Team AP116 wins Silver Award in the Grand Finals of InnovateFPGA Design Contest 2021/22
Team AP116, representing Pahan Mendis, Chathuni Wijegunawardana and Pamuditha Somarathne from the Department of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering, has won the Gold Award in the Asia Pacific and Japan(APJ) region and the Silver Award from the whole world in InnovateFPGA Design Contest 2021/22. The team was guided by Dr. Ajith Pasqual as a faculty advisor and Mr. Abarajithan Gnaneswaran and Mr. Kithmin Wickramasinghe. This is the first time that a team from Sri Lanka has received one of top three prizes in this competition.
The InnovateFPGA Design Contest is a global competition based on Intel FPGAs, which is organized by Terasic Inc. with the collaboration of Intel Cooperation, Analog Devices, Microsoft as diamond sponsors and Digi-key, Mouser Electronics, Arrow Electronics and Macnica as gold sponsors. The theme for this year’s competition was ‘Connecting the edge for a sustainable future’. The teams were encouraged to utilize Intel FPGA Cloud Connectivity Kit, Microsoft Azure IoT and Analog Devices Plug-in boards in their projects.
To address these objectives, our team brought forth a concept of the Green Machine, a smart, user-friendly, domestic mini-greenhouse system to enable users to grow and efficiently monitor and tend to plants with much ease. This is suitable for domestic users to grow their own food in their homes. Also, due its modular design, the farmers can combine multiple units of Green Machines for cultivation in small to large scale farms. The condition within the Green Machine is monitored using a set of sensors and cameras and the sensor and image data is sent to the Terasic DE-10 Nano, a development kit based on Intel CycloneV SoC FPGA, for processing. After the processing, the sensor and image data are transferred to a Cosmos Database System on Microsoft Azure to be analyzed for further optimizations. Our team initially submitted their proposal back in October and got selected to the regional semi-finals along with 74 other teams in the APJ region. Then, they received the Intel Cloud Connectivity Kit with Terasic DE10 Nano Development board and 3 plug-in boards from Analog Devices to develop their project. They submitted a detailed design paper and a demo video in April and got selected to the regional finals. They went through a virtual QnA session with judges from Terasic, Intel, Microsoft and Analog Devices during the regional finals and emerged as the Gold Award Winners in the APJ region. With that, they were invited to the Grand Finals at the Intel Innovation Campus in San Jose, California, USA with 10 other teams around the world. Unfortunately, due to the rising covid cases in California, the Grand Finals later shifted into a virtual format. Nevertheless, our team presented their project with several improvements, to the Grand Finals in June and received much appreciation for its sustainability impact and the project presentation. The event was judged by experts from Terasic, Intel, Microsoft, Analog Devices and Digi-key.