PSoC® Challenge Winners Bring IoT to Life

Posted on April 27, 2015 by Gagan Luthra

After narrowing down an impressive field of submissions to 10 exceptional finalists, we are pleased to announce the grand prize winner and runner-up for the PSoC Pioneer Challenge! This competition is the first of its kind. It challenged makers to design Internet of Things (IoT) projects using Cypress’ new Bluetooth® Smart PSoC 4 BLE Pioneer Kit  and was judged by a panel from Cypress SemiconductorArrow Electronics and Make.

Grand Prize Winner: Electric bicycle data collection and logging service by Chuck Swiger

The grand prize winner of the PSoC Pioneer challenge was a homemade electric bike project made from new, obsolete laptop lithium ion batteries, has a commercial dashboard called the Cycle Analyst. The Cycle Analyst displays the battery state of charge (amp hours or watt hours used since last charge, essentially how much ‘gas’ is left in the tank), as well as the voltage, amps being used at the moment, bike speed and cumulative distance traveled on a charge. For his winning design, Swiger will receive $2,500 for travel and expenses to the upcoming 10th anniversary Maker Faire Bay Area.

  • The project uses the PSoC to read the Cycle Analyst serial data with a universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter (UART), parses it in firmware and sends it over to a cell phone using the PSoC 4 BLE module. In addition to the analyst serial data, an analog ambient temperature sensor (tmp36) is read with an analog-digital converter and two more ADCs use external voltage divider resistors to read the two battery packs and monitor cell balance.
  • On the cell phone, a custom application can scan for and connect to the PSoC and stores the data read (amp hours, volts, amps, speed, distance, temperature and pack 1 and pack 2 voltages) in an SQLite database file along with a timestamp and current GPS position if available.

Runner-Up: Chipper Alarm

The runner-up is something any non-morning person can appreciate! Chipper, an intelligent alarm clock, breaks you out of your snoozing habits. The alarm will only stop ringing when you leave your bed and it’ll ring again if you get back in. It guarantees that you will get out of bed on time, every single morning. For their project, the winners will receive a $100 gift certificate to Maker Shed, a $100 gift certificate to Arrow Electronics and a $250 gift certificate to Cypress Semiconductor.

  • The CapSense® module, combined with a special fabric sensor, detects the tiny increase in capacitance when one occupies the bed. The ARM® Cortex®-M0 core microprocessor inside the PSoC chip processes and filters the capacitance signal, operates the buzzer and runs the alarm with the real-time clock. Thanks to the PSoC's wide input voltage range and the external components on the PSoC module board, we only need to attach batteries, the buzzer and the sensor to build the entire system.
  • The Bluetooth Smart module inside the PSoC can connect to a smartphone so you can easily set alarm times and control settings for your own Chipper.

We would like to thank and congratulate all of the participants. All the projects that were submitted were extremely impressive! Each demonstrated the very unique capabilities and possibilities of a low energy Bluetooth Smart application and advantages of PSoC technology, and we are so encouraged to see such creativity and ingenuity from the Maker community. We look forward to seeing what innovations and pioneering ideas come next.

If you’re going to be at Maker Faire Bay Area May 16-17, check out Swiger’s winning project at the Cypress and Arrow booth #200 in the Expo Hall. We may just ride past you!

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