Hi All,

Thought that I would start this discussion concerning preparations for the Sparkfun 2013 AVC so that we can archive our efforts for this year and provide guidance for next years competition.

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Great idea!

The rule and venue changes stir things up quite a bit. Since all runs count this year, consistency is crucial. Bonuses cannot be made up for at average speeds around 5m/s. So enough navigation precision/accuracy to consistently earn bonuses (hoop and ramp) is also crucial. Speed has diminishing returns above a certain point. So I would submit that consistency, reliability, and precise navigation are more important than speed increases. I'd rather run perfectly every time at 5m/s than inconsistently at 8 or even 10.

Looking forward to the discussions.

The ramp is interesting because it's pretty risky.  Get it wrong, and you could be upside down.

Yes, definitely!

@Bot_Thoughts,

Nice observations, especially the one about maximizing consistency over trying to maximize speed! :-)

Regards,

TCIII

I sent my entry video to avc@sparkfun.com on May 8, but never got a confirmation that they received it. Did anyone else get a confirmation back from Sparkfun??

I knew it couldn't possibly go smoothly. Something had to go wrong. I just got another reminder email today claiming I hadn't verified my robot entry. What the...?!?!  I sent two emails and left a voicemail with SFE customer service.


So, I'll probably be dropped from the competition because all my communications were lost in the ether... whee.

@Bot_Thoughts,

Don't dispare. It took me working through 3DR to get a response from Sparkfun as they said that they had been overwhelmed with responses to their request. I sent mine in on the first Monday after the request email went out and finally had to request support from 3DR to determine that I was still registered. Send them another email and request status!

Regards,

TCIII

+1

Ok, thanks. I guess if nothing else I have the original sent email and the upload date on the video...  I'll try to call them on Monday again.

Sigh of relief. The weekend email was a mistake. They got my vid, I'm on the list. Got an email and phone call from Robert C.

@Bot_Thoughts,

Great news! Glad to hear that you got it resolved.

Regards,

TCIII

I have a PBR class entry that is too small to do well on the ramp....

I still have enough space under the $350... to add a righting servo... ie a servo and arm that will flip the bot right side up...  still have lots of tuning to do so not sure if that is worth the effort or not....

I felt it was best to focus on getting the robot to operate consistently under normal conditions then worry about less likely scenarios later (ie, never ;))

I'm debating what to do, if anything, about avoiding collisions with other robots.

Also, speaking of ramps, my brief ramp tests at various speeds make me worry. :) Data Bus (1:10 scale) has some pretty impressive hang time at speed. :D The landing is rather rough, though. And seems to want to make the truck go squirrelly on occasion. At one point a high speed jump popped out the power cable to my main board. Hmmm.

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