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Final AVC 2014 Reminder!

Don't forget, this weekend is the SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition.

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AVC IS COMING!!! As you have probably heard by now, AVC 2014 is this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5ish. Competing teams are allowed to check-in at the reservoir with our staff starting at 7 a.m. sharp. The public must wait until 9 a.m. to come into the event area. Also, no dogs are allowed inside of the Boulder Reservoir or at AVC. Please leave all furry friends at home (except for your friend “Hairy Gary” with the excessive back hair - he can still come).

We currently have 1098 spectators registered to watch AVC. If you’d like to come check out the robot madness, please register here. It’s free and open to public and we’d love to have you!

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As of today, we have 30 aerial teams and 69 ground teams registered and cleared to compete. Looks like it’s going be to be our largest competition yet!

We also want to tell you a little more about the hackathon that will be going on at AVC. We are using the Nodecopter.js model for the hackathon. In that model, five developer teams from the community receive one Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 and spend the day programming and hacking with it. At the end of the day, each team gets to present their hacks to the other attendees.

Quick Left, RefactorU, Human Design, and SparkFun are sponsoring all of the gear for this hackathon. Each team will get to keep their Parrot AR.Drone 2.0, extra batteries, and chargers after the event.

And here’s the hackathon schedule, we encourage to go over to the hackathon tent to the west of the ground course. Hack on!:

  • 8:30 a.m. - Starting of the NodeCopter.js event. There will be introductions and tips and tricks for hacking quadcopters.

  • 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. - The Hacking begins! All teams will get their quadcopters and are free to start hacking.

  • 3:30 p.m. - Demo and presentation time! Prizes for the best student and non-student teams.

  • 4 p.m. - Event ends and teams get to take their quadcopters and prizes home.

We also wanted to announce two more external partners who will be showcasing their product and projects in the Community Village to the west of the ground course. Welcome LinkSprite and Trimble!

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LinkSprite, makers of PCDuino will be hosting a promo table where they will demo PCDuino with Ubuntu and Android OS. They will also have three other PCDuino demos running, including playing pong with Scratch on PCDuino, making a UV sensor with PCDuino and last, but far from least, making a basic robot using the PCDuino.

Trimble will also be onsite at AVC. They will have a promo booth where they will set up some laptops running SketchUp and talk to folks about 3D modeling.

We can’t wait to see you out at the reservoir! If you can’t make the event, you can follow the livestream here. See you Saturday!


Comments 15 comments

  • What were the Air and Ground vehicle counts for previous years? Can you share the breakout by category?

    • I don’t have exact counts, but I think we were at roughly 20 aerial and 45 ground. So, it’s gonna be a LOT bigger than last year.

      • Depending on how many no-shows there are. I’m hoping only a few, it’s always disappointing when a cool looking vehicle fails to show.

        • we went pretty heavy with the verifications this year. This has helped with knowing that people won’t show, or won’t reply to us. hopefully we won’t have that many no-shows. we started with about 130 entrants, and we’re down to just under 100 now.

  • As mentioned above, if you can’t join us in person, we’ll be doing a multi-camera livestream of the event all day long. Tune in and catch all the action!

    • Could you elaborate on the complexity of the setup?

        • Four dedicated cameras on the courses
        • Additional cameras in the pits, roving interviews, Nodecopter hackathon, etc.
        • Overhead coverage from one (possibly two) gymbal-equipped quadcopters
        • Realtime scoreboard
        • Video sliced and diced via Tricaster 450 Extreme
        • Specially-installed broadband uplink from reservoir to SFE HQ
        • Streamed live to YouTube in 720p 30fps HD
        • All together now…“OOOOOooooooOOOOOOOhhhhhhh!”

          • As a nerd I’m most interested in the wireless uplink you have going on. Ubiquiti gear?

            • As a matter of fact, I just finished setting up our roof antenna! We were going to go with 2 AF5 (AirFiber) units, however those were significant overkill, so I went for the more economical NanoBeam M5s. The viewsheds from the roof were dubious at best (10% 1st Fresnel zone clearance, and about a 5' window between buildings). So this year, instead of a 3' tripod, I opted for something a little more substantial – It’s not particularly well done, but it’s only going to be up for a few days.

              • Nice! I haven’t had the chance to work with the NanoBeams yet. What sort of throughput are you getting point-to-point?

                • Speaking for Nick (who will probably chime in here), at ~1.15 miles we’re looking at 300Mb/s point to point with the M5s on ~40ft and ~20ft masts. Not bad!

        • Will this all be recorded and available for watching later?

          • Yes! As it streams on YouTube, it becomes a recorded video at the same time (albeit an 8-hour long one!)

        • You make me want me to stream it from my phone when I’m out there.

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