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Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition (AVC): Xilinx spends a day at the races

Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
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Xilinx had a table in Maker’s Alley at the 8th Annual Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition (AVC), held today in Niwot, Colorado near Boulder. AEs and software engineers from the nearby Xilinx Longmont facility staffed the table along with Aaron Behman and myself. We answered many questions and demonstrated an optical-flow algorithm running on a Zynq-based ZC706 Eval Kit. The demo accepted HDMI video from a camcorder, converted the live HD video stream to greyscale, extracted motion information on a frame-by-frame basis, and displayed the motion on a video monitor using color-coding to express the direction and magnitude of the motion, all in real time. We also gave out 50 Xilinx SDSoC licenses and awarded five Zynq-based ZYBO kits to lucky winners. Digilent supplied the kits. (See “About those Zynq-based Zybo boards we're giving away at Sparkfun’s Autonomous Vehicle Competition: They’re kits now!”)



Xilinx at Sparkfun AVC 2016.jpg 


The Xilinx table in Maker’s Alley at Sparkfun AVC 2016



In case you are not familiar with the Sparkfun AVC, it’s an autonomous vehicle competition and this year, there were two classes of autonomous vehicle: Classic and Power Racing. The Classic class vehicle was about the size of an R/C car and raced on an appropriately sized track with hazards including the Discombobulator (a gasoline-powered turntable), a ball pit, hairpin turns, and an optional dirt-track shortcut. The Power Racing class is based on kid’s Power Wheels vehicles, which are sized to be driven by young kids but in this race were required to be carrying adults. There were races for both autonomous and human-driven Power Racers.


Here’s a video of one of the Sparkfun AVC Classic races getting off to a particularly rocky start:






Here’s a short video of an Autonomous Power Racing race, getting off to an equally disastrous start:





And here’s a long video of an entire, 30-lap, human-driven Power Racing race:






Sparkfun AVC 2016 Program.jpg


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