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Posted on : Thursday 2nd May 2019 12:39 PM

Winners of SICK, Inc.’s TiM$10K Challenge Announced

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MINNEAPOLIS, MINN., APRIL 30, 2019 - For the 2018-2019 school year, SICK, Inc. asked students from universities around the country to indulge in the first ever TiM$10K Challenge, introduced to support innovation and student achievement in automation and technology.


Teams were supplied with a 270° SICK LiDAR sensor (TiM) and accessories and challenged to solve a problem, create a solution, or bring a new application to any industry that utilizes the SICK LiDAR.

The winners of the TiM$10K Challenge are:

•             1st Place: Texas A&M University Team 2 - Foreign object detection on airport tarmacs

•             2nd Place: Texas A&M University Team 1 - Visual impairment walking aid

•             3rd Place: Purdue University - Low-friction test bed for CubeSats (micro satellites)


Project Summaries

Texas A&M University Team 2 used the SICK LiDAR sensor to identify foreign object debris (FOD) on airport tarmacs, like screws or metal strips from airplanes. Each year, FOD costs the aviation industry billions of dollars in airplane repairs. FOD also has expected deadly consequences if not maintained precisely. The system developed by this team is an AGV that drives around the tarmac and detects any FOD with the LiDAR sensor.


The second place team, Texas A&M University Team 1, formed a walking aid for the visually impaired utilizing the SICK LiDAR sensor. Instead of utilizing the device in a cane or other walking aid, the team created a wearable device that provides a person an audio warning in advance of an obstacle. The LiDAR sensor is used to detect the upcoming obstacles. This walking aid is intended to be used as a complement to the white cane.

Finally, the staff from Purdue University created a low-friction test bed to test CubeSats, which are micro satellites. These are commonly used in experiments to display new technology in Low Earth Orbit. One major application of these micro satellites are rendezvous proximity operations, where a LiDAR sensor is used to correctly monitor its position to another object. The team evolved a low-friction test bed and a micro satellite, TracSat.

Contest Background

Each team was questioned to submit a video and paper for judging upon completion of the project. A panel of judges planned the winning submissions situated on creativity and innovation, ability to solve a customer problem, commercial potential to productize and market the application, entrepreneurship of the team, and reporting.

The three winning teams win a cash award of $10K for first place, $5K for second place, and $3K for third place. In addition to bragging rights and the cash prize, the first place team, along with the advising professor, will go on an all-expense paid trip to Germany to visit the SICK headquarters and manufacturing facility in summer 2019.

This contest was supported by PMMI Foundation's U Skills Fund. PMMI Foundation works to raise awareness of careers in packaging and processing, providing assistance to schools and programs that build students to excel in the industry.


SICK is now accepting entries for the TiM$10K Challenge for the 2019-2020 school year! Student teams can register online by September 2, 2019. Student teams are encouraged to use their creativity and technical knowledge to incorporate the SICK LiDAR for any industry in any application. Advisors/professors are allowed to guide the student teams as required. For more details, visit:

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