Bidding - The Protocol Converter Challenge (TEST)



Zollner Elektronik AG


Zollner Elektronik AG is in need of an IoT solution! Seeking new software to be used as a messaging server that delivers seamless communication between any industrial machine and software interface.

The goal of the challenge is to create a middleware IoT device that facilitates interoperability of various industrial machines, equipment, and workstations on a manufacturing shop floor.

This is to support the industry’s move towards a “smart factory”; the combining of information and communication technology with automation technology allows increasingly higher degrees of networking in and between production facilities, from the suppliers to the customers.

Problem Statement

On a factory floor in an industrial environment, receiving and sending information to and from machines via various interfaces, protocols and formats is necessary, complex and expensive.

  • Necessary because machines need to talk to each other.
  • Complex due to equipment from various vendors, with different interfaces, following either proprietary or standards or quasi-standards with diverse protocols and formats.
  • Expensive if individual parsers and customized handlers are used.

SUbmission Criteria

Stage 1:

Written plan for how the solution will work with technical details

  • Technical details must include functional details of how to run conversions if applicable
  • Specify the UDOO board details, installation steps for Apache Kafka, steps to configure and use the GPIO pins

One zip file containing the header files and source code that compiles – this must be able to:

  • Do the listed protocol conversions
  • Provide skeleton framework for other functionality (e.g. GPIO and sensor usage)

Stage 2:

Winning teams from Stage 1 must build a working prototype and ship it to Zollner Elektronik AG for final testing

The submission must include the BOM, technical specifications, step by step instructions on how the prototype was built.

Source code for the target must execute properly on the provided hardware. Functional steps must be included so Zollner Elektronik AG can operate device themselves Teams that reach this stage will get instructions on how to ship and how to upload a copy of the code.

Challenge timeline

Phase 1: Protocol Converter Engineering June 20, 2019

Phase 2: Review and Selection July 4, 2019

Phase 3: Working Prototype August, 1, 2019

Phase 4: Review and Selection August 15, 2019

Prize Breakdown

Prize Pool Total: $45,000

Stage 1

Prize Amount: $5,000

Number of Winners: 5

Top 5 Submission will be chosen by our judges

Stage 2:

Prize: $20,000

Number of Winners: 1

Top Submission will be chosen by our judge

*In case of a tie for Stage 2, the prize amount will be evenly split among the finalist*

Engineer Types



16 weeks


For additional details such as submission criteria, challenge rules, and envisioned solutions, please log in.

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