For the past 30 years or more innovation has been driven by advances in hardware. But times are changing rapidly. Future innovations, such as Autonomous Vehicles, A.I., IoT and Smart Industry will primarily depend on software driven innovation. Consequently, society is going to become increasingly dependent on cyber-physical software systems – and systems of systems – of a level of sophistication that has never before been seen. Realizing the social and economic benefits, and mitigating the inherent risks, will depend on our ability to be able to rapidly and economically design complex yet robust and reliable software.
The challenge that we are putting to participants in this hackathon will be to design the control software for an automated factory. The emphasis of the challenge will be on rapidly producing a reliable, robust factory automation controller capable of flexibly “manufacturing” products by processing “widgets” in a user defined order. To complicate matters, the factory concerned makes use of independent, concurrently operating machines to process “widgets”, where each machine is controlled by a separate, networked controller.
Participants to the challenge will be encouraged to use Verum’s Dezyne software engineering toolset to specify, design, verify, validate and generate software for the factory controller application. As part of the Hackathon, Verum will provide an short introduction training to Dezyne and, together with engineers from ICT, will provide support during the event. Teams will be free to choose the extent to which Dezyne is applied versus conventional software design techniques, but should bear in mind that the more that it is used the more likely they are to produce a resilient application and, consequently, the more points they will score.
The target factory is a FischerTechnik “Factory Simulation” which will be driven by four networked BeagleBone controllers. ICT will provide a basic software environment which teams can use as a starting point to control the factory. In addition, each team will be provided with a single stand alone BeagleBone controller for prototyping purposes. Full details will be provided before the start of the event.
The minimum requirement will be to produce a fully working factory controller capable of processing “widgets” in a user defined order. The controller must be equipped with a software “emergency stop” feature and should fully, automatically recover from an emergency stop, when so instructed. Further, teams will be provided with a list of optional features that they can include in their implementation to score more points. The judges will also assess the resilience and robustness of each factory controller by randomly failing hardware components.
The winning team will: have used Dezyne to build as much of their application as possible; will be able to demonstrate the aforementioned minimum operational requirements; will have produced the most reliable result in the time available and will have scored extra points through the addition of optional functionality.
Verum/ICT will provide each member of the winning team with a Smart Car Robot Kit for Arduino as a bonus prize.