ProtoDrive Receives Award at 2013 Intel Cornell Cup

The ProtoDrive Electric Vehicle System is the recipient of a Distinguished Recognition Award at the 2013 Intel Cornell Cup, held May 2-4 at Walt Disney World. ProtoDrive was developed by a group of master's students in the Embedded Systems (EMBS) program at Penn Engineering. Team members are William Price, Abhijeet Mulay, Rajib Dutta, Yash Pant and Harsh Jain.

Electric vehicles are a promising alternative to vehicles powered by fossil fuels due to their cleaner energy emission. Limitations in battery technology currently prevent electric vehicles from burgeoning in the mass consumer market.  Team ProtoDrive developed a new electric vehicle rapid prototyping platform to investigate new power trains with advanced battery-supercapacitor energy modeling, evaluation and management.

The power train is modeled at the small-scale, making it low-cost and compact enough to fit on a desk. It consists of a physical model of an electric vehicle power train coupled to an active dynamometer, making it possible to run the power train through its full speed and torque range. The fact that this system has been constructed in hardware allows it to capture intricacies in vehicle and battery operation that may be missed by simulation in software alone. The system is designed to be highly modular and configurable, with all of its major components being isolated allowing for easy replacement. Its small scale and modularity allow for rapid and easy construction of new architectures and subsequent design iteration. ProtoDrive has many applications, some of which include generating approximations of the range of full-scale electric vehicles, testing the performance of novel power train designs, and predicting the miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) rating of a vehicle.

The Cornell Cup is a college-level competition created to provide the newest, innovative applications of embedded technology, computer systems built for specific tasks. The student team was advised by Rahul Mangharam, Stephen J. Angello Term Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering.

Interested? Learn more!

Intel Cornell Cup website
Protodrive product website

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