My family and I have been a spectators before at the fantastic SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition held each year in Boulder, CO. This year we decided to have a go at competing and built our first autonomous vehicle, named G-Force, which turned out to be an ironic name as it was actually one of the slowest entrants. Imagine our surprise when we won 2nd place in the Peloton class!
Here’s a video of our second run of the day. I found out afterwards that the reason it veers off to the right at the start is due to a bug where it was briefly heading towards the North Pole while waiting for the first GPS reading.
G-Force was built from scratch with plywood. The main electronic components used were:
- Arduino Mega 2560
- Adafruit Data Logger Shield
- Adafruit Ultimate GPS
- Sparkfun Magnetometer (compass)
- Parallax Ping Sensors
- Pololu Motor Controller
- Pololu 34:1 Metal Gear Motors
- Wild Thumper Wheels
The total cost of the project was around $500.
To see the history of this project: http://theotherandygrove.com/category/sparkfun-avc/