SparkFun Electronics to Host Third Annual Autonomous Vehicle Competition on April 23, 2011

Company's annual event in Boulder offers DIY's of all ages a chance to showcase and test out their inventions on the ground and in the air

Mar 14, 2011, 09:08 ET from SparkFun Electronics

BOULDER, Colo., March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 23, 2011, SparkFun Electronics (, a supplier of really fun and cool electronics components for aspiring do-it-yourself electronic enthusiasts of all ages, will host the third annual Autonomous Vehicle Competition (AVC) - an event in which home-built autonomous ground and aerial vehicles square off in a no-holds-barred race around SparkFun's Boulder headquarters.

The event, now in its third year, invites entrants to SparkFun's home offices for a day of good-natured (yet also enjoyably cutthroat) robotics competition. Last year's AVC drew 20 teams and approximately 400 spectators. This year, the competition is expected to soar to new heights as the limit on the number of teams has been lifted and there currently are over 40 squads entered to compete. In addition, the course will have new obstacles added to increase its difficulty.

"Last year's race showed us that the event is evolving," said SparkFun Engineer Ryan Owens. "We wanted to step it up a notch and add a new degree of difficulty to the race. We are genuinely excited to see how people fare and can't wait to check out the new rigs for this year's AVC."

The AVC originally was held to encourage innovation in embedded electronics, but has quickly become SparkFun's signature event. Individuals have travelled from all over the country and world to compete and watch as competitors throw caution to the wind and put their electronics-laden vehicles to the test.  

Competitors vie not only for the fastest lap, but also for other awards like Engineer's Choice (best design) and Kill Switch (most out of control robot). The event begins at 8:30 AM and ends at approximately 3:00 PM (or whenever all the vehicles accidentally end up in the SparkFun pond) come rain or shine. As part of the event, the company will have food booths, live music and offer tours of SparkFun's facility. The public is welcome to attend the event.

To catch a glimpse of what SparkFun's AVC is all about, check out this link from last year's event ( Or call the company at 1-303-284-0979 for more information.

About SparkFun Electronics

SparkFun is an online retail store that sells the bits and pieces to make electronics projects possible. Whether it's a homebuilt MP3 player or a GPS cat tracking device, the company's products and resources are designed to make the world of electronics more accessible to any individual with an inventive spirit. In addition to products, SparkFun also offers classes and a number of online tutorials designed to help educate individuals in the wonderful world of embedded electronics. For more information, visit

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SOURCE SparkFun Electronics