SparkFun AVC 2017 Updates!

Rules updates, scheduling information, and some questions answered

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Good nerdly-day to you! We’ve been fielding a lot of AVC questions, so I’ve got an AVC update to share that might clear some of them up. First up, let’s talk about the schedule of events.

For Friday, October 13, there are two things to note. First, the course will be open some number of hours for testing out your gear, calibrating your loops and your GPS, all that stuff. As to the specific hours of availability, we’re not sure yet; we’ll have to let you know a bit closer to the competition. The second thing is that early check-in will be available so you don’t have to sacrifice that tasty continental breakfast and instant coffee day-of at the Days Inn (or wherever). Hey, we’re here for you.

Saturday and Sunday are the main event days. The way this is going to work is a bit different from previous years since we’re going to have two days of competition instead of one. In a nutshell, combat bots and AVC vehicles will be running both days, but you can request which day you want to compete so you don’t necessarily have to be there both days. That frees you up to go check out the rest of the Faire, eat some funnel cake, etc. By the way, registration for AVC does include tickets to Maker Faire for all team members.

OK, let’s talk about the weather for a sec. I know I promised rainbows and unicorns in my last post about this, but let’s be serious. There is a non-zero probability that something will go awry one of the two days, and we need to be ready in case something does. Combat bots are indoors, so they’re fine, but everything else is outside. So, what happens? If it rains, we keep running. If it snows, we keep running (just pretend it’s 2011). If there’s lightning or tornadoes… alright, you got me. We’ll stop for those. But I’m telling you now: Be ready for anything.

As for prizes… we’re still working these out. At the very least we’ll be giving away SFE gear. Cash prizes? Unknown at this time; stay tuned for that.

Lastly, here are some rule changes/clarifications.

For the Speed Demon Class, we have a few:

  • A clearance gap of 36 inches is guaranteed between barrels, but not from the barrels to the wall.
  • The horizontal climbing wall will be constructed from two panels of 4x8-foot OSB, plywood or similar. Panels will be mounted on opposing inclines, meeting at a peak line perpendicular to the track with a rise no greater than 6 inches. No wall element will exceed a 3.75-inch protrusion from the board.

For the Logistics Class, operators may stand no closer than 1 foot from their robot.

For the Rider Class (Autonomous Car Wars), we have a clarification on vehicle dimensions. Vehicles must be less than or equal to 36 inches wide and 62 inches long, but can be any configuration (three wheels, four wheels, etc.). There is no weight restriction.

That’s all for today. Keep checking back for future updates.

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