SparkFun Forums 

Where electronics enthusiasts find answers.

This forum is for AVC competitors to ask SparkFun for guidance and clarification in regards to our Autonomous Vehicle Competition.
User avatar
By ShawnHymel
Hi all, and welcome to the first-ever Logistics Class (formally known as "Freight Class") AVC event. We wanted to try something new this year, and hopefully having a "task-based" robot competition will entice more people to try their hand at autonomous vehicles. I wanted to create an "official" thread in the forums to help answer questions, clarify details, and post updates to the rules. Feel free to use the forum to ask us any AVC-related questions.

Official 2017 AVC Logistics Class rules can be found here: Updates and revisions to the rules will be found there.
By jwatte
How much do the rings weigh?
Building an arm that can lift several pounds several feet out is ... a challenge :-)
Maybe just a base pivot and a hook, like an old-style tow truck, would do it. And a magnet on the hook?

Also, how far away from the robot is the operator for the non-autonomous options?
Way over in the pits, or walking right next to it?
By tedmeyers
From the rule book: "Each ring will be a 52 inch pool noodle bent and connected to itself to
form a torus with a diameter of about 16.5 inches"

In my experience, pool noodles weigh almost nothing, I would guess that 4 feet of noodle weighs a few ounces.
By tedmeyers
Left one thing out: "Four ¼”-20 bolts will be inserted radially into each ring. This will allow a
ferrous surface for picking up the rings using magnets"

So a little heavier, and MAGNETIC! (well, at least attracted to magnets)
User avatar
By ShawnHymel
@jwatte - I plan to order some rings very soon and attach some bolts to get that weight for everyone. I can't imagine them being more than 1-2 pounds. Implementation for grabbing the rings is up to you :)

@jwatte - We want to make the first time we try this challenging class somewhat easy, so we're going to allow the operator to stand no closer than 1 foot away from their robot. This will allow them to walk behind it for all the tasks.

@antman - The course will be outdoors with no cover, so yes, there is a high probability of sun interference.
By botdesigner
When is the pickup scoring task considered completed?

Lets say my robot autonomously picks up 3 rings from the twilight zone, if I disable autonomous and us RC to drive the robot across the field and then pick up all 3 rings in the danger zone autonomously, would I receive the autonomous multiplier for the task?

i.e. Is the pickup task considered complete once all 6 rings are out of their zones or if all rings the robot is within ten feet of are out of their zones?
User avatar
By ShawnHymel
@botdesigner - You are correct. You may disable autonomous mode once the robot leaves the zone and still receive the autonomous bonus for pickup (assuming you autonomously started outside 10 feet of the rings, picked them up, and moved outside the zone). Once you leave a zone, you are considered to have started the "Transport" task. So, you can receive the autonomous bonus for picking up 6 rings even if you do not use autonomous mode to transport some of them across the track.

@jessejay356 - These are the pool noodles we're planning to use: We will update you in this thread if that changes.
User avatar
By ShawnHymel
Hi all! AVC is around the corner, and we've got some specifics on the materials used in the course.

Red vinyl tape for line following:
Green vinyl tape for zone entrances:
Yellow vinyl tape for marking pedestrian:

Green "signal" for start of match will be an incandescent light:

Red noodles:
Green noodles:
Blue noodles:
By tedmeyers
The Stop/Go light is just for Logistics, right? I'm interested because I'm entered in the Car Wars event, and it was using the same start signal as Logistics (A 2 foot red/green circle). Its just that I've spent some considerable effort getting a reliable system working. But, it does seem like a light might be easier.
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