Renata Saha's team wins third place at MMM 2022 Magnetic Sensor Challenge

Doctoral candidate Renata Saha was part of the three member team that won third place in the Magnetic Sensor Challenge at the MMM 2022 conference held in Minneapolis in November. There were six participating teams in the challenge, and Saha’s team won for their project titled, "Magnetic Chicken." The other members of the team were Isaac Harris, doctoral student at University of California, Berkeley, and Vaishnavi Kateel from IMEC in Leuven, Belgium.

The Magnetic Sensor Challenge is a relatively new event; the MMM 2022 session was only the second time it was held. Each of the participating teams comprised three members with each member having expertise in one of three specific areas: microcontrollers, materials science, and electrical engineering. The challenge required that teams have members from different institutions to allow for more innovative ideas and collaboration. Each team received three kinds of magnetic sensors, circuit prototyping boards, and an Arduino Uno microcontroller to build a project that aligned with the 'fun' requirement, and were given three days to build a prototype.

Saha’s team created "Magnetic Chicken," a two-player game titled where a magnet/chicken is dropped on top of a magnetic sensor which is then activated. The two players in the game, player A and player B, have their assigned switches. The goal for the players is to press their switch before the magnet/chicken activates the sensor. It is a game of human reflexes; if both players press the switch after the magnet/chicken activates the sensor, both lose (marked by red lights for both A and B). If both players press their switches before the magnet/chicken activates the sensor, the player who presses first wins (marked by a green light for that player) and the other player comes second (marked by a blue light).

The Magnetic Sensor Challenge was framed around the idea of teamwork. Individual team members, each with a different background, have to work collaboratively from idea to delivery for a successful and innovative challenge entry.  Needless to say, Saha and the rest of the team enjoyed their experience and most gratifying was that after the challenge, all competing teams had the opportunity to play "Magnetic Chicken" during the conference networking events, which also listed the  top placing “games”.