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AVC Recap Video


We've been crazy busy around here preparing for our trip to Maker Faire San Mateo at the end of the week, but don't worry - we didn't forget about the Autonomous Vehicle Competition (AVC) recap video. So here it is, in all its glory!

If you aren't familiar with the SparkFun AVC, it is a competition that invites teams from all over the world to descend on SparkFun HQ for a no-holds-barred autonomous vehicle race around our building. There are both aerial and ground categories, and it makes for a great day of robotics competition and good old-fashioned SparkFun camaraderie. If you've never attended, we would love to see you out here next year! Start building now!


Comments 37 comments

  • Was that Grant Imahara from Mythbusters at 1:36-1:40 in the video, or just someone who looks and sounds like him?
    Also those air vehicles looked a bit dangerous. I hope no one in the crowd got hit by one (there were some close calls in the video).

    • Though Grant is a SparkFun customer (see Geoff Ferguson, Robot Co-Host of Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson for something he used some of our parts for) and generally super awesome, that’s not him.

    • No, that’s me! But, I’m flattered?

    • I was able to watch some of the heats from the bleachers in the third round and actually did get hit with one of the planes (I want to say it was DIY Drones). They look a lot scarier than they are - it was super light and made almost entirely out of styrofoam. I daresay the experience was almost pleasant. =)

      • Were any made of metal or tough plastic.

      • Well the ducted fan propelled models would be OK, but it would really be bad to get a spinning prop in the face.
        Maybe one of these days someone will enter a mini airship, that would look cool.

        • I got attacked by quad-rotor once, the blades don’t really hurt that much, it like being whacked with a bamboo skewer. Though it’s going really fast the surface area is too small to do much damage. Also the brushless motors don’t have a lot of torque when they hit something so they stop.

          • What sort of quad rotor ?? one of the “jump jets” 100 grams total ??
            APC props are flying knives ..
            I DARE you to put your hand in the prop arc of my 24 inch ( motor to motor ) quad at even hover rpm .. Which was similar in size to the ones you saw at the contest
            You have no idea what you are talking about. Seriously man.

    • I got hit by one.

  • Erik put this in the IRC earlier this morning: New York Time’s Video

    • And I got it from David, the Dinosaur Tamer.

    • Also, first page of the Business section. Article is more focused on DIY Drones but mentions the AVC and has a photo that is clearly Sparkfun HQ.
      Good job, guys! I was really surprised when I saw this!

  • Robot should have well functional remote to easy be control. Contact the Tampa car accident attorny

  • Hey, the crowd isn’t a waypoint!

  • Great vid!!!
    They aren’t kidding with “Start building now!” Don’t wait until the last minute (== six months before the competition) like I did!

  • Of course you must post this when I do not have access to my computer. Oh well, there is always free day 2012 (right?)

  • Not that I am a wiz at english, but I suppose the last sentence should read “Start building now!” instead of “Starting building now!”.
    Yeah I hope I can enter one day too.

  • I so wish I could have watched the live feed :\

    • you might want to rethink that one… it was in like 12p not 1280p. and black & white too. but still fun though…

  • damn nice! thumbs up

  • Wow. I really wish I could come to one of those sometime :)

    • Start planning! There is no exact date for next year yet, but rest assured, there will be AVC 2012. The more the merrier!

      • start planning to make $1000+ on a 12/wk allowance and no time for a summer job? i wish had the money. i watched ALL of it in gracious blk/white/color ballance fail streaming post and posted about 2000 IRC posts and did nothing else that day. but I want to be there, to SEE Robert, to talk to whoever is a drummer and a maker like me too! some wonderful day…

  • The fact that this is so close to Maker Faire leaves the rest of the year kind of wanting…..But wait there’s Antimov…We will return to crash again next year. Thanks to everyone at Sparkfun for a rowdy intelligent good time.

  • That looked so fun!
    Is the aerial class exempt from being autonomous?
    I saw a few remotes.

    • Pretty much every robot had a remote. And by remote I mean a conventional RC controller. This is because virtually every robot was, at it’s core, a remote controlled toy. For the competition, they had to run autonomously with the remote serving only as a “Kill button” or as a failsafe in the event of an out of control robot.
      Basically, people took an RC toy, then added an autonomous CPU to it (Usually in the form of an Arduino or Arduino MEGA) and ran that. So of course, they used the remote as the failsafe / Kill Switch.
      The most advanced (That I could tell) Was Team Tobor, who used a 1/10 scale RC racer (A Tamiya Grasshopper) and added an Arduino MEGA to run the Enhanced Kalman Filter that aggregated the GPS, Accelerometer, Odometrics, and Magnetometer readings to best approximate it’s actual location.
      Team Tobor won. The lesson? Do NOT rely on GPS alone.
      Each robot had a judge running along side to make sure the competitor wasn’t actually using the remote to control the robot.

    • Take-offs and landings could be either, but it had to fully circumnavigate the building autonomously.

    • The aerial class is also autonomous. However, all the aerial vehicles have a manual override so they can take control if the vehicle starts to make a break for it.

      • Except for when that one Quadcopter lost it’s battery and the thing just fell.

        • That was my copter… Funny thing is the battery falling out was the best thing that could have happened. It actually auto-rotated down to a safe landing from 100 ft. The bug that caused the height issue however, eventually claimed the copter. If someone in the Eastern boulder area comes across it let me know!

    • It was my understanding that every entry had to be autonomous.

  • That was pretty cool. I couldn’t show up in person this year, but I was able to watch the simu-cast. Next year I plan on attending and entering a robot. It’ll be great!


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