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Sparkfun Automomous Vehicle Competition entries now open!


Entries for Sparkfun's 2011 Autonomous Vehicle Competition are now open. The event is on April 23rd in Boulder, Colorado at Sparkfun HQ. This is the third year of the AVC. In the first year a DIY Drones team came in first, in the second year we (Doug Weibel!) came in second. Let's not make this an arithmetic pattern!


Here are the new rules for aircraft. Looks like precision landings, low altitude, and autonomous (no hands) take-offs will be winning tactics. Hello, quadcopters!


Air Vehicle Rules:

  • Must also go around all four exterior walls of the building.
  • The lap time will be calculated from when the Judge says 'Go' to when the plane comes to a halt in the back parking lot. A landing (autonomous or manned) outside the rear parking lot will disqualify the lap time.
  • Weather permitting, balloons on long freaking strings will be launched from the four corners of the building. The balloons will serve as guides for the judges/competitors as to the location of the corners/walls of which the non-ground vehicles must circumnavigate.
  • Regardless of weather/wind, the vehicles must clear the four exterior walls/corners of the building (not the balloons), verification of clearing the vertical plane will be up to the four line judges.
  • Autonomous take off is worth a 10 second reduction from raw time.
  • Wheel carriages are allowed for aircraft that don't have their own wheels. Human assisted take-off (throwing a plane) is not considered autonomous.
  • Autonomous landing (coming to a halt) within the indicated box is worth a 30 second reduction in time
  • Within SFE back lot parking area (not in the box, but must be on our blacktop) gets a 10 second reduction in raw time.
  • Time reductions will also be awarded for the three planes that have the lowest peak altitude. To calculate this altitude, SFE will have devices available (likely made up of DEV-09530, SEN-09694 and PRT-00731, came in at 6.71g), weighing no more that 15 grams, to be placed on the UAV by the Judge via double-sided tape on the day of the race. A 60 second reduction goes to the lowest peak, 30 seconds for the second lowest, and 15 seconds for the third lowest. Competitors may also opt not to carry these devices and forego the possibility of a reduced time.

Original Post : Chris A.


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