AVC 2013 recap

We came, we saw, we raced. And some of us got hit by robots.

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Happy 2.3-week anniversary of the 2013 Autonomous Vehicle Competition!

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We're still basking in the glory of the event's biggest, best incarnation yet at the Boulder Reservoir on June 8th. We can't believe how well it went, and we want to say thank you again to everyone who came out for some sweet, sweet robot action! And an extra thank you to our competitors; you guys put on a great show, and we were honored that you all worked so hard for our favorite day of geekdom. We had record-breaking numbers of teams (87) and spectators (over a thousand), and we got a ton of awesome photos, a few robust sunburns, and the usual robot-related injuries. And not a single plane ended up the lake, somehow! Let's take a walk down memory lane.



A competition's not a competition without a few winners, and this year we had a whole heap - congrats! (For a review of the vehicle classes and rules, check out the official AVC page.) Hopefuls take note, these are the teams to beat next year:

Ground Winners

  • Micro/PBR 1st: Road Runner
  • Micro/PBR 2nd: WNCC
  • Micro/PBR 3rd: Team Wild Circuits
  • Peloton 1st: CDC
  • Peloton 2nd: Team Minuteman
  • Peloton 3rd: Team Bebop
  • Non-Traditional 1st: Team Lukas
  • Non-Traditional 2nd: Home Brew
  • Non-Traditional 3rd: June 7th All Nighters
  • Student 1st: Dragons
  • Student 2nd: Evergreen Nerds, asdb
  • Student 3rd: Short Circuit - QED
  • Doping 1st: Netburner
  • Doping 2nd: 0x27
  • Doping 3rd: Savage Solder
  • Best Dressed: QED
  • Rookie: Electric Marmot
  • Engineer's Choice: Home Brew
  • Crowd Choice: Class 5 Society
  • Purple Heart: Team Ramshackle

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Aerial Winners

  • Aerial 1st: Team Dave C
  • Aerial 2nd: Building Exercise
  • Aerial 3rd: Special Delivery
  • Kill Switch: CSDSM&T

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Well done everyone - we had a great day and we can't wait to see what you guys come up with next year! See you in 2014!

Comments 36 comments

  • TeslaFan / about 9 years ago / 9

    The list of winners doesn't really mean anything to me without context. Pictures of the winning robots? Short synopsis on the tech used? What were the final scores of each run? elapsed time? Bonuses? Basically, who won and how?

    • I have all this data in spreadsheet form. I can clean it up and post it if that helps? we don't have the individual robot information (beyond the names and such), but I can at least show how all the scores added up!

      • TeslaFan / about 9 years ago / 3

        That's a start. Somehow encouraging the participants next year to blog their builds would also help immensely, I think, to show people considering a robot what is actually involved and provide guidance and support. I tried blogging my efforts a while back, but had to stop when it was obvious I bit off way more than I could chew. But I'll be back!

        And why not collect information about the robots, and their general design goals? Voluntarily, of course... think of all the content that would generate for your site!

        • I second the suggestion - you could encourage the competitors to document their entry construction and process by awarding points. Should be easy to verify the documentation onsite with a smartphone - then award the points.

        • Looks like people are posting their blogs below, nice! I'll see what I can do about getting more information on avc.sparkfun.com.

    • soundman98 / about 9 years ago / 1

      i consider it especially ironic(given both the openness of the community and of sparkfun) that even after multiple years of this, i can use one hand to count the number of builds that actually publish the components used in each build.

      • soundman98 / about 9 years ago / 1

        thanks guys! that's the exact kind of info i'm looking for! i might not ever be able to make it out to AVC, but creating an autonomous vehicle sure sounds like a fun little project!

        • EvilGenius121 / about 9 years ago / 1

          The trick is to make an autonomous robot so well that it will go to AVC and compete without you there :)

          • 172pilot / about 9 years ago / 1

            Now THAT sounds like the best category yet.. The robot that attended alone, from the farthest distance.. :-)

            • EvilGenius121 / about 9 years ago / 1

              I'd compete in that. Unfortunately I live like 15 hours from boulder so I'd probably be beaten by some guy from New York. I think the best way to win would be a solar powered drone... Depends on where you live though!

      • Roadrunner / about 9 years ago * / 1

        head over to the diyrovers google group. there's quite a bit of discussion about the competition, strategy, build components, etc.


      • John Price / about 9 years ago / 1

        Some do though, NetBurner, 0x27, etc. A photo and link to their website/blog would be great.

  • And bask you should! It was a amazing event, and the competitors really stepped it up this year! Already looking forward to next year, and what new surprises and additions you come up with. (cough, cough, BOATS, cough, cough)

    • sgrace / about 9 years ago / 1

      I was there and I was telling every SFE employee to do boats, and have the boats and drones shoot at each other. Mainly cause we need to see a drone in the water and need to shoot tennis balls at things.

    • I'm thinking about it... We might just make some tweaks to the air and ground and see where that takes us. seems like we need to make more obstacles, or at least more bonus opportunities.

  • JohnathanN. / about 9 years ago * / 2

    I haven't made it out to one of those yet but I plan too in the future. It looks like the pinnacle of all geekiness.

    Oh and I'm not sure who the interview girl was but a great nickname would be Goldie Shorts :) Where do you even find those?

    • Dia / about 9 years ago / 5

      Where can you buy EVERYTHING you should not own? Amazon!


      • JohnathanN. / about 9 years ago / 2

        Agreed sometimes I'm surprised at what is on Amazon. Although i was half expecting to hear that you made them yourself. :)

    • That's our resident e-textiles expert and sometimes short-shorts aficionado, Dia! Also, those shorts looked every bit as good on our Mechanical Engineer, Paul. (a.k.a Goldie Shorts)

      • Aw yea they did. I have the 80s gym shorts tan line to prove it.

      • sgrace / about 9 years ago * / 3

        Oh so disturbing...

        EDIT: I thought I had stopped having the nightmares, but now that Mr. Poole brought it back up... I will start having them again. So... Thank you.

  • rmackay9 / about 9 years ago / 1

    I really enjoyed competing this year in the aerial competition. The quad pictured above is mine (Japan Drones). I put together a video mostly focusing on the quads. It can be found here

  • ubuntuguru / about 9 years ago / 1

    How long till they add the humanoid race?

    • BigJon / about 9 years ago / 1

      There was an "alternative locomotion" class. You could have entered one! I almost brought a walking bot, but I could make it fast enough and stable enough to complete the course in time :-) It needs longer legs ...

  • Team WildCircuits / about 9 years ago / 1

    You can read a little about my bot, Frogbert on my blog: www.wildcircuits.com. I took 3rd in the Micro/PBR class. In the next few days I'll have my full AVC write-up posted with more pics, thoughts and code.

  • BigJon / about 9 years ago / 1

    I've posted the first of about 3 or 4 articles on my bot. I didn't win :-), but I did complete the course. I'll be posting circuit diagrams, code, etc, over the next few weeks as I get time. http://blog.mostlyrobots.net/2013/06/24/avc-how-difficult-can-it-be/

  • Wylly / about 9 years ago / 1

    Awesome competition!! astonishing teams, I just can't believe how well those planes landed on their own.

  • Member #13003 / about 9 years ago / 1

    I wrote two blog post entries about the winning Doping class effort... See: Part i http://unreasonablerocket.blogspot.com/2013/06/i-just-returned-from-sparkfun-2013-avc.html Part II: http://unreasonablerocket.blogspot.com/2013/06/avc-part-2.html

    • Thank you for sharing! The blog posts look awesome. Hopefully they are beneficial for others interested in AVC.

  • andy4us / about 9 years ago / 1

    Dressed like that, I was waiting for Nick to start singing YMCA !

  • DonutsCoffeeMuffins / about 9 years ago / 1

    Sad to miss the fun this year. Hope to be back next time! Glad the new location worked so well!

  • Ted M / about 9 years ago / 1

    Really, you gave an award (purple heart) to someone for sticking their own hand in the prop on their own rover? What are you guys trying to reward here? =)

    • In all seriousness, that's a powerful piece of hardware. I forget the specs on the brushless motor on that thing, but when I asked the builder how powerful it was he replied simply, "about a horsepower".

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