Under a cool and cloudy sky, SparkFun held their annual autonomous vehicle competition today in Gunbarrel, in airborne and terrestrial categories. Contestants came from places like Europe, Arizona, Wyoming, and locally, to compete.
A club from the University of Arizona getting ready for their launch:
The "house band" (comprised of SparkFun employees in lab coats), kept the crowd entertained:
SparkFun itself is an amazing Boulder County success story. In a down economy, they've quadrupled their employee count to 80 in the last two years, left Boulder for Gunbarrel to get more space, and have now taken over the entire building that they used to share. And in an age where all electronics is automatically assumed to be made in China, these folks do their engineering, assembly and test right here. And they have fun and take pride in doing so.
If you decide to attend next year (it's free), be sure to take the factory tour which runs every thirty minutes.
A few shots from the autonomous car competition:
Elmo was quite the crowd favorite but he got stopped by a curb on the third turn around the building: