On the weekend of the 16th March, three hundred budding software engineers will gather together to take part in a mass Hackathon in Eindhoven, HEX 2018. For thirty-two hours straight, they will be challenged to design and build solutions to a range of difficult software centric problems related to various innovative themes. One of these themes, Smart Factory Automation, has been constructed by engineers from Verum and ICT Group to highlight the challenges of designing automation systems for the Smart Factories of the future.
By all indications, society is entering an era of software driven innovation and as a result it is going to become increasingly dependent on cyber-physical systems and systems-of-systems. Realizing the intended social and economic benefits, and mitigating the inherent risks, will depend on ability of software engineers to be able to rapidly and economically design complex yet robust and reliable software systems. This is the precisely the goal of the HEX 2018 Smart Factory Automation challenge.
The emphasis of the challenge will be on rapidly producing a reliable, robust factory automation controller capable of flexibly “manufacturing” products by processing “widgets” in a user defined order. For the purposes of hackathon, the “factory” concerned is a Fischer Techniek “Factory Simulation” driven by four Beagleboard networked computers.
Participants to the challenge will be encouraged to use Verum’s Dezyne software engineering toolset to specify, design, verify, validate and generate software for the factory controller application. Engineers from ICT Group and Verum will closely support teams, day and night during the hackathon. The winning team will have used Dezyne to produce a fully operational and demonstrably robust & reliable Smart Factory Automation controller.
As a whole the HEX 2018 is an event not-to-be-missed for anyone with an addiction to software development and a desire to learn how to rapidly and reliably innovate in software.