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Autonomous Vehicle Competition 2010 Entrants

A look at some of the competitors in SparkFun's 2010 AVC!

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Like a thundering herd, they approach. With names like Lacus Incursio Dolus, Team Rad, and Sharceye, they will travel over the horizon as if harbingers from the future. Moving, racing, and autonomously destroying whatever may come in their paths.  What started as but a dream in the hallowed halls of 6175 Longbow Drive is fast approaching, like an unstoppable tidal wave of innovation and design. Yes, the 2010 Autonomous Vehicle Competition is coming...and hell is coming with it!

Sorry, I just can't help myself. When I was thinking about writing this post, the first thing that came to my mind was that the 2010 AVC is going to be epic. So, epic language seemed most appropriate. We've asked our entrants to tell us a little bit about their vehicles and we have some amazing stuff coming in.

As you've probably noticed, the AVC slots have been "Out of Stock" for quite some time. Last year, we had 20 people or so sign up for the competition, and at the very last minute, several people had to drop out and we were left with only 12. To try to thwart that happening again, this year we've allowed "backorders." We sold 25 spots for the AVC and have about 10 people as alternates. If you want to be an alternate, feel free to buy a spot (you won't pay if you aren't chosen to fill in for someone). And of course, everyone is welcome to come and watch!

Check out some of the entrants so far (some of these are in, some are on the waitlist):

Team Name or Engineer: Team LID (Lacus Incursio Dolus)
Vehicle Type: Land, wheeled
Weight: Approximately 5 pounds
Interesting Fact: Team Lacus Incursio Dolus (translates to "lake collision painfully") is composed of Alex and Alex - two high school students from the Bronx.

Team Name or Engineer: Autonomous Tools
Vehicle Type: Land, wheeled 
Weight: Approximately 595 pounds (!!!!!!)
Interesting Fact: Automous Tools' vehicle is HUGE! Tipping the scales at nearly 600 pounds, the vehicle has a max speed of 15 mph.

Jim's actual vehicle.

Team Name or Engineer
: Jim

Vehicle Type: Land, wheeled

Weight: Approximately 5-6 pounds

Interesting Fact: Also, considered using a Cat/Robot Hybrid.

The foil is used to control the cat's brain. I think.

Team Name or Engineer: Brian

Vehicle Type: Land, wheeled

Weight: Approximately 30 pounds

Interesting Fact: Electronics are specially encased to survive crashes into the pond.

Team Name or Engineer: SWOSUME, Brian

Vehicle Type: Land, wheeled

Weight: Approximately 50-75 pounds

Interesting Fact: Return entrant from last year, SWOSUME won the kill switch award.

Team Name or Engineer: Doug

Vehicle Type: Airplane

Weight: Undetermined

Interesting Fact: Requested a large bowl on M&M's for the event. Will Doug be doing an impressive landing into said bowl of candy or is he simply hungry? Only time will tell.

Peter's vehicle with both of its glorious wheels.

Team Name or Engineer: Peter

Vehicle Type: Land, wheeled

Weight: Approximately 2 pounds

Interesting Fact: One of the few vehicles with only two wheels.

Bouncing off bumpers is large and in charge.

Team Name or Engineer: BOB (Bouncing off Bumpers) - Maurice and Joshua

Vehicle Type: Land, wheeled

Weight: Approximately 50 pounds

Interesting Fact: Maurice and Joshua are a grandfather/grandson duo!

Team Name or Engineer: Sharcbots

Vehicle Type: Land, wheeled

Weight: Approximately 40 pounds

Interesting Fact: Kurt's vehicle is based around an electric wheelchair platform.

Landon's vehicle makes a quick pit stop.

Team Name or Engineer: Landon

Vehicle Type: Land, wheeled

Weight: Approximately 2 pounds

Interesting Fact: Landon and his daughter Chauncey star in one of the SparkFun ads.

Team Name or Engineer: Hell Hound Engineering

Vehicle Type: Land, wheeled

Weight: Approximately 5 pounds

Team Name or Engineer: Matt

Vehicle Type: Land

Weight: Approximately 10-15 pounds

Interesting Fact: Matt's robot is a "walker" bot.

Team Name or Engineer: flakEE

Vehicle Type: Land, wheeled

Weight: Undetermined

Interesting Fact: Uses a Nokia cell phone in the design.

Team Name or Engineer: Project 240, Autodrift

Vehicle Type: Land, wheeled

Weight: Approximately 3.5 pounds

Interesting Fact: Will use the help of a telemetry base station.

Scott's prototype for the race.

Team Name or Engineer: Scott

Vehicle Type: Land, wheeled

Weight: Approximately 2 pounds

Interesting Fact: Based on the classic Grasshopper RC car.

It's going to be a great day of winners, losers, and some wet robots. Be sure to set April 17th aside and we'll see you here!

Comments 28 comments

  • If any of the teams are coming from out of state and strapped for cash, my household would love to 'sponsor' a team by providing lodging, hot meals, and rides to the event. We're located in Denver, not Boulder, so we're less convenient than a hotel, but we're more fun, and come with a ready made cheering section! Feel free to hit me up if you're interested at adialosdia at gmail.com

  • Hi,
    It looks like my entry info was missed above, but if anyone wants to check my car out, here's my blog;
    I'm coming in from Victoria, BC Canada. Anybody know of a good hotel Boulder? Nice of Dia to offer up lodging but that should go to a student or somebody.
    Also, any recommendations for things to do there?

    Thanks, and good luck everybody!


    • I'm not up in the Boulder area so I'm sure others can suggest better lodging than I can. That's quite the commute for you. Looking forward to meeting you.

  • Autonomous Tools blog posts related to the AVC vehicle (ATR5): http://autonomoustools.com/blog/tag/atr5/

  • Cool. I was wondering if more teams were doing websites of one form or another. I've added a link from ours (http://teamhellhound.wordpress.com/) to yours.

    • If there are other competitors with websites, I'll happily link to all of them. Seems there is a shortage this year at least on the surface. If others have sites, I'd love to see and link them.

  • We are posting regularly to our blog on our progress.
    We have torn apart our $20 remote control car and hope to have the phone controlling our robot by the end of tonight!
    Maybe if we win we can buy a better RC car. I may take a trip to the Salvation Arm to check that out too.

  • Nate: Oh, and we'll have lots of camera streams setup as well.
    Oops ... sorry, I missed that.

  • Good luck everyone! I'm excited to see the results - will the land or air triumph?!
    Will there be a live feed for this year's contest? Is there a way to get in touch with the individual entrants?

  • Fifteen entrants and fourteen of them are sod-busters?

    • There should be 10 other teams that are not shown. There are a total of 25 teams and I am not sure everyone responded

      • Yep, 25 teams. We've had a few people drop, and a few on the waiting list got in. Currently there are 7 teams waiting for a spot.

  • I have had this question for a little while... Are actual vehicles allowed in said competitions? I have a 95 Cavalier that I will be out of soon, and it's not worth anything, but I have been thinking about making it remote controlled for a while. I understand there are many hazards to go with an actual real car being remote controlled, but was curious if it was fair game in the AVC. If anything, heck, I could bring it so we could all take turns smashing it into something :P

    • I agree that it feels strange to spend $400 on a Traxxas R/C car when you could buy an old truck or car for the same price. Autonomous Tools has thus far worked with tractors instead of cars, however. You get the same economy-of-scale benefits, but the higher gear ratio (lower max speed) means you don't need an entire desert as a testing ground and are somewhat less likely to kill anybody.

      • The scale does seem rather off. However, the motors required to handle full sized vehicles are also much more expensive than servos on an RC platform. Not to the mention the motor controllers and affiliated hardware.
        Also, if you are going beyond remote control to an autonomous system, the required sensing becomes much more difficult. An EStop also becomes crucial. A small RC car in a run-away condition is more apt to destroy itself rather than doing significant damage to something else. A run away automotive, capable of much higher speed, can kill, maim or cause major property damage.
        It's all relative to what you want to do.

    • And I mean for next year, not this year.. lol, I need it still this year :X

  • Wavelength GPS antenna is tiny . Signal is very low ,
    Helical antenna may have ten times more gain than Ceramic . Helical polarization requires a long antenna , but it must be pointed at the bird , as the bird is Xmitting . To calc speed , you need real time output , NEMA is delayed . My project is mcu STR710FZ2T6 . A Forth O.S. in firmware . KC7CC
    mark dot pine86 gmail

  • Sweet! Just got the email today that we made it from backorder onto the actual participants list. Looks like people are making good progress on the vehicles. Strangely, I don't see any pontoons....
    I took a few minutes to toss up a website for Team HellHound. Had to have somewhere to showcase burnt fingers and pre-destruction building.
    Looking forward to the contest. Good luck to everyone!

  • I'm curious to see that 600 pound beast of a robot. That's just huge.
    Oh, and a cyborg cat would either dominate both the competition and the world, or else would get utterly distracted. Either way, I think the choice not to go with that avoided disaster. :)

  • I'll be spectating! You should try to get a running total of how many people will be going this year. You might need bleachers!

    • Bleechers, port-o-johns, food, tents, beer. It's like planning a house party, but with a building! Oh, and we'll have lots of camera streams setup as well.

    • That is actually in the works - we are developing a registration system so we can at least have a general guess of how many people to expect! Keep an eye on the homepage for the information about that soon!

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