By Nick Gilbert
SparkFun Electronics will conduct its fourth annual Autonomous Vehicle Competition (AVC) on June 16, 2012. During the yearly -held AVC, the worldwide robotic teams will compete in a contest of home-built ground and aerial vehicles within the facility of SparkFun's HQ. Considered to be the massive competition of all times, the 2012 contest is all set to take place at SparkFun's parking lot.
This signature event of SparkFun is free and open to public. The teams are expected to present a home-built vehicle, which is capable enough to circumnavigate around SparkFun's facility without any human assistance. The 2012 competition will welcome 50 dynamic teams. The participants will compete in two divisions such as ground and aerial to receive a grand prize of $1,000. SparkFun will also award other prizes in categories such as ‘the Kill Switch Award’, for the most dangerous and ‘Engineer's Choice’, honoring the best-designed vehicle.
Around 700 spectators were present during last year’s AVC, while the 2012 event is animated to have more viewers. SparkFun's Department of Education is opening a section of the AVC exclusively for kids, this year. SparkFun will help the participants at the AVC to run their robots along an 8x8-foot maze. In addition, the facility will include a track for robots to race on. SparkFun will also offer a limited number of new ProtoSnap MiniBots and computers for kids.
The AVC is an educational as well as entertainment event that benefits both kids and youth.