Ten years of AVC - and of worrying someone will get hurt - and so far so good (knock on wood)

Save the date for SparkFun AVC 2018: September 7-9!

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I can’t believe April is almost over, especially since that means that it’s time to hustle on planning this year’s AVC, but what I really can’t believe is that this year marks the 10th anniversary of SparkFun’s Autonomous Vehicle Competition!

Combat bots 2017

Things that have happened in the ten years since AVC began:

  • I have spent approximately 150 hours of my life watching Game of Thrones
  • “Gangnam Style” (cringe)
  • The Kardashian Era (hard to ignore)
  • BB-8
  • Taylor Swift and I became best friends (in a distant sort of way)
  • Cronuts
  • Oh yeah - and SparkFun celebrated its 15th anniversary in January! That’s a lot of circuit boards.

Given this milestone, it seems only fitting that to celebrate ten years of friendly, self-driving, car-themed camaraderie, we bring the event back to the home county where it all began.

In ten years we’ve grown to add more competitions – lookin’ at you, you adorable little fighting robot; and YOU, you terrifying, 30-pound, man-eating monster – and now we have too many competitors to host at SparkFun HQ. In order to accommodate both the size and awesomeness of SparkFun AVC 2018, I have the honor of announcing that this year’s event will be held at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont, CO, a mere ten minutes from the SparkFun lair.

In case you’re worried that you’ll have to share space with goats, I assure you that if all goes according to plan…yes, there will be goats. And horses (hopefully the wind blows in a favorable direction). We are already casually discussing goat yoga.

Classic AVC vehicle 2017

To answer everyone’s most pressing questions:

  1. Combat Bots will be indoors.
  2. AVC will be outdoors on a packed dirt parking lot. And yeah, we’re worried about weather. This is Colorado; WE’RE ALWAYS WORRIED ABOUT WEATHER. That’s why we moved it to September again. I’ll stop yelling.

In all seriousness, we are so excited to create a spectacular experience for this year’s competitors and build on last year’s record-breaking success of over 180 participating teams from all over the country. We have a lot of plans in the works for this year’s event, so stay tuned!


Comments 8 comments

  • I’m super excited! But dang I’ll miss it at SF HQ. Those were the best

  • Now we start pestering you for the details! :-)

  • Can you add more hours to the day so I actually have time to compete? 4-6 should do it.

    • More hours to the day? 4-6 PM or an additional 4-6 hours? I will talk to engineering and see if they can get the earth to rotate a little slower on its axis…;-)

  • We are super excited to get education teams in this year. Let us know how we can help your learners get involved.

    • My University has a robotics club and we were planning to compete in the AVC for our first competition but I see the logistics class was cut! That was really the direction we were hoping to go and were prepared to go. I imagine it’s probably too late at this point, but we would really love to see the logistics class return. The chassis we worked on this last year and spent out limited budget on wasn’t built for speed… or combat.

      • Hi there! We only had one entrant last year for the logistics class, so we didn’t think there was much interest! But we can always bring it back, we’re planning to make another announcement next week and we’ll ask the crowd then if there’s more interested in a logistics class. If you can send us an email at avc@sparkfun.com we can talk more about it!

  • Oooh, in dirt! That could make things interesting… dust, or maybe mud!

    But, I’m glad it is in September again, last year was kind of cold.

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