Prototype of tank using python

The tank in the images was made using Edraw Max.


Two days ago, I started reding in a textbook about simulation of process systems in general and specifically simulation gravity flow tanks. The material was interesting but after a whole day of reading I realized that the specifications set by Exera was contradicting with what I was reading. I realized that I was not supposed to model the tank in a realistic or precise way because it is just a dummy process for the tournament. At first, I thought that even though it was quite interesting, it was just a waste of time. However, after thinking about it, I realize that I saved a week of work just avoiding the true complexity of process simulation. So, I happily continued with the next task.

Yesterday I started looking for various solutions for my system. Specifically, I looked into how I could eliminate the process station by using a raspberry pi for both the signal processing and the simulation of the tank. I found that using python with a GUI-framework could be a good idea, so I started tinkering a little. If I choose this solution, I could write everything in one python program where I could directly access the GPIO-pins of the raspberry pi. This would eliminate any difficulty with communication between the signal conditioner, the process station and the simulation program. The raspberry pi could run everything itself and could be connected to its own dedicated screen or a monitor via the HDMI-port. However, to go further with this idea I needed to prove that I could make a nice display of the tank, and that it was not too much work.

There were many different GUI-frameworks, but I needed this to go fast so I selected PyQt5 with QT-designer. The QT-designer lets you drag and drop objects that you need onto the window, then it generates all the code that you need to display it so that you can take that code and manipulate it. I spent that day making a basic proof of concept code which I then turned into an executable for easy use. I will attach the folder with the executable to this post. To try it out it can be extracted from the rar-file and then you can run the file «tank prototype.exe» in the qt-folder. The Executable file must be in the folder for it to work, because it depends on the images in the folder to run. I will attach some images of the program as well.


Prototype executable: