Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition recap video

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. 

Views: 878

Comment by brakar on July 23, 2012 at 1:37pm
Looks like loads of good fun!

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

Comment by Sgt Ric on July 23, 2012 at 1:43pm
What issues?
The vehicles were obviously operated under recreational guidelines.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on July 23, 2012 at 3:04pm

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

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on July 23, 2012 at 3:16pm

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?

Comment by Matt on July 23, 2012 at 8:16pm

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

Comment by Brian Boatright on July 23, 2012 at 9:03pm

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.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on July 23, 2012 at 10:41pm

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

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on July 24, 2012 at 7:43am

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.

Comment by Brian Boatright on July 24, 2012 at 7:47am

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


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