Good news for those joining us at Sparkfun's Autonomous Vehicle Competition: if you're bringing your kids, they'll have something fun to do:

Sparkfun announcement:

At this year's competition, we will have an 8-by-8 foot maze, as well as a racetrack, where you can compete and play with robots. You can build with LEGO, VEX, Arduino, BASIC STAMP, PIC, Gears ... whatever you want! Bring your robot to AVC and we'll help you run the courses. 

Kids will run their races between the adult heats, and each kid will have three runs (time permitting, we hope to also get a few practice runs in). If the maze is a bit challenging, we will weigh it against the plain speed track to form the judging rubric.

A couple of technical points:

  • Your robot should be less than 8 inches wide to fit through the maze.
  • The course walls will be approximately 3 inches tall, and painted white for calibration.
  • You can run any platform you bring, as long as it does not harm the other robot. Good sportsmanship please!
  • We will break out three age groups -- 8 and under, 8-12, and 12 and up -- but we may run you all together.

What if you don't have a robot? Don't despair! We will be providing a limited number of ProtoSnap MiniBots and computers, so kids can play with them and get to run a bot even if they don't have one of their own. There will be SparkFun volunteers to help get everyone straightened out on programming the MiniBot. Unfortunately, we won't be able to help with programming other platforms.

We are scheduling this event on the AVC EventBrite sign up, so if you want a good seat, please register as soon as possible, and let us know how many kids you'll be bringing.  If your entrant(s) will need access to a robot, please email us at; that way we can do our best to make sure we are prepared and no one is disappointed. If you are using one of our robots, we may schedule you around the demand for MiniBot.

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