Race A YetiBorg In Formula Pi
Written by Lucy Black   
Sunday, 31 July 2016

Fancy your chances as a racing driver? Formula Pi is the world's first race series for self-driving Raspberry Pis. It is being organized by PiBorg, which sells robotics add-ons and kits for the Pi.

Formulapibanner

Formula Pi is being organized as a Kickstarter project with the idea that backers can take part in one of both race events, a Winter series taking place for October 2016 to January 2017 and a Summer series - from April to July 2017.

The idea is to:

give people with little hardware or software experience a platform to get started and learn how autonomous vehicles work.

 FormulaPI1

PiBorg provides the hardware, called the Yetiborg and essentially a chassis with four wheels, and the basic software required for racing and participants can modify the software as much as they want to. As this makes it a coding contest you can join in from anywhere in the world and races will be broadcast live from PiBorg HQ in Cambridgeshire, England.

A pledge of £35 gains entry to one race series (£70 to join both) and a customisable YetiBorg top - a YetiLid - which is a fibreglass lid with a slot for the microSD card onto which you load your code. You can decorate the lid in order to recognise your entry in the race. If you want to your own YetiBorg to practice with at home prior to the race a pledge of £130 buys you a kit - which requires you supply your own Pi Zero, microSD, RPi camera and RPi camera cable. All 10 of the £200 rewards - YetiBorg robot and entry into both Winter and Summer series have been claimed. And totting up the pledges made so far there will be at least 27 participants in the Winter series.

 

FormulaPItracklayout

The race will consist of 23 laps (a total of around half a kilometer) around a track that is multi-colored to help the software detect changes in direction. Five robots will race simultaneously and this will pose quite a tough challenge for the software as this video suggests:

 

Rules and other details are on the Formula Pi dedicated website: www.formulapi.com and code will be made available to all racers once the Kickstarter campaign ends on August 22nd, allowing time for modifications before race day. 

There is still time not only to enter the race but also to name the first corner on the track - this Cornery McCornerface reward requires a pledge of £500. If you want your company logo on the side of the track pledge £100 (15 of 20 left with 3 weeks to go). The £1000 reward is also still available - the chance to be the official starter of the first race (includes your own Yeti and lid but not travel to Cambridgeshire).

 FormulaPI1SQ

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 31 July 2016 )