Using Computer Science within Eco-Runner GUIs and more

Hello everyone. I am Kaan, currently working at the strategy department for the Eco-Runner 9. In this blog post, I would like to talk to you about responsibilities at the Eco-Runner -which includes engineering GUI, driver and the groundbase dashboard- , my studies at the TU Delft, and how they are connected.

My first project here was the Engineering GUI (Graphical User Interface). I started this project back in september. It is used by engineers in our team to calculate the efficiency based on the model Stefan (Chief Strategy) was developing. My responsibility was to develop the GUI for engineers to input the parameters, and later see the result of the model. As you can see from our example with the dummy data, the application is separated into parts for each department which makes the application easier to use. This required me to learn MATLAB, and AppDesigner from the scratch. Even though it seemed like a hard task to do at first, learning general principles of OOP (Object Oriented Programming) and Java (which is one of the languages MATLAB is written in) during lectures in EWI helped me to speed up my process. Since MATLAB also follows basic principles of OOP and implements some of the structures in the Java directly, I was able to start developing way earlier than what would I be able to do without the background knowledge.

The Engineering GUI that I developed

The second project, which I’m currently working on, is the driver dashboard; you know, the information panel you have on your car, right behind the wheel. The challenge here is that since Eco-Runner 9 is small, the driver does not have enough space in front of him/her, causing us to place the dashboard somewhere else, so that we wouldn’t block the view. In such a case, driver is distracted from the road to read information or not look at the dashboard at all (causing some of our systems not to be used, starting with dashboard itself). As a result, I proposed a dual-screen dashboard placed on both sides of the drivers head, so that the information can be clustered according to their relevance and spread out at those screens. Right now, I am developing the dual-screen driver dashboard as colorful as possible, just like a coloring book, since picking up colors and shapes are a lot easier than picking up writings that are constantly changing.

The other two projects that are currently on my plate are the groundbase dashboard and the Raspberry Pi hub. During the race, we need our engineers at the ground base to analyze the data from the car, so that in case of any unexpected situations, the driver can be informed about what to do next. In this case, I started to develop a web application to serve this purpose, so that it can be accessed any time, anywhere. For these projects, web development and communication with HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) are crucial skills, which are being taught at our Web and Database Technologies lectures currently.