BOULDER, Colo., April 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- SparkFun Electronics (www.sparkfun.com), a supplier of really fun and cool electronics components for aspiring do-it-yourself electronic enthusiasts of all ages, held its third annual SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition (AVC). This event brings individuals and teams from all across the country together for a day of camaraderie and robotics competition.
The SparkFun AVC invites competitors to put their homegrown autonomous ground and aerial vehicles to the test in a race around SparkFun headquarters. Despite a day of subpar weather, this year's event was the largest yet with more than 700 people in attendance and approximately 50 teams vying for the top spot.
"Each year, we are continually amazed by the vehicles our customers bring to this competition," said SparkFun Director of Marketing AnnDrea Boe. "This year was such a great turnout and we can't wait to see what our community has in store for us next year."
Vehicles range from a standard hacked remote control car to quadcopters – helicopters that feature four blades and have outstanding speed and control. Perhaps the most unusual entry this year was an electric wheelchair that had been converted into an 8-foot tall dinosaur. The winner of the ground division was Team Tobor, with an adjusted time of 26 seconds while Team Robota won the aerial category for the second year in a row. Awards also were given out for Engineers' Choice (best designed vehicle), Crowd Pleaser (most entertaining), Rookie Award (best newcomer), Kill Switch Award (most dangerous vehicle), Water Hazard (vehicle that ended up in the pond), and Best Dressed (for the best dressed team/vehicle).
SparkFun founder and CEO Nathan Seidle originally planned the event as friendly bet between the SparkFun engineers to see who could build the best autonomous vehicle. Shortly after, Seidle realized it would be a great opportunity for the SparkFun community to come together for a day of family-friendly robotics and opened it up to the public. The AVC also is designed to encourage innovation and advancement in the field of DIY electronics. SparkFun has high hopes for the continued growth of the event and initial plans for next year have already begun.
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 the average person. 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 (www.sparkfun.com)
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SOURCE SparkFun Electronics