AVC 2012 Fourth annual - June 16, 2012

SparkFun’s fourth annual Autonomous Vehicle Competition was held June 16, 2012 at SparkFun Headquarters in Boulder, CO.

This year featured aerial and ground vehicles. Quadcopters, having been introduced last year, were banned this year due to safety concerns.


Air Vehicle Class

Place Team Official Time
1st Overhead 36.62 seconds
2nd Robota 44.50 seconds
3rd Lost in Air-Space 1 minute and 54 seconds

Ground Vehicle Class

Place Team Official Time
1st 0x27 2.08 seconds*
2nd Minuteman 9.46 seconds
3rd Databus 37.16 seconds
*Note there is a time bonus for making it through the hoop (see official rules below). This rover did not actually make it around the building in two seconds, though that would have been pretty cool.

Special Awards

Crowd's Choice · Most entertaining Die!Wheel!
Engineer's Choice · Best technical design Namniart
Kill Switch Award · Most dangerous Snobbotics
Water Hazard Award · Finds the pond and/or stream Viator
Rookie Award · Best first-time competitor Short Circuit
Best Dressed · Most interesting costume/vehicle Kegbot

Official Rules

Ground Vehicle Rules

  • Only required to go around all four exterior walls of the building. No exact course will be marked, but sections will be roped off to keep spectators off of the main "expected" course.
  • No environmental modifications allowed (competitors may not put down tape, IR beacons, or any other temporary or semi-permanent marks).
  • There will be 4 large barrels placed as obstacles on the course, spaced no closer than 15 feet to each other, positions to be determined on race day.
  • Raw times for each run will be calculated from when a ground vehicle first crosses the start/finish line, goes around the building, and again crosses the start finish line. If a vehicle becomes stuck for more than 60 seconds it is disqualified for that run (that’s usually enough time to determine that there is a problem).
  • There will be an arch (imagine croquet) located somewhere on the course, actual position to be determined on race day. Any ground vehicle that goes through the hoop gets 30 seconds off their official time for that run. The arch will be painted red for ease of optical identification, and a picture of this arch will be made available before race day for all competitors to see. The arch will be 53" wide (at the widest) and 34" tall in the middle.
  • Max time limit per run is 5 minutes.
  • Kill switches are required for vehicles over 30 pounds, to be demonstrated to the judges on race day.

Air Vehicle Rules

  • No quadcopters or helicopters allowed!
  • 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 do not 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..


Race Day Photos

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Course Preview Video

Recap Video

Time Lapse Video