The AVC Is Today


Today is the day and you are the team - maybe! Today, Saturday, April 23rd, is the third annual SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition. The weather gods have smiled upon us. Oh, wait...they are not smiling. They're...they're laughing! Yes, right now the weather outside is frightful (it's snowing lightly), but it's supposed to clear off by noon or so. Plus, a little weather never scared us! Let's race!

If you are unable to be with us today, there are a few other ways to follow. I will be "live blogging" (kinda) the event via our Twitter page. I'll do my best to keep you updated on who has made it around the building, who has crashed into the curb, and I'll definitely let the whole world know who ends up in the pond.

You can also follow via our live streaming video! On the same page there is also an embedded chat client for you to hop on IRC and mock cheer on all the teams. We think this is going to be a great day of competition, camaraderie, and robotics - hope to see you out there!


Comments 28 comments

  • So, what were the results? I had to leave before the end. At that time the surface leaders were Minuteman, Donuts/coffee/muffins and TOBOR. I think only one had finished the circuit in the aerial division, whose name escapes me…
    Inquiring minds want to know!
    DLC

  • Thanks for some great fun. You can find my photos here. You are free to use them as you wish.
    grennan.com/SparkFun

  • Thanks again to Sparkfun for hosting such a great event and to all the competitors for making it so much fun! Tobor will be back with a bigger motor next year!
    I made a quick video using the raw footage we got at the AVC. The Mass start is worth watching in slo-mo!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6-ng7DFRRA

    • Dude! That video was awesome sauce!
      All you’re going to add for next year is a bigger motor? You might want to rethink that. Team Tesla will be in the house.
      This will be epic.

  • my poor IPAD isn’t cool enough for flash :( How about Utube next year?
    Also could we get a prof. camera person next year.

  • Nathan,
    Thanks a million for the tour in the morning. My boys really loved it and were definitely inspired! They can’t stop talking about the Robot they want to build for next year.
    Great AVC!

  • You guys need to make a wallpaper out of the AVC logo.

  • I enjoyed the live AVC stream however i felt it could have been done a little better. I felt the quality of the stream was pretty poor. I understand that some users do not have fast internet but i think a HQ button should have been added. I do understand this was not under your control with the host you picked however.
    Near the end of the races the camera decided to go a magenta shade. I am not the expert but I feel more could have been attempted to fix this issue. Perhaps if Dave and Nate used it for the product review it could still be working
    I felt the band was a little distracting and more interviews could have been executed while we were waiting and perhaps somebody could have gone and talked to the people who were having problems
    During the actual races i felt the camera angles were a little confusing and at one point i actually thought the camera was upside down
    These comments are not meant to be taken as if i didn’t enjoy the races, i thought it was great. I am just giving you some constructive criticism on how you can improve it next year
    Dave

    • Theys shoulda been mo Banjo.

    • Yeah, I wish they hadn’t played with the VidFX during interviews! I don’t like it when I’m watching people explain their ‘bot and they suddenly become pixels the size of USB Drives!

  • What was the 404 about earlier today?? Apache RTFM? Will we get any AVC updates and videos because we all want to see that. Hope IT isn’t on fire.

    • Oh, IT is just fine. I think our web server was suffering from the same AVC hangover that some of us were…

      • At least your website is ok now. Is an AVC update on the way??

        • Oh, it’s in the works already. Not sure about the exact numbers, but we have a lot of media to go through. Keep an eye out for it here in the next week or two, though.

  • Missed it this year mabey next.

  • I’m kinda thinking it would be fun to enter an autonomous version of something like this
    Now, if only I can afford the parts to make it happen…

  • What amazed me was the way the top bots were able to utterly and without mercy destroy any possible hope the other competitors might have had.
    Even the Sparkfun Tech Support team, with (I assume) full access to SFE’s inventory, tech support, and the actual parking lot the race would be run on was just annihilated. It hurt just to watch that.
    I was not nearly ready to enter this year, so I didn’t attempt to research any of the competitors… but apparently, this is what I’ll be up against next year:
    http://scottrharris.blogspot.com/2011/04/obstacle-avoidance.html
    Team Tobor is gunna be hard to beat next year. I better get to work.
    Scott’s blog kicks my blog’s ass. Yeah, I’m totally going to school on Scott’s blog.

    • team tobor was awesome. They finished all their runs, including the mass-start…

      • I know! I watched in stunned awe. After reading his blog entries on the AVC, I can see why his robot was so good. The man’s bringing some serious skills to the table. I definitely have my work cut out for me.

  • Enjoyed this on streaming video - great entries and amazing finishes. Will there be an autonomous watercraft division?

  • I wish I could have been there! Maybe next year I’ll be able to enter.

  • Even with the cold and snowy weather, I had fun watching the individual vehicles go round and round and round … some more so than others, one getting some serious altitude, a 4-wheeler crashing 5 feet from the start line, airplane taking its waypoint too soon and getting personal with a tree … It was fun!

  • Live video will be awesome! Are you going to be uploading the video on youtube as well?

  • I’m supporting team “Death by Dihydrogen Monoxide”, just for that awesome name. Watch out for the pond!

    • Have you seen this? It kinda destroys my faith in people, and politicians**. Its like everybody slept through chemistry class.

      **Notably, a busy high-ranking Member of Parliament there (Jacqui Dean, New Zealand) supports a ban on DHMO.

      • They must have failed English class also…
        DiHydrogen Monoxide – >
        Di=2 (2 x Hydrogen)
        Mono=1 oxide=something-to-do-with-oxygen (1 x Oxygen)
        – > 2 Hydrogens + 1 Oxygen (ding ding ding) H2O
        Wow, people scare me!
        ;-> (cjh)


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