The connection between sugar dispensers and table football: Students develop smart ideas for everyday life
True to the quote "Nothing to fear for an engineer!” 16 student teams scientifically worked on seven tasks. Among other things, new ideas for a modular transport box with folding and rotating mechanisms for the quick assembly of sensor and control technology were sought, and a way to shade sun-sensitive garden plants individually and automatically was sought. The young, prospective engineers of the degree programmes Mechanical Engineering and Business and Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt (FHWS) presented their results to a professorial jury. As later on in their careers, the teams each had twenty minutes to explain the task, their approach, the market analysis, cost planning and the prototype in English in a multimedia format, and then to ask questions.
It doesn't always have to be the really big ones - smart solutions for the small challenges of everyday life were also desired. For example, three teams led by Professor Dr. Alexander Kharitonov dealt with the topic of sugar dosage. In film clips, groups 3, 4 and 5 demonstrated the use and limitations of conventional sugar dispensers. They then developed individual dispensers, which they produced using a 3D printer. They calculated a possible sales price and showed the operating options.
Also of white colour, but considerably larger and harder, were the materials that other teams were dealing with: Professor Dr. Marcus Schulz, Heiko Heil, referee chairman at the German Table Soccer Federation, and Tom Yore (multiple world champion as well as referee of the ITSF, the International Table Soccer Federation) wanted concepts for the following situation: "In professional table soccer," says Professor Dr. Schulz, "it is a foul if a bar is hit so hard that the opponent loses the ball as a result. Today, the hardness of the stroke is determined by the referee, who has his hands on the table during the game, in order to evaluate the vibrations caused by strokes. In order to support the referee in his perception, the students have the task of developing a product that gives a signal to the referee when a certain, defined impact hardness is reached.
The students drew up lists of requirements for a measuring device to be developed, which can transmit signals based on ten measuring points on the table to the smartphone via an app. Team 14 developed an inventory recognition device that can be extended with a target recognition function and can be used to support the referee in his decisions.