SparkFun just announced next year's Autonomous Vehicle Competition, an autonomous race around their building in Boulder, Colorado. The 2012 event will be held on Saturday, June 16 (later in the year than the last few times, to avoid inclement weather).

As in previous years, there will be two competitions: ground vehicles and air vehicles. The biggest change is that this year they won't be allowing any multicopters or helis in the air category due to safety concerns.

Check out the news posting here and the rules and entry here.

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Comment by Ryan Beall on December 15, 2011 at 11:36am

Crap, I was going to go but I will be deployed then!  Thanks for moving it later and ruining my plans ;)  Hope the weather is rainy and crummy.  JK have fun all!

Comment by Dany Thivierge on December 15, 2011 at 12:08pm

If you're a veteran of previous AVC's, check the rules carefully as there have been a few adjustments this year. Most notably is this one new rule: no quadcopters or heli's of any kind. I know, I know - people love the quads. We do too, truthfully. But they are pretty dangerous and as the event (and crowd) grows, the risk isn't worth the reward. So leave the quad's and heli's at home - sorry folks.

Crap... I know what they are saying but with the progress we made this past year (and June is still a long way) we could have shown how it should be done with a Quad! 

Doesn't look like we can make them change their mind... unless someone build a huge cage around their building... :) hehe any volunteer? 

Comment by I.S. on December 15, 2011 at 12:14pm

I trully understoo them, but instead of banning copters they could put some requirements as they must have props protected as the ARDrone, and a low maximum weight allowed. 

Comment by Kirill on December 15, 2011 at 12:15pm

Will DIYDrones take part in competition?

As I understood, multicopters and helis won't be allowed at all? Were there any accidents before?

Comment by Doug Weibel on December 15, 2011 at 12:44pm

Of course we will take part!  My entry has already been placed.  

Team Death by Pine Tree

2010 AVC Second Place

2011 AVC Second Plac

2011 AVC Engineers Choice Award

Comment by Doug Weibel on December 15, 2011 at 12:46pm

There were no accidents, but there definitely was cause for concern.  The rules last year encouraged low flight, so the quads were flying around at eye level, and they have nearly non-existent crowd control so there was a mob of people surrounding the quads in flight.

Comment by AVS on December 15, 2011 at 12:56pm

It is a shame that copters are not allowed but I fully support sparkfuns excellent decision. I hope that one day we find a way to make copters safer. Good luck Doug you deserve to win :)

Comment by Kirill on December 15, 2011 at 1:04pm

Yes, on the hand it's pity that copters are now allowed, but on the other - safety first.

Good luck you Doug and all DIYDrones team, I'll cheer for you!

Comment by Jason Short on December 15, 2011 at 1:31pm

Totally bummed about the quad rule. I can see heli's, but quads... :(

Comment by on December 15, 2011 at 2:18pm

That is a shame that Jason does not get a chance so show off the improvements with arducopter over the last year :( It would be better if they could allow multi copters with a protective frame around it?  Despite this it will still be an interesting event!


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