GAP9: 9 Cores Are Better than 8

The AdaCore Make with Ada competition has a winner. The competition is one I helped to judge—I’m very interested in spreading the word about SPARK and Ada. I’ve been doing this for a number of years and have seen some amazing improvement in the quality of the projects and in the use of SPARK.

SPARK is a provable subset of Ada that takes advantage of Ada 2012’s contract support. A number of projects employed this feature, including the winner. 

“I am happy that this year we decided to highlight and reward more projects than in the previous editions,” said Fabien Chouteau, AdaCore software engineer, and author of the Make with Ada blog post series. “Make with Ada competitions have always been full of creative and innovative projects, and this year was no exception.”

John Singleton was awarded $2,000 for his SmartBase IoT Adjustable Bed project (Fig. 1). The project resulted in an IoT device that controls the movement of a wired, adjustable bed. The system can sense occupancy in the room and even produces under-bed safety lighting when someone is walking around at night. The system can be controlled by both an Amazon Alexa device as well as the original remote.

1. It may not look like much, but the SmartBase makes an adjustable bed safer and easier to use.

The Student Prize was awarded to Team ADArrose. The four-student team used an STMicroelectronics STM32F429 board to run an automated plant sprinkler system (Fig. 2). The system monitors and records soil humidity and surrounding luminosity. It automatically sprinkles the plants with the right amount of water to keep it well-hydrated. The system has multiple operating modes and will send an alert when an abnormal condition is detected.

2. The student winner was Team ADArrose with an automated plant sprinkler system.2. The student winner was Team ADArrose with an automated plant sprinkler system.

The students used a formal development process with high-level requirements, low-level requirements, test cases, and contract-based programming. The student award was a Digilent Analog Discovery 2 Pro Bundle. It’s a nice platform that I reviewed a while back.

All of the projects are posted on for your perusal. Check out You Can Now Learn SPARK and Ada Online if you have a hankering to learn to program in SPARK and Ada.

Just in case you might think Ada and SPARK are going to cost a lot to use, check out “Ada—The Language of Cost Savings?,” “Learning from an Ada Neophyte,” and “11 Myths About Ada.”

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