties that work together for the project to succeed. As well as the students themselves, this includes academic, PS and technical staff, in addition to Graduate Teaching Assistants. I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincerest of thanks to everyone involved for making this year's project a success, despite the current circumstances.
Dr Liam Marsh, Lecturer in Embedded Systems and Unit Coordinator of the Embedded Systems Project

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