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Bosch Connected Experience 2016: Hack challenge started!


Dear Community Members,

For the next two days, programmers, system specialists and test engineers gather at the Bosch ConnectedExperience for the hack challenge "Connected Manufacturing". Located in Berlin’s famous Café Moskau they will jointly develop new use cases and business perspectives for IoT and Industry 4.0 – under professional supervision, using their preferred tools and even completely without any PLC coding.

Truly connected manufacturing solutions
On the #BCX16 the attendees benefit from a unique chance to get their hands on some of the latest industrial drive and control components for manufacturing automation, plus the hardware and software required for building truly connected manufacturing solutions. From machine control over test automation to 3D machine simulation and cloud service integration, this hack challenge has it all!

Demo setup ready? Go!
All participants are provided a demo case for their work, containing the IndraControl XM22 control system and electrical linear drive as well as a Raspberry Pi and necessary server infrastructure for the Open Core Interface or OPC UA. Following a brief introduction, the participants instantly start working on their own projects, coding in their familiar development environment, for example in LabVIEW , MATLAB or Simulink, or with high-level languages such as Java, C++, Lua, .Net or Visual Basic. Our new WebConnector technology also allows them to simply incorporate Smart Devices and Cloud Services, e.g. Oracle Stream Explorer, or to easily develop apps with MQTT, OPC-UA, HTML5/JavaScript, node.js and Node-RED.

Supported by Mathworks, National Instruments and Oracle
To make projects progress even faster, all participants are being supported by experienced coaches from Bosch Rexroth and our partners Mathworks, National Instruments and Oracle. What’s in it for the best ideas? The highlights of this and three more hack challenges will be presented on stage at Bosch ConnectedWorld with over 1,000 senior and C-level decision makers.

Keep up with the action: We will report on the event’s progress and results in regular threads in this Engineering Forum. So stay connected, follow and enjoy the event!

Your Engineering Network Team

Download the latest software packages for the hack challenge here
Latest MLPI SDK release:

Add-on packages:

Indiviual Functions:
IT Automation:
Rapid Control Prototyping:
More downloads will be provided shortly.
+6 (6 Votes)

After three month of preparation we are ready to rumble emoticon

Let's meet in Berlin at #BCX16


+2 (2 Votes)

Nearly 50 coders, cyberneticists and test engineers from nine countries have come together at the Bosch ConnectedExperience to take part in the hack challenge "Connected Manufacturing”. Following their registration in Berlin’s famous Café Moskau they have had a first glance at our bright and friendly hack room on the second floor. Whilst having a cup of welcome coffee the attendees have started networking.

+1 (1 Vote)

During the official opening on the main floor of Café Moskau, Prof. Dr. Elgar Fleisch, Professor at University of St. Gallen and Master of Ceremonies (MC) of the BCX16 hack challenges, welcomes the participants and introduces the Hack MCs of the four BCX hackathons. MC of the hack challenge "Connected Manufacturing" is Janette Kothe from the Bosch Rexroth Technical Sales Support for Industrie 4.0. Prof. Fleisch announces that tomorrow at 5:00 pm, he is going to present the project highlights in his keynote at the Bosch ConnectedWorld.

Back in our hack room on the first floor Janette Kothe introduces the hack coaches from Bosch Rexroth, Mathworks, National instruments and Oracle. She askes the participants to categorize them into groups of coders, cyberneticists and test engineers. After a brief introduction of the demo case, the participants start collecting ideas for certain IoT and I40 use cases...

Master of ceremonies: Prof. Dr. Edgar Fleisch welcomes the attendees of BCX16 and introduces the hack MCs (left: Hack MC Janette Kothe from Bosch Rexroth)

Attendess of the BCX16 during the opening
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On #BCX16 in Berlin the project teams are already developing their project ideas for IoT and I40 and have started working with their demo chases including parts of Bosch Rexroth’s vast toolkit of easy-to-connect Hard- and Software – including Open Core Engineering solutions and the brand new WebConnector technology.

Early in the morning, Hack MC Janette Kothe described the event like this:
First video clip from the BCX16

Who are the attendees and how about their interests?
The attendees of the hack challenge “Connected Manufacturing” are showing quite a variety of backgrounds, roles and organizations. They come from nine different countries and work for end users, established machine manufacturers as well as for start-ups. We also see some researchers and students. Two thirds are coders, the rest almost equally cyberneticists and test engineers.

What can be done with the Bosch Rexroth toolkit?
Thanks to Bosch Rexroth's Open Core Engineering toolkit the hack teams have direct access to the demo cases’ PLC and linear axis from virtually any device or service – including smart phones and cloud services like Oracle Stream Explorer. Therefore coders simply use high-level languages such as C++, Java, Lua, .Net or even HTML5, JavaScript, node.js or NODE RED. Cyberneticists and test engineers may also prefere to code in their favorite development environment like LabVIEW, MATLAB, Simulink or CATIA/Solidwork.

What project ideas have come up early?
Many of the coders are interested in connecting to industry class automation equipment through high-level languages like Java. Hack partner Oracle is showing a unique project, that is looking for completion during the next two days: a “chain-driven skateboard”, equipped with a with 9-axis-sensor from Bosch. “The idea is to build a vehicle, that sends all orientation data to the Oracle IoT cloud – location, acceleration and magnetic field data”, explains Guido Burger, Business Development Manager at Oracle Germany. “What on the first look seems like a gimmick shows a clear trend. Instead of particular data we just send all information in the cloud to get analyzed later, e.g. by using the the Oracle Stream Explorer.” What comes out of this project in the end? “Maybe a snow plow, that automatically starts working at pre-defined weather conditions”, says Guido Burger.

Guido Burger looking forward to complete his "chain-driven skateboard"

How are the teams hacking?
After talking to some of the coders, we found out, that they are mainly working with C++, Java, but also with JavaScript and HTML5. On group is already working with the WebConnector running on a small computer, which is connected to the demo chase by a 2k-port switch. By using the WebConnector as universal translation tool web apps written in HTML5 or JavaScript communicate with the Bosch Rexroth hardware from any smart device running any OS, such as Android or iOS. Test engineers are already working with LabVIEW and Mathworks on their use cases. Stay connected for more details on the projects.

A group of young coders from Dresden working with smart phones and WebConnector technology
+1 (1 Vote)

Meanwhile, the project teams are working on eight different IoT and I40 projects. One of them is featuring Open Core Engineering and MATLAB:

Self-balancing smartphone

A group of MATLAB users are working on a smartphone, that balances itself out standing on the slide of the linear axis. This “smart pendulum” controls the linear axis through a smartphone app, which sends data from the motion sensors to our controller over WLAN. The MATLAB algorithm running on the IndraMotion MLC computes the sensor data and controls the linear drive such that the drive balances out any detected falling motion of the smartphone. The smartphone app has been programmed in Java, the controller is using IEC-61131 StructuredText, which the coaches from Bosch created in advance, mainly from the controller model by MATLAB coders. Therefore, the Open Core Interface is connecting the different software domains.

Depending on the progress of their project, the team is looking at realizing an additional smart watch component to their model. By turning the hand wrist the slide shall move to the according direction without the smartphone tilting…

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As the hack teams start working on their specific IoT and I40 projects, Arun Veeramani from National Instruments shows up in the hack room and gives his view on Bosch ConnectedExperience and Bosch ConnectedWorld. He explains how Open Core Engineering and LabVIEW make engineering more efficient and how this connection helps different groups to jointly shape the IoT and I40.

Watch our second video clip and see Arun Veeramani's video statement and three attendees introducing their projects.
+1 (1 Vote)

BCX16 update: Commissioning Wizard for LabVIEW
as a reply to Thorsten.

On the second day of the Hack Challange "Connected Manufacturing" the eight projects continue to take shape.

Auto-configuration of PLC in LabVIEW
The test engineers from the “LabVIEW team” are figuring out an “Commissioning Wizard”. In particular, they built a new VI (virtual instrument) in LabVIEW, which automatically configurates any controller of the IndraDrive XLC and MLC series from Bosch Rexroth. In the next phase of this Open Core Engineering project, the engineers finally create a commissioning wizard, which will lead LabVIEW users through the complete setup process of the connected drives. The four steps are:

Step 1: SERCOS configuration
Step 2: Scaling & measurement
Step 3: Limits definition (acceleration, velocity, movement)
Step 4: Jogging

User benefit:
With the VI automatically setting up the control hardware and the wizard leading the user through the complete drive configuration within LabVIEW!

The "LabVIEW team" programmed a new VI, that configures the motion controller automatically

Project scribble of the "LabVIEW team"

Open Core Engineering with LabVIEW
+2 (2 Votes)

BCX16 update: Livestream from our hack room
as a reply to Thorsten.

Wanna have a glance at our hack room at the #BCX16?

Check out our livestream and see the hack teams getting their hands dirty with the code for new IoT and I40 use cases. emoticon

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On #BCX16 in Berlin Hack MC Janette Kothe has outlined a highlight project, which we would like to share with you here in detail:

How can cloud services be used locally on your PLC?
The team “Cloud2PLC” team asked itself this question: Why not use cloud technology locally on the PLC? This would allow production managers to run simple data analyses such as temperature or air humidity, directly within their production lines without connecting to the cloud. This makes sense in particular in remote areas where ther is no internet access or where security is a strong issue. The clue - this approach means that such solutions are also scalable from a purely local solution to the cloud.

Linux and Docker bring cloud apps to the PLC
As part of its project the team is using the motion logic system IndraMotion MLC from Bosch Rexroth, which features a real-time operating system including a Java virtual machine for all applications in factory automation. In this case on a Linux-OS “Cloud2PLC” has installed Docker, a container environment typically used to provide cloud services. This constellation allows the team to run basically any standard cloud service. An XDK sensor from Bosch is connected to the PLC as well as a linear module from Bosch Rexroth.

Open source stack and Node RED
The team is experimenting with an open source stack combining Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana (ELK stack). In this sample project Kibana serves as a webinterface and Elasticsearch as a database and Logstash as a data collector. The PLC and the XDK sensor have been wired with the ELK stack on the basis of Node RED, a visual wiring tool to create flows to read/write/subscribe variables from a Bosch Rexroth control with WebConnector nodes. WebConnector itself is a Java application which connects the worlds of web and industrial technologies. You can find the configuration of the ELK stack here.

WebConnector including MQTT broker
Communication between the XDK sensor and the ELK stack works on the basis of the IoT standard protocol MQTT. The WebConnector already includes the necessary MQTT broker, which can be used to send messages with data points, time stamps etc. to remote MQTT clients in the IoT. As part of the hack challenge project the data from the XDK is sent via UDP to Node RED, where it is linked with data coming from the PLC. The data is aggregated and sent in MQTT to the message broker, from where it is picked up by the ELK stack. A possible use case would be, where the line manager gets the status of the processed product directly displayed on a screen. Added to that, alerts could be sent to a smart device using MQTT.

Analyze locally or in the Cloud?
The fact that big data and cloud-based data analysis are hot topics at the moment also makes this approach even more interesting. Both make sense depending on the use case. If you want to send your data to the cloud and analyze it from there, this can be done very easily with the IoT cloud from Oracle with services like Oracle Stream Explorer. Check out what our hack partner has to say about the new opportunities offered by connecting controls and drives from Bosch Rexroth with the cloud or using platform-independent JAVA applications.

In his video statement, Global Client Advisor at Oracle Germany Guido Burger also talks about his personal experience at BCX16. Watch our third #BCX16 video now.
+1 (1 Vote)

Two other project highlights of the "Connected Manufacturing" hack challenge are featuring a cartesian robot, which consists of three linear axes and two emulated axes controlled by the IndraMotion MTX. One project team uses the carteser as an input device, the other as an output device. To operate the machine, they use IndraWorks Operation, to set it up and do PLC coding, they use IndraWorks Engineering, and to communicate with other devices, any OPC UA client can be used - the path to the I4.0 world!

Scatches of the two cartesian robot projects at #BCX16

Catching a ball with a smartphone
The first team named "ORAPAC" is trying to have a smartphone, which is attached to the robot, to "catch" a thrown ball. Therfore the smartphone uses its camera to detect the ball. The position of the ball is then send via TCP/IP to the WebConnector running on a notebook. From there the robot can be addressed in different ways, e.g. by a C# application, node.js or Node RED.

Team ORAPAC is testing their demo use case. Will the smartphone attached to the cartesian robot follow and catch the ball?

Plotting hand drawings with a carteser
In a second project using the same tools from Bosch Rexroth, the robot is working as a plotter. The movements of the mouse attached to the PC are being conveyed to the CNC machine using Node RED, the WebConector and a OPC UA server. In both cases the Open Core Interface of Bosch Rexroth gives modern IT technologies direct acces to the PLC and thus brings the two worlds of automation and IoT together.

An expensive way to plot, but a cost-effective way to bridge the worlds of IT and automation.
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At the end of the hack challenge in Berlin, all hack teams and coaches look back on two exciting days packed with fascinating use cases and business perspectives for the IoT and Industry 4.0 – using industry-class automation equipment and Open Core Engineering including the WebConnector technology.

No matter if they have been working in the field of modell-based engineering, test engineering or IoT and I40 - all the teams are excited about what they could achieve in such a short time span. Even if they have never been working with automation equipment or cloud technologies before.

With satisfied and happy faces the eight project groups have just now presented their final status in our hack room.
Watch our highlight clip to hear the conclusion and feedback from the attendees and partners.

Here in Berlin all hack rooms are now open to be checked out. And after that it's time to celebrate together with the participants of Bosch ConnectedWorld at the networking party at Umspannwerk. emoticon

Being absolutely happy with the event, the hack coches from Bosch Rexroth and Oracle say thank you and goodbye!
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