AVC registration closes August 1!

Plus, a few rule changes and an amusing video.

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Hi friends! Happy (?) Monday. Since we have a good weekly AVC thing happening - let's call it Autonomonday - and since there is so much to cover before September 17, we're kicking off this week with some important rule changes, an amusing video from one of our internal competitors, and a general reminder that you have but 14 days to enter yourself and your bot to compete in this year's Classic AVC, Power Racing Series and Autonomous Power Racing Series events (Combat Bots can enter up to the day of)!

Let's start with a video, to ease into the week. Tim's hard at work prepping and field testing his (black) and Jeff Branson's (pink) Power Racing Series submissions around the SparkFun HQ grounds.

Now onto some important rule changes, courtesy of Pete Dokter:

First, we're going to reinstate the no-GPS Bonus Rule. If you manage to navigate this track without the aid of GPS, we will give you an additional 150 points! The course is arguably harder this year than in the past, so we expect it's going to take some real chops to pull this off without GPS (or with, for that matter). So if you're going to try to make this happen, you deserve a little extra pad in the score.

Second, we've got a standing rule that says you can't set up local beacons to assist in your navigation. But then there's RTK GPS. D'oh! What are we going to say to that? “You can use GPS, just not really good GPS, cuz we dont like that one.”

No, we're not going to say that. Therefore, the rule that previously said, “no transmitters or communication beacons (other than GPS) of any kind are allowed,” shall have the addendum, “except for multi-receiver GPS systems, provided their frequencies don't interfere with any remote kill systems.” In other words, you still can't set up local beacons... except for the ones that come with something like an RTK GPS system. That one's OK, provided it doesn't mess with the remote kill switches that our entrants have set up. As long as the beacons are operating on ISM bands (as the examples we've seen do), we expect everything should be good to go. Your friendly SFE track judges will do some verification on race day.

That's all for this week's AVC revelry; don't forget to register by August 1.


Comments 8 comments

  • I've been all over this AVC 2016 web site... Where is the information about just attending as a spectator? And where is the parking if the whole parking lot is a race course?

    • Spectator information will be coming out in a few weeks when tickets officially go on sale (we're trying to nail down the day's program). There will be lots of parking in the office lots surrounding SparkFun!

  • Is the no-GPS Bonus rule for just the classic, or does it also apply to A+PRS? The rules for scoring the A+PRS are a bit vague, and it sounds like there will be multi-lap races (do you get a 150 point bonus per lap)?

    • We're still working out the scoring details, but the no-GPS bonus will apply to both AVC and A+PRSraces. And we're currently planning on A+PRS being one-lap races; the human-driven PRS races will likely be multi-lap.

  • I hope nobody decides to try for the "no GPS" by using a GLONASS receiver instead! (It appears that the EU's [Galileo](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_(satellite_navigation) isn't yet operational, and that China's BeiDou doesn't yet cover Colorado, so they can be ignored.)

    • "Don't play lawyerball, son." - Hank Hill

      • Happened to think that you can also get position data out of Iridium, though they don't talk about it much anymore. Back when Motorola was in charge, they had people assigned to do daily updates on where the international borders were -- they sometimes changed since the day before because of wars -- and different countries had different rules about using the phones.

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