Autonomous Vehicle Competition


Update: We're now streaming live video on Ustream, and you can find regular updates and photos on Twitter.

Update #2: Scores as of 12:35pm...

The Autonomous Vehicle Competition is nearly upon us! By this time tomorrow, robotic vehicles will be cruising around the SparkFun premises with impunity, wreaking havoc on all those who stand in their way. The SparkFun office has been buzzing all week and we are getting really excited for the competition!

Just as a reminder, heats start promptly at 10 AM, and will continue until 3 PM, with the awards ceremony at 4 PM. We will also be running SparkFun office tours all day. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come by and watch the races, see the offices, and just geek out for a day!



Check out this video of the course preview. Music courtesy of SparkFun’s own Testing Guru/Rock Legend, Pete Lewis.

http://www.sparkfun.com/images/newsimages/Vehicleposterfinal-SmallForBlog.jpg

And here it is, the official SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition event poster! You may have seen one of these hanging around the streets of Boulder.


The competition is shaping up to be a lot of fun and the weather forecast calls for some perfect spring weather - no snow (but remember, this is Colorado, so keep your fingers crossed). Hope to see you out there for what should be an awesome day!

Comments 13 comments

  • So that means when the economy is better it will be on a Saturday? Anyways for me day of the week isn’t as important as the season. Ideal for me would be to have this in the later in spring or the fall season so if I came out there for a week I could enjoy the Colorado landscape at it’s best.
    Whenever the next one happens, I’m going to have a serious think about competing. It’s a significant trip from my home base of Massachusetts, but if I can bundle it into a vacation I might convince the lady to make a holiday out of it.
    I look forward to seeing the results later today!

  • It’s on Wednesday because no-one in Colorado is still employed except government & Sparkfun.

  • We (DIY Drones) were the wining team, with an UAV powered by ArduPilot, the autopilot we designed and Sparkfun sells. The project page is here:
    http://diydrones.com/profiles/blog/show?id=705844:BlogPost:44814

  • I am the builder of deathpod3000, the fastest ground vehicle. The car has gps, digital compass and infrared distance sensors. It does not have encoders. The bot follows lat/long waypoints set into the eeprom on the microprocessor from the gps. It uses gps and compass to navigate the waypoints when in gogogo mode. It uses the ir sensors to steer around obstacles while it is navigating the waypoints. This is what allowed it to complete the course. gps alone isn’t accurate enough. It only follows the curb to avoid hitting it and it continues navigating as soon as it doesn’t sense the curb or it gets close enough to the waypoint.
    It also has logic to figure out that because of waypoint “movement” due to gps error, it can’t reach a waypoint and it needs to skip to the next waypoint. This kicked in during the first run where it went too far right and starting following the curb in the wrong direction. After about 4 feet, it turned around and continued down the course.
    I have put up many pics and a couple videos from the event on my build blog.
    http://deathpod3000.wordpress.com

  • The winning rover has a build blog.
    http://deathpod3000.wordpress.com/

  • Can somebody please create some kind of profile page for each team?
    I am interested in seeing what each bot looked like + knowing more about the guts of each aswell.

  • Calif: Looks like the fastest rover didn’t have any position sensing. He must have used encoders & recorded 1 manual lap, then programmed it to play it back as fast as possible. We may never know.
    That does not sound very autonomous to me. Kind of like drawing a line around the building for a line follower to follow.

  • Looks like the fastest rover didn’t have any position sensing. He must have used encoders & recorded 1 manual lap, then programmed it to play it back as fast as possible. We may never know.

  • As expected, the fixed wing was way beyond the rovers. That’s why all the jobs are in Calif*.

  • That UAV in the tree is so PRICELESS!!!

  • I am so bummed that this is on a wednseday. I got all my design work done and started scavenging parts before I realized the man was going to keep me from playing.
    I’m looking forward to hearing how it goes. Let’s make next year’s on a saturday!
    Thanks to sparkfun for encouraging this kind of thing in Colorado. I am always disappointed that there is so little grass roots robotics/electronics/general making stuff in this area.


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