Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicles

Sparkfun AVC 2015

2015-06-16 15.49.49What?

Robot race competition with autonomous vehicles that know GPS of the course, soldering classes, maker talks, factory/office tour of Sparkfun HQ, battle bot…battles!, raffle, and epicness.

When?

All day Saturday, glorious hot day, no rain.

2015-06-21 19.18.21Where?

Boulder Colorado – this is the most beautiful, special place. Unique, relaxed, so many trees so many flowers, everyone on bikes zipping around, bunnies that cross your path just like squirrels, the best restaurants and cafes, even bubble tea and a playground for kids that’s just a bunch of boulders.
Sparkfun HQ – new home for the electronics company, bigger better facility, room to grow, room to throw this amazing annual event.

 

Who?

2015-06-18 09.38.25The above & beyond Sparkfun staff, community of Boulder makers, robotic obsessed people, Kinetic Sand, hackster.io and the DeLorean, aquaponics makers, battle bot experts, and lots of families curious to see what is going on with this very special company founded by Nathan Seidle in 2003.

 

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What a special weekend to come to Boulder Colorado to support Sparkfun in their growing annual event for the robotic pursuit of a race with autonomous vehicles and give awards in several categories and judged criteria.  From early morning, guests were checking in and came down to participate in classes, visit some of the sponsors, take a tour of the building, and of course watch the races and numerous heats of the talented teams of engineers!  The largest tent was for all the teams to use for last minute preparations, repairs and improvements to their vehicles.

Reminds me of Sunday in the Park...but with robot fans!

Reminds me of Sunday in the Park…but with robot fans!

Basically, it was a flurry of activity of people watching races, talking to the spectacular Sparkfun staff about maker projects, hardware, classes, and their great products.  At the hackster.io tent with the DeLorean, guests definitely did their fare share of asking us where the Flux Capacitor is!!  We love that joke, but then we get to the meat of it which is this DeLorean has been hacked in 10 U.S. cities at our amazing hackathon events.  People have made new radios, car anti-theft devices, and other IoT essentials like sensors that let you know if you have installed your baby car seat correctly (or not!)  Hackers at our events also make smart home projects, smart sports inventions, and smart city devices.  For this Sparkfun event, we weren’t going to try to pull peoples’ attention away from the autonomous vehicles to have a full on hackathon, just fun to bring the DeLorean to Boulder to inspire more makers!

2015-06-20 16.07.36For those who stuck it out till the end of the day, will know that it was very hot, and Evan, the host was still going strong till the last “heats”  Yes, as a Californian, I know when it’s really too hot!  The Sparkfun staff was completely on top of it and kept the whole schedule running on time.  At the very end, when the judges’ decisions were about to be revealed, Sparkfun very kindly let me get up on stage.  No need for a spotlight, we still had full-on afternoon sun!!  I made my few jokes and shout outs, had to let everyone know how excited I was to meet Nathan, but also to see the official giant Lilypad pillow or “LiPillow”  It was a long hot day and it was totally easy for me to just give a little acapella riff of my song, “This Is How We Make” and encourage my Colorado fans to go on youtube and see my full video and all 🙂  It all worked out perfectly and I sang the part about conductive thread, which is what Sparkfun has really sparked in me, my obsession with wearable tech and teaching kids how to make their own!

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All in all, you ALL need to be there and definitely I would recommend to put it on your annual calendar, enjoy Boulder Colorado for a weekend, do a Sparkfun day, and Sunday do an outdoor adventure like rock climbing, river rafting, hiking or biking.  Something like that 🙂

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