Sparkfun AVC 2014: G-Force 1.0

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.