3D Robotics

Sparkfun has released its recap video of this year's great Autonomous Vehicle Competition. It was a great weekend for us, and a huge amount of fun, as you'll see. APM-powered vehicles won the air and ground category (the latter using custom-code), and the next day's Multicopter Competition, too. Really proud of all the teams. 

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  • Better spectator area is the best idea, I agree wholeheartedly! :-)

  • Brian, people keep coming up with these ideas for dead-man switches, watchdog failsafes, etc...  it's all a complete non-starter, IMO.  These systems will not prevent crashes, it may at best change the nature of the crashes, but is also likely to cause more crashes.

    I think what needs to happen is simply better spectator setup.  The spectators are way too close to the flight line, first of all.

  • 3D Robotics

    Matt: we did post it hear at the time. Maybe search for "multicopter rodeo"

  • I think any vehicles with props or potentially dangerous mechanics should have a dead man's switch from a remote which must be held down during the entire course. Maybe held by the judge or an official just like the robot wars use. 

    Also couldn't you program a default action for a prop or especially quad or hexacopter to loose all power if it tilts more than 45 degrees in any direction. The nature of the quad copters to me would make it safer, it hovers and is slower going forward or backward as it generates lift. The planes were going fairly quick and could easily be faster than someone's reaction and the electric motors are very quiet. Just my $.02.

    Are there other events like this? I would love to attend one, especially if it's near me in North Florida.

  • Chris, was there any footage of the multicopter competition that came out, or did I miss it on the blog?

  • Man, watching that makes the "no quadcopter" rule seem very irrational.  Thse 1/5th scale cars could definitely break legs, and how many airplanes headed for the crowds?

  • 3D Robotics

    Brakar: No. It's fully under the FAA's non-commercial use rules. 400ft, VLOS, etc. 

  • Moderator
    What issues?
    The vehicles were obviously operated under recreational guidelines.
  • Looks like loads of good fun!

    Chris, out of curiousity, were there any issues related to the legality of autonomous flying in the competition?
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