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!


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



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.


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!




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.


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



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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