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AVC 2014 Recap

Check out some of the highlights (and lowlights) from this year's AVC!

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The 2014 SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition has come and gone and, just as we anticipated, it was the biggest and best AVC ever. All told, we ended up with over 1300 people out at the reservoir watching some 93 teams compete in both the aerial and ground categories. Here’s how the teams broke down:

Ground Vehicles

  • Doping - 14
  • Micro/PBR - 20
  • Peloton - 28
  • Non-Traditional - 5

Aerial Vehicles

  • Rotating Wing - 17
  • Fixed Wing - 9

There was a great mix of vehicle types and race strategies and it definitely kept the day interesting. Thank you to all of you who competed - the AVC truly wouldn’t be so great without your awesome dedication and innovation.

If you weren’t able to make the event, check out this video for some of the highlights from the day:

If you have several hours to kill, you can also check out our coverage from the entire day here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).

If stills are more your thing, we have a handpicked selection of photos from the event on our Flickr page. There are some real gems in there so be sure to check them out!

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So how did the competition actually shake out? Here’s a list of winners, starting with our ground categories.


  • First: Driving Miss Dizzy 2 (872 points)
  • Second: Autoauton (741 points)
  • Third: Ankle Biter (682 points)


  • First: Troubled Child (892 points)
  • Second: Savage Solder (813 Points)
  • Third: SACBot (683 points)


  • First: Phat Tire (308 Points)
  • Second: Mr. T (250 Points)
  • Third: Jinx (100 points)


  • First: Roadrunner (1079 points)
  • Second: G-Force (870 Points)
  • Third: Cardis (764 points)

Student Ground

  • First: Cardis (764 points)
  • Second: Wild STEM (713 points)
  • Third: Streetsweeper (682 points)

For the aerial classes, these teams took home the prizes.


  • First: Aussie1 (1127 points)
  • Second: UAV3K (955)
  • Third: Bixler (501 points)


  • First: Dundee (1918 points)
  • Second: Hexcode (1746 points)
  • Third: Hugo (1295 points)

Student Air

  • First: Gilbert (1095 points)

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Thank you again to everyone who came out to the reservoir. Whether you were a competitor, a spectator, one of our food vendors, or an exhibitor, AVC 2014 was a smashing success because of your participation. We hope you had a wonderful time!

Comments 14 comments

  • My brother-n-law and I created Phat Tire. We were thinking of going aerial next year, but was not sure which catagory ornithopters would fit.

  • Can the spreadsheet of raw scores be posted somewhere so we can see how the scores were made up? i.e. how fast does an entry have to be to be competitive?

  • How many aerial vehicles ended up being lost in the water? I’m aware of two but had to leave about 2PM. Were there any more?

  • I think next year should have a mario kart style competition. No touching other bots but yours can put stuff in the way to impede others movement on the course.

  • AVC 2014 - Best yet!! Well worth the trip from Minnesota. Thanks Sparkfun!!

  • What about your hackathon?

    • The hackathon went great and the teams were awesome! It was a mini NodeCopter.js event with 5 developer/student teams. All the teams rock it out and hacked on the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0. Here is a list of the awards and winners:

      • Master Drone Hackers Award - RefactorU team. They had a wearable ultrasonic sensor that repels quadcopters that attacked.

      • Code and Hack Academic - Monarch High School - Had a sound indictor, so you know where your quadcopter was. They were also playing with music base on movement.

      • Bit and Pieces Award - RefactorU team

      • Code Impressive Award - Human Design team - A system for quadcopter placement for warehouses.

      Warren tech worked on WiFi hacking to disable WiFi on quadcopters. Tinker Mill improved on the Parrot AR.Drone API. Thanks for asking! :)

  • everyone got points and Gilbert got pounds weird…

  • Awesome event! However next year the airborne portion may need to be different due to the FAA’s recent reinterpretation of its rules.

    For those interested, here is a link: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0396-0001

  • It was yet another amazing event. Water landings, a bona fide crash-and-burn, and a full-sized jeep. Been a spectator all six years, and looking forward to finally having a horse in the race next year!

    • Wait, next year is going to have a quadruped category? AWESOME! ;) Hope I can sneak out and venture on over :)

  • TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!