Friday, November 25, 2011

Sparkfun AVC 2012

Data Bus is back and he's pissed.
Last April, Data Bus experienced crushing, embarrassing, humbling defeat. For six months, he's been nursing his wounds and stoking the fire in his belly while his thirst for victory has grown insatiable. 

It's time.

I'm getting an early start on the 2012 Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition, greatly aided by the fact that I'm not starting from scratch. I'll chronicle the revisions over the next six months.

So far I've...
  • upgraded to a 2.4GHz radio system,
  • installed a brushless motor with LiPo battery,
  • reinstalled my CHR-6dm, 9DOF AHRS,
  • refurbished the wheel encoders,
  • installed steering link turnbuckles,
  • conducted some preliminary experiments,
  • blown up two GPS modules,
  • damaged my encoder board,
  • experimented with a Ground Control Station,
  • cleaned up the code, and
  • remounted the GPS to eliminate the sensor mast.
That and a few other things I may go into in more detail later. Presently, my primary concern, and biggest challenge, is to obtain a reliable and accurate heading reference.


  1. I wish you luck! I'm starting on my bot also.

  2. Thanks, you too! We'll chat via email...

  3. I wish you luck as well! I too will be competing in the AVC this year. I'll check back here to see your progress, as I hope you'll check out my blog to see mine.

    This will be my first AVC, and my first autonomous robot at all. It will be great journey of discovery!

    -Bob Sellers (


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