Ten years of AVC – and of worrying someone will get hurt – and so far so good (knock on wood)

I can’t believe April is almost over, especially since that means that it’s time to hustle on planning this year’s AVC, but what I really can’t believe is that this year marks the 10th anniversary of SparkFun’s Autonomous Vehicle Competition!

Combat bots 2017

Things that have happened in the ten years since AVC began:

  • I have spent approximately 150 hours of my life watching Game of Thrones
  • “Gangnam Style” (cringe)
  • The Kardashian Era (hard to ignore)
  • BB-8
  • Taylor Swift and I became best friends (in a distant sort of way)
  • Cronuts
  • Oh yeah – and SparkFun celebrated its 15th anniversary in January! That’s a lot of circuit boards.

Given this milestone, it seems only fitting that to celebrate ten years of friendly, self-driving, car-themed camaraderie, we bring the event back to the home county where it all began.

In ten years we’ve grown to add more competitions – lookin’ at you, you adorable little fighting robot; and YOU, you terrifying, 30-pound, man-eating monster – and now we have too many competitors to host at SparkFun HQ. In order to accommodate both the size and awesomeness of SparkFun AVC 2018, I have the honor of announcing that this year’s event will be held at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont, CO, a mere ten minutes from the SparkFun lair.

In case you’re worried that you’ll have to share space with goats, I assure you that if all goes according to plan…yes, there will be goats. And horses (hopefully the wind blows in a favorable direction). We are already casually discussing goat yoga.

Classic AVC vehicle 2017

To answer everyone’s most pressing questions:

  1. Combat Bots will be indoors.
  2. AVC will be outdoors on a packed dirt parking lot. And yeah, we’re worried about weather. This is Colorado; WE’RE ALWAYS WORRIED ABOUT WEATHER. That’s why we moved it to September again. I’ll stop yelling.

In all seriousness, we are so excited to create a spectacular experience for this year’s competitors and build on last year’s record-breaking success of over 180 participating teams from all over the country. We have a lot of plans in the works for this year’s event, so stay tuned!

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