Winners of MAX32620FTHR Design Contest

Winners of MAX32620FTHR Design Contest

This spring, we sent out a call for creative ideas for our “Unleashing Invisible Intelligence” design contest with We challenged participants to come up with a novel way to infuse intelligence into a new application using the MAX32620FTHR rapid development platform.

The MAX32620FTHR board lets users quickly implement portable, function-rich, battery-optimized solutions based on the MAX32620 ArmRegistered CortexRegistered-M4 microcontroller with floating-point unit. The board includes:

  • The MAX77650 ultra-low-power PMIC featuring single-input, multiple-output (SIMO) technology and highly integrated battery charging
  • The MAX17055 fuel gauge with ModelGaugeTm m5 EZ algorithm, which provides high accuracy without battery characterization

The design contest drew 155 ideas, from a drone that measures air quality to a motivation fitness tracker for kids, a self-powered thermoelectric wireless sensor node, and a smart, portable personal medication dispenser. These ideas are pretty impressive, and the winning entries are even more inspiring. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

The MAX32620FTHR rapid development platform is ideal for prototyping smart, connected devices.

Protecting Against High Voltages

The grand-prize winner, Team Gamma Canary, created a field-deployable environmental sensor for gamma radiation. Just as canaries can detect toxic gases in a coal mine, the team’s Gamma Canary senses the presence of ionizing radiation and transmits data about it over LoRa to a WiFi/LoRa gateway base station. The data can be shared worldwide using the PubNub real-time data network. Since the MAX32620FTHR is pin-to-pin compatible with the Adafruit feather layout, the team was able to select from a wide range of components and break-out boards. The board’s integrated MAX17055 fuel-gauge IC enabled the team to take advantage of real-time battery state-of-charge (SOC) data. The Gamma Canary’s real-time dashboard provides continual, live SOC updates. The SOC data also feeds into the device’s low-battery alarm system, which sends mayday tweets and SMS. According to the team on its page, “The MAX32620FTHR, like all boards with an Adafruit feather form factor, makes it very easy to transform, create, and test a circuit, while [making] a deployable prototype at the same time.”

The Gamma Canary prototype is designed to provide land- as well as sea- or water-borne monitoring of radiation. The designers envision that in a land deployment, multiple units can be dropped on a location to collect and send data back to a command center. First responders, government officials, clean-up personnel, and citizens can then monitor contamination levels from a safe distance. For more details about how Team Gamma Canary developed its prototype, see the team’s project page. Congratulations to Team Gamma Canary!

From a Wearable Heads-Up Display to a Versatile Remote Control

The design contest also featured first-, second-, and third-place winners from several categories:

  • Sports and Fashion
  • Smarter Planet
  • Personal Safety Monitoring
  • Home Control

In the Sports and Fashion category, the top winner, MicroBob, created InVyu: the maker’s wearable heads-up display. Conceived as a device that lets users put whatever is important to them in view, the InVyu can be used as a sports coach assistant, time-zone tracker, presentation notes viewer, and much more. To learn how to build your own InVyu device, see MicroBob’s project page.

Technovation placed first in the Smarter Planet category with a Smart Garbage System, which automates waste management. The system, which can be affixed to a garbage can lid, uses Bluetooth Low Energy and, as the brain of the system, the MAX32620FTHR. Notes Technovation, “The detection, monitoring and management of wastes is one of the primary problems of the present era. The traditional way of manually monitoring the wastes in waste bins is a cumbersome process and utilizes more human effort, time and cost, which can easily be avoided with our present technologies…What our system does is it gives a real-time indicator of the garbage level in a trashcan at any given time. Using that data we can then optimize waste collection routes and ultimately reduce fuel consumption. It allows trash collectors to plan their daily/weekly pick-up schedule.” Get step-by-step instructions to build your own Smart Garbage System from Technovation’s project page.

In the Personal Safety Monitoring category, Noah Magill took home the first-place prize for his Hacker Detector. This device is designed to detect hackers over a WiFi network by spotting fake websites and alerting users that hackers may be attempting to collect their data through these false sites. The detector would look up a website via https, pull up the SSL certificate, and compare the key found on the website to a key stored on the code. In this way, the device can detect if a DNS attack is being performed. Code, drivers, and other project details are on Magill’s project page.

Finally, in the Home Control category, Balazs Simon placed first with the Home Manager, a versatile device for controlling an array of other devices in the home. Simon originally intended to use Home Manager to control a magnetic hidden door lock, LED lights in the kitchen, and an irrigation system, but later added capabilities including fall detection with emergency email sending, pedometer, and a gaming hub. Project details are on Simon’s project page.

To see all of the winners, visit the Unleash Invisible Intelligence contest page. Be prepared to be impressed…and inspired with ideas for the next design contest opportunity!