Blog Home

Empowering the transportation of the future, with the Ohio State Buckeye Solar Racing Team

Arduino TeamDecember 22nd, 2023

Arduino is ready to graduate its educational efforts in support of university-level STEM and R&D programs across the United States: this is where students come together to explore the solutions that will soon define their future, in terms of their personal careers and more importantly of their impact on the world.

Case in point: the groundbreaking partnership with the Ohio State University Buckeye Solar Racing Team, a student organization at the forefront of solar vehicle technology, committed to promoting sustainable transportation by designing, building, and racing solar-powered vehicles in national and international competitions. This collaboration will see the integration of advanced Arduino hardware into the team’s cutting-edge solar vehicles, enhancing driver displays, data transmission, and cockpit metric monitoring.

In particular, the team identified the Arduino Pro Portenta C33 as the best option for their car: “extremely low-powered, high-quality and reliable, it also has a CAN interface – which is how we will be getting data from our sensors,” team lead Vasilios Konstantacos shared.

We have also provided Arduino Student Kits for prototyping and, most importantly, accelerating the learning curve for new members. “Our goal is to rapidly equip our newcomers with vital skills, enabling them to contribute meaningfully to our team’s progress. Arduino’s hardware is a game-changer in this regard,” Vasilios stated.
In addition, the team received Nicla Vision, Nicla Sense ME, and Nicla Voice modules to integrate essential sensors in the car, and more Portenta components to make their R&D process run faster (pun intended!): Portenta Breakout to speed up development on the Portenta C33, Portenta H7 to experiment with AI models for vehicle driving and testing, and Portenta Cat. M1/NB IoT GNSS Shield to connect the H7 to the car wirelessly, replacing walkie-talkie communication, and track the vehicle’s location.

Combining our beginner-friendly approach with the advanced features of the Arduino Pro range is the key to empower students like the members of the Buckeye Solar Racing Team to learn and develop truly innovative solutions with the support of a qualified industrial partner and high-performance technological products. In particular, the Arduino ecosystem offers a dual advantage in this case: components’ extreme ruggedness, essential for race vehicle operations, paired with the familiarity and ease of use of the Arduino IDE.

The partnership will empower Ohio State University students to experiment with microcontrollers and sensors in a high-performance setting, fostering a seamless, hands-on learning experience and supporting the institution’s dedication to providing unparalleled opportunities for real-world application of engineering and technology studies. Arduino’s renowned reliability and intuitive interface make it an ideal platform for students to develop solutions that are not only effective in the demanding environment of solar racing but also transferable to their future professional pursuits.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with the Ohio State University Buckeye Solar Racing Team,” commented Jason Strickland, Arduino’s Higher Education Sales Manager. “Our mission has always been to make technology accessible and foster innovation. Seeing our hardware contribute to advancing solar racing technology and education is a proud moment for Arduino.”