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Introducing the NERFCS Shipping System (Beta)

Introducing NERFCS - just in time for AVC. Are you up to the challenge?

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The New, Expedited, Really-fast Copter Shipping (or NERFCS) program is SparkFun's latest and greatest shipping option. This special shipping program, while in its (shall we say) "Beta" form, is a disruptive technology that will change the way you shop. See for yourself:



Ok, maybe the program needs a bit of work before being made live. We'll get on that. But for now, we think you can build a better autonomous vehicle and the upcoming SparkFun AVC is your proving grounds! We also have a pretty exciting incentive to get you signed up (read on for more details).

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The SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition (or AVC) is an event where we invite robotics enthusiasts from around the globe to participate in a time-trial style race with their autonomous vehicles. Today, we want to ask - are you up to the challenge?

If you're not familiar with AVC, the event is taking place on June 21st, 2014 at the Boulder Reservoir. There are aerial and ground classes (and subclasses within those) that compete on a SparkFun-designed course. The bot that finishes with the fastest time in each class wins!

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If you want to register as a competitor (or as a spectator - and, trust us, there is much to spectate), head over to the SparkFun AVC site.

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But WAIT! There's more...

As an incentive to help folks new to AVC sign-up, we've partnered with our friends over at 3D Robotics. Right now, the next five people that sign-up (EDIT: all the rovers are gone! This offer is no longer available) will received a free 3DR Rover platform to use in the AVC. This is a pretty smoking deal! Thank you to 3DR for helping us make AVC even better!

We hope you'll join us at what will be the best AVC yet!

Comments 23 comments

  • I think a package delivery challenge should be created, I'd be rather interested in watching that drones try to complete that

  • You Monster! Trying to cram all those buzzwords into those innocent little sentences should be a capital offense!

    Seriously though: Al Gore.... Snerk

  • I unapologetically don't know all the stuff happening within SparkFun day to day. This is a hilarious video and intro to the AVC. Nice work Matt/Nick/Gregg! That video made my day.

  • Definitely gives new meaning to the phrase "drop shipping".

  • Unapologetically awesome video. But you were pushing it with the white background. It's a good thing this video didn't have a silver border too or it would have been seized by customs.

  • Wait, are all 5 gone? Do you keep it, or is it just a borrowing program? I just signed up

  • What model quadcopter is used in the video. Looks fairly durable for learning.

  • "No drones were harmed during the filming of this ad"

  • You might want to share this idea with Consumer reports on packaging testing. I don't know if they thought of dropping packaging from an AVC into a lake and measuring how long the bubble rap will keep it afloat.

  • They all need more Rocket engines!

  • You guys forgot a disclaimer "No drones were hurt in the making of this video."

  • I'll admit that I've never been to an AVC, so I'm not entirely familiar with the rules, but the free 3DR Rover bit sounds completely unfair. The organizer of the competition is going to gift equipment that no one else has the ability to get their hands on to 5 competitors just because they happened to sign up at the exact right time? I mean, it might be OK if those 5 people were to compete in their own separate category, but the post doesn't make that clear.

    • I understand where you're coming from, but I don't think the 3DR bots will have an unfair advantage. The competitors still have to do the heavy lifting to get the bots to work. And the homebrewed bots are nothing short of impressive.

      • But no one even knows what the 3DR Rover platform can do (at least, I can't find any mention of it on Google). It could be beyond what homebrew teams are capable of and yet 5 people are going to be able to take advantage of exclusive tech, not because they had the skill to build it, but because they submitted a form quicker than everyone else. Look at it this way: it's like NASCAR giving 5 teams brand new, never-before-seen engines and then telling the people who worked their butts off fine-tuning their own rigs "Oh, sorry, you should have gotten here faster." I can't see that going over very well.

        • I'm afraid it's rather more like NASCAR giving 5 teams a brand new engine a week before the race while everyone else got to go pick their own engine and get started months and months beforehand. If anyone entered this late in the game with absolutely no plan and started from a new bot with no documentation, I wouldn't be prepared to call it an advantage.

          I suspect whoever gets the 3DR bots will take them home, play with them, maybe bring them to next year's event. As much as we'd love to see them out on the course..

  • I have to confess, I'm so sick of seeing articles fawning over fake "Delivery by drone" ads it took me until the package fell into the water to crack a laugh. The only way to make that funnier would be for the package to sink like a rock.

  • When he sweeps the other orders off the desk, it made me laugh out loud.

  • What exactly is a 3DR Rover platform? Do you mean an APM autopilot?

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