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SparkFun's Second Annual Autonomous Vehicle Competition to Take Place on April 17th

 

BOULDER, Colo. April 16, 2010 – On April 17th, 2010 starting at 9 AM, Boulder-based SparkFun Electronics will host the second annual SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition. This event will pit teams of competitors against each other in a no-holds barred race around the SparkFun office building at 6175 Longbow Drive. The vehicles can be aerial or grounded, but must travel autonomously with no human guidance.

Nathan Seidle, SparkFun’s founder and CEO, created the competition to encourage innovation in electronic prototyping while also involving members of the SparkFun community in a fun, family-friendly event. The competition was a huge success last year and SparkFun has been working for the past year to make this year’s competition bigger and better.

In last year’s event, there were approximately 12 teams and 100 spectators in attendance. This year, SparkFun expects 25-30 teams from all over the country and hundreds of onlookers.

“The Autonomous Vehicle Competition is something we’ve been looking forward to all year,” said SparkFun Engineer Ryan Owens. “It’s such a great opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to get together and have some fun with electronics. Each year we hope to improve the competition and make it even better, and I really think we’ve done that this year.”

The most important change to this year’s race is the creation of separate categories for aerial and ground vehicles.  Also, last year, competitors and spectators had to head off-site for food and beverages, but this year’s event is complete with breakfast and lunch vendors. Once again, however, the hoopla will be centered around the race itself.

Awards are given out not only for fastest time, but also for Engineer’s Choice (the best designed vehicle in the eyes of the SparkFun engineers), Kill Switch Award (the most out of control vehicle), Water Hazard Award (for any vehicle that ends up in the pond or creek), as well as other categories.

The AVC will take place April 17th, rain or shine. If you are looking for some good educational family entertainment, stop on by and cheer on the teams.
 

About SparkFun Electronics

 

SparkFun is a young and quickly growing company dedicated to enabling the electronics enthusiast with gear and resources. SparkFun was named the second fastest growing company in Boulder County by the Boulder County Business Report in 2008. For examples of how customers have used SparkFun products and services in the past, visit Hack-a-Day’s website or WIRED magazine’s article suggesting how SparkFun and SparkFun’s Batch PCB service fit into the Open Source Hardware movement. For insight on Nathan Seidle and the philosophy behind SparkFun, read this article from the February issue of Fortune Small Business.

 

For more information call AnnDrea Boe at 303-284-0979 extension 123, or email AnnDrea Boe at anndrea@sparkfun.com.

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To download a PDF version of the press release, please click here.