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SparkFun's 2013 AVC

posted Jun 15, 2013, 7:23 PM by Galen Raben   [ updated Jan 8, 2014, 8:49 PM ]
June 15, 2013
On a more fun subject... We had so much fun at the SparkFun's AVC  (short for Autonomous Vehicle Competition) last year, we decided to attend the event again this year! This year the AVC was held June 8th at Boulder Reservoir, which was a change from their past events being held at the SparkFun Campus. This allowed them to bring back the popular aerial vehicles and also gave them much more room for competions and spectators. The aerial competition was held on the side by the lake (Boulder Reservoir), with competitors completing much of the course over the water. The ground competitions were held nearby in a large open area and parking lot.

AVC 2013 Sumarry Video


Upon entering the gates these signs greeted visitors and added some sense of fun to the event...


The ground competition seemed much more competitive this year, last year seemingly most competitors couldn't get off the starting line (though there were a few stunning runs. This year much of the action was fast and furious with many of the competitors getting well through the course or completing. 

A couple of photos of the ground competition starting line...



A view of the first corner on the ground course showing a bit more of the course and some of the obstacles competitors had to steer around.


A photo of one of the competitors clearing a barrel obstacle in the course.


One of my favorite competitors. It was big and fast. And gas powered! (Obviously an adrenaline junkie, note the Go-Pro camera just below his chin)...


The final challenge obstacle in the aerial competition. If you look closely just under the orange cable to right, a quadcopter is hovering below the cable. Unfortunately for this one, the quadcopter decided it was time to go vertical here, and crashed promptly into the cable just after I took this photo...


A photo of a bit more of the aerial course, Just above the boat on the left, you see a portion of the peninsula the where the aerial competitors were to fly out to, drop a bomb on a target, and come back from there...


Some of the free "Swag" I picked up at the competition. (note, there was also a neat little balsa bi-plane, but my son has it and wasn't available when I snapped this photo)...


All in all we had a great time at this year's SparkFun AVC and hope to go again next year - only this time as a competitor? I've got lots of ideas to play with for the ground competition. Many of them involving an Arduino and the Raspberry Pi I picked up last winter...
-Galen
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