A few weeks back i blogged about my first experience for The Freescale cup and currently i am working on writing the second weeks’ progress. Well, to kill some time before that goes live; I thought of doing a writeup of the freescale cup in Malaysia because i noticed that i only touched the surface of what was actually going down.
I’ll explain most of what i did before but this time with a little bit more depth. I am also quite new to this, so do correct me if i am wrong.
The Freescale Cup
The Freescale Cup is a global student technology competition by Freescale Semiconductors and students from Brazil, China, EMEA, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia and USA join every year to compete in the world finals. Primarily, the focus of this competition is not only to immerse students in the field of computer science, physics and robotics but it also serves as a living advertisement for what the company does; Semiconductors.
What would you be doing? Well, the competition is all about this car which is controlled by one of their microcontrollers and it converges between optimizing the software and hardware to get the best possible results on the track. Speaking of racing, assembling and configuring the software of the car is one thing and making it run through the track is another.
On the actual race day, they will reveal how the track is and students will need to configure their microcontroller to run through it. Participants will be given 3 tries around the track and the judges will consider NOT the best time out of the three, just the first time in which the car completes a lap.
Basically, that’s how the competition is and i did mention earlier that this is a global competition and the finals for this years is in Germany. To make it to the world finals, students will first need to compete against opponents from their own country. In Malaysia, the student count is far smaller so there are no qualification rounds and students will go directly to the regional finals.
The Freescale Cup 2015 Malaysia Finals
- 23 May 2015 (Saturday)
- UITM Shah Alam
The Freescale Cup 2015 World Finals
- 14-15 September 2015
- Erlangen, Germany
you can check out all the dates for qualifying and regional finals for other countries for The Freescale Cup 2015 here
The Freescale Cup Kit (TFC-KIT)
Of course, the single most important thing your team will need to do other than registering your team is to get the starter kit. We got our kit directly from Freescale when we visited them late last year. As for the pricing, a little search concluded that the kit actually costs $300 which is about RM 1,089 with the current exchange rate.
The kit includes parts like the car chassis which comes pre-assembled with the dual motors attached, the freedom shield (FRDM-KL257) and the linescan camera. Also, if you read my previous article you would know that the battery is not included in the package due to shipping complexities, so you will need to pick one up yourself.
For the battery you need to exactly follow the specifications listed on the official rules, but in short you will need to get a 3,000mAh 7.2v NiMH or NiCD battery with a tamiya connector. After my initial fiasco in looking high an low for the battery, i found out that you can just easily find one of these batteries either from a RC shop or through mudah.my
If you think the $300 price is a little steep for your team which is joining this competition for the first time and what you’re looking for is the experience, try asking your University’s Science and Technology faculty to cover the costs for you becasue after all this competition is educational.
After you get the kit and all, the next thing you want to do is assemble the remaining parts and configure the software. Don’t worry about not knowing anything, there are a lot of resources online and you can also check out my weekly articles on my progress.
Finally, before bringing your car into the competition ground you will want to test it out and sadly you will need to build the track yourself or you could pay $400 to get the official track. Currently we’re in the midst of DIY-ing the track for testing, so stay tuned for an article on how that turns out.
This is about it, what you need to know about the competition should all be here and do voice out in the comments if you want to know anything else.