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This forum is for AVC competitors to ask SparkFun for guidance and clarification in regards to our Autonomous Vehicle Competition.
By tedmeyers
Per the Nerf Gun: Will the Nerf Gun be provided, or will we be allowed to bring one of our own choosing? If so, does it have to be Nerf brand? Does it have to shoot darts, or will discs/balls/etc be allowed? Can it be battery powered (to ease one-handed operation)?

Riders: Is there a minimum age limit for riders? Are 2 riders allowed on 1 vehicle (one to hold the coffee and one to fire the Nerf Gun)?

Starting: What happens in the case of a false start? Like the car starts before/while the disk is turned? Is it acceptable if the car starts a few seconds (maybe 10 or 20 sec) after the disk is turned? How long will we have between turning on the vehicle and the starting signal? I ask because it will be easier to tune the computer vision algorithm if I know that it will be between say 30 seconds and 1 minute.

Also, what color will the back of the starting disk be (the non-green) side. And can you provide a sample or brand/tint of the paint color that will be used? I would like to use the correct color for testing my CV code.


By Pete-O
Nerf gun: You provide, does not have to be Nerf brand but it must shoot darts, not disks, balls or anything else. Battery operated? Hmm... I'm sorta against it, but as long as it's not a rapid-fire setup, I think that's OK. But it's true, you will only have one hand to actuate the gun, cuz the other's got a cup of coffee in it.

Rider age... any age, really. But a rider under 18 will likely require additional waivers of some kind, and certainly an adult present and supervising. We really don't want kids to get hurt, you know?

Starting: t=The clock starts ticking at the turn of the signal. So a late start is fine, but you're losing points. Time between turn-on and flipping the signal... that's sorta up to you (as to when you turn on), but I expect less than a minute.

The back of the start signal will be red (makes sense, right?). I don't have a specific tint yet, we'll have to provide. Stay tuned...
By tedmeyers
Thanks, that helps.

A little more on the starting signal: my concern is that with the outdoor environment, getting a super reliable starting algorithm may be difficult. I'm thinking that I will initially have the sensitivity dialed down and gradually increase it over time until I get a positive. Hence the concern with timing, so I think that your answer helps, as it sounds like I can control the timing to some extent.

I'm still worried about false positives though, if the run is DQ'd due to a false start, then I need to really dial down the sensitivity, but if I get a do-over then I can make it more hair-triggered. So, do we get re-tries?