From 22 to 25 September, Trento held its Sports Festival, the event that in this fifth edition alone welcomed more than 300 exceptional guests to Trentino's capital city, including Italian champions, international legends and prominent coaches and technicians from the world of sports.
At the Sport Tech District, the special area organised by Trentino Sviluppo, Fondazione Negrelli and the Association of Engineers of Trento dedicated to innovation and sportech technologies, numerous companies and sports professionals told their success stories and presented the state of the art of their cutting-edge projects. Among them was the E-Agle Trento Racing Team, the University of Trento’s Formula SAE team coordinated by Professor Paolo Bosetti and supported in the design, development and production of the car’s components by Polo Meccatronica’s prototyping laboratory.
The E-agle Trento Racing Team and Formula SAE
E-Agle Trento Racing Team is an amateur sports association established in 2016 that designs, builds and competes on the track with an all-electric one-seater prototype race car.
The team is made up of about seventy engineering, economics and computer science students from Trento University who race in Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), the engineering design competitions reserved for universities around the world, in which young talents compete in developing and building a race car by speeding around the track in true Formula 1 style.
From Chimera to Fenice: the evolution of the one-seater Made in Trentino.
To promote a competitive spirit among racing teams, Formula SAE regulations require participants to implement vehicle modifications each year. The E-Agle Trento Racing Team started with the “Chimera” model in 2017 to arrive at “Fenice” (Phoenix), the current car that features a 0-100 km/h acceleration in 3 seconds, two 52kW motors and weighs 40 kg less compared to the previous version. The “Fenice” model represents a real revolution compared to past models and stems from a completely new, more aerodynamic and high-tech concept
Working with ProM Facility to design the new steering wheel
The Trentino team’s car was assembled in Rovereto using the cutting-edge technologies in Polo Mechatronica’s prototyping laboratory. ProM Facility also supported the group of students in creating the latest version of the Fenice’s steering wheel, introducing important modifications and numerous additions:
- The body was redesigned in carbon fibre, and the handles are more ergonomic and customised thanks to the modelling process carried out at the facility. The geometry was captured with a 3D scanner and printed in TPU with an HP Multijet Fusion 4200 printer. The screen was enlarged and visibility in direct sunlight was improved. The new quick-release attachment makes the steering wheel easily removable, facilitating the driver’s entry and exit from the car.
- The electronics consist of a high-performance mini-computer (Raspberry Pi 4) mounted on a circuit board specially made by the students. ProM Facility helped the E-Agle Trento Racing Team with the assembly, using a Pick & Place precision machine that can place and solder microchips onto the board semi-automatically.
- The graphical interface has been transformed into three separate pages (racing page, sensors page and GPS page).
The goals met and future challenges
Since the project’s inception, the Trentino team has stood out for the car’s technological innovation, particularly the steering wheel. Indeed, in 2017 it won the first overall prize for the best telemetry system and, in 2018, the prestigious Lamborghini Award for the best HMI (Human-Machine Interface) system.
Over the past few months, the E-Agle Trento Racing Team has collected one success after another with Fenice, passing inspections and thus being able to compete not only in design competitions but also on the road, taking fifth place in the endurance race in Italy and eleventh place in Germany at the prestigious international race.
The team is continuing to improve the vehicle’s performance and technologies, and has ambitious goals for the future, mentioned during the meeting at the Sport Tech District, including the integration of a fully autonomous driving system.