AVC 2013 info has been posted


Sparkfun has posted rules, walkthrough video, registration for the 2013 AVC.


Both air and ground competitions should be really interesting. The ground course is slightly shorter than previous years, and features fixed, known locations for barrels, the bonus hoop, and the ramp (my robot Data Bus is going to to *love* that feature)

Air competition is primarily over water! And features a wicket hoop thingy to fly under for a bonus, required autonomous takeoff, and a bonus autonomous tennis ball drop.

Scoring is points based with a starting pool of points to which bonus points are added, and time (seconds) is subtracted.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • I agree. I think their intent is to (a) make sure there's a physical start and (b) make sure the robot is self-contained. I cannot imagine them objecting to a safety feature.

  • Jason, when I read through the rules I thought that too, but I think it's just some sub-optimal wording. I really hope that radios are allowed for taking over control.

  • Developer

    Oh boy, cars can NOT have radios on them. They require a physical switch! I foresee some bad RC accidents without the ability to take over control.


  • Rocky Mountain Nerd-Fest!

    Don't forget your density altitude calculations everybody, it can get hot around these parts in June.

  • Josh, you're preaching to the choir! :D

    I've done 107 km/h in the 450 heli, I can wait to get a big one back in the air!

    Though realistically, I don't think we can do those speeds in auto mode yet.  20 m/s maybe.  And then turning at those speeds is even more of a challenge.  Arducopter is not yet capable of accessing all the performance potential in a heli.

  • @R_Lefebvre: a 700 sized heli with a big motor can go over 200 km/h.  Also, the heli could fly directly to the drop off/check point, then turn right back, no need for a turn.  With the plane we all know the faster it's going, the bigger the turn radius :)  The heli stands a good shot at the drop and and would ALWAYS nail the landing with manual control, and faster than any plane.  You also have to worry about going outside the no-fly zone with the plane turns too.

    I would guess a big beefy quad could put up a fight, but it's never going to be faster than the heli.  I think the non-fixed wings have a shot.  I want to enter now.

  • @Michael - no doubt. :)  I'd love to do airplanes some day. I have to learn to fly better though... :)

    @R_Lefebvre: great analysis, thanks!

    So, the ground rules really shake it up at least for the traditional wheeled classes.

    Consistency and accuracy are heavily favored over speed, which itself brings sharply diminishing points returns above 10m/s. Because all runs count, finishing them all is crucial. Last year, I goofed the first two runs. That would be an automatic lose this year.

    Hitting the bonuses is far more important than speed. Above ~4.5m/s there's no reasonable speed that can make up for a missed bonus. E.g., a 4m/s run with all bonuses ties a 23m/s (50mph--average) run with one bonus. A 4.5m/s run with all bonuses ties a one-bonus, 61m/s run (that's only 134mph, though... average).

    I like it. I was wondering how they would make speed less a factor. Quite smart, those Sparkfunions.

    Now... time to go figure out how the heck to be perfect.


  • Hmm, one of these will whip through the course http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXYWV3&P=ML

  • Developer

    im already very curious. would love to come though i probably have no chance winning a price.

    hopefully someone can record the runs on video :)

  • Well, there's no doubt that a VTOL would have an advantage on the drop test.  It's doable in a plane, but tricky.  You'd either have to do really good calc on the trajectory, or dive-bomb it to have a best chance with an airplane.  With a VTOL, you stop, drop, and go. 

    And if it's worth 50 points then... well actually that is a big advantage.  And a VTOL will be able to auto-land much easier. So maybe you're right.  But I guess I need a better understanding of the flight plan.  Analyzing it... 

    The path appears to be about 1500m long.  Minimum flight speed for a quad would be about 5m/sec, so 300 seconds.  That would leave you with a flight time score of 300.  Running at 10m/sec, which should be very easy, would give a time of 150 seconds, giving a score of 450.  That's probably a pretty reasonable time.  Now, lets assume they nail the landing, payload drop, and wicket, they'd score 575.

    For an airplane to match that, without any bonus points would take a speed of 60 m/s, or 216 km/h.  Theoretically possible, but not plausible.  However, if they can pull off the wicket, and the auto landing, they would need a speed of 15 m/s, which is 54 km/h.  That should be possible.  

    So yeah, I guess it is a fair fight.  Those are two pretty low-performance flight profiles for those two machines.

    Where it will get interesting is if somebody can get their quad to fly at 20 m/s, which is definitely possible.  And get the bonus points.  Or if somebody can get an airplane to run the mission at 150 km/h, which is definitely physically possible, but I'm not sure what the state of the art of Ardupilot capability it.

    Then you get the ringer... a TradHeli than can do it all... ;)

This reply was deleted.