While working on a Python application to do real time plotting of data, I needed a way to update the data. The data arrives over the serial line and can be received at quite a high rate. – easily a few thousand elements per second. The basic idea was to have the data stored in a list. When a new item arrives, the list must be shifted down one place and the new item placed at the end. Clearly, this should happen as quickly as possible.Continue reading
Call for Papers
The 2nd Micromouse Symposium 1st May 2020, Vila Real, Portugal, the 2nd International Symposium on Micromouse, will be held in Vila Real, Portugal, 1st May 2020. Industry experts, researchers and academics are expected to gather together to share ideas and experiences surrounding frontier technologies, breakthroughs, innovative solutions, research results, as well as initiatives related to the Micromouse Robotic Contest. Micromouse Symposium 2020 offers you a conference with wonderful experience in Vila Real.
Submission of Papers
The working language of the conference is English. Prospective authors are requested to submit full papers (6 pages max) following the guidelines available on the conference website. Accepted papers will be included in Symposium open archive. Each accepted paper should be presented at the conference by one of the authors.
Submission of Full Papers: March 21, 2020
Acceptance notifications: April 4, 2020
Submission of Paper Final Version: Apr. 15, 2020
Early Bird Registration: April 18, 2020
Micromouse Symposium 2020: 1st May 2020
We look forward to welcoming you in Micromouse Symposium 2020 and wish you a fruitful and enjoyable stay in Vila Real, Portugal.
Antonio Valente (Portugal)
Salviano Soares (Portugal)
From Abinav Kumar: The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay is regarded as one of the premier institutes in India for imparting education of one of its kind and to provide resources for the cutting edge technology recognized all over the world.
Techfest is IIT Bombay’s annual science and technology festival to promote technology, scientific thinking, and innovation and has surpassed 22 golden years of creating an unmatched aura year after year. It is well established as Asia’s Largest Science and Technology Festival patronized by UNESCO, UNICEF, STARTUP INDIA, DIGITAL INDIA, SAYEN and CEE with a footfall more than 175,000 people comprising mainly of the youth from across the nation and an outreach of over 2500 colleges across India and over 500 colleges overseas.
Techfest has proved to be a great success in attracting International countries like Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Sweden, France, Brazil, Spain, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh as well as from Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Russia, Syria, South Africa, and UAE in previous editions.
We are organizing International Micromouse Competition which will be held during 3rd-5th January, 2020. The total prize money of International Round is INR 175,000.
Below are some of the resources of Techfest, IIT Bombay which shall give you a clear picture of the festival.
From Mohamed Orabi : “We are organizing a new micromouse competition during the IEEE Conference on Power Electronics and Renewable Energy, that will be hold during Oct. 23-25, 2019 in Aswan, Egypt
We would like to invite teams from world wide to participate. To encourage team, The conference will provide each team with free registrations and accommodation for two members.
Please share this information”
Calculating the time needed to run a straight between two turns in the micromouse contest
When a micromouse robot is trying to determine the best path from start to goal, it is helpful to be able to calculate the amount of time it will take to run along the straight path that connects two turns. This is not an obviously simple calculation because there is the question of how fast the robot is travelling at the start and end of the straight, the available acceleration and the maximum speed limit.
Some simplifying assumptions will help a lot. First, assume that the start and end speed for the straight is the same That is, all turns are made at the same speed. Second, assume that the robot is always either accelerating or decelerating. That is, there is no top speed limit. For many actual straight section in the maze, that is likely to be the case. Finally, assume that the acceleration and deceleration is the same so that the straight run is symmetrical.
The classical equations of motion give an expression for the time taken to move by a distance, , if the acceleration, , and start speed, , are known (suvat-rearranged)
Considering orthogonal moves first, the distance, , can be expressed as some multiple, , of the length of one cell, .
Substitute into (1) to get:
It is now convenient to specify the start speed, , as some constant, , times the distance through one cell.
and the acceleration, , as
For example, for , a classic micromouse might be able to turn at 1800mm/s and accelerate at 18,000 mm/s/s.
Substituting into (2):
Equation 6 describes the time taken to accelerate to some top speed over cells. The micromouse robot will accelerate for half that number of cells and then brake for the remaining half. Split the motion into two parts:
This result is easily pre-calculated in a table of for suitable values of and so it will be easy to determine the time needed to run any straight or arbitrary length with a simple multiply. Note that this only works because of the common factor, , in the speed and acceleration.
For diagonal movements, each cell traversed is mm long and so the time is calculated from:
Note that you cannot simply multiply the result from equation (7) by .
The UK Micromouse contest took place on Jun 1st at the Techfest 2019 event. I am happy to report that, from a personal perspective, it was almost entirely without drama.
[update: full results are here: https://ukmars.org/index.php/TechFest_2019 ]
There was a worrisome moment when the program would not build on the new laptop but that was just unfamiliarity with the process having done it differently for a good few years.
The maze had quite a long path – I took the magenta route which was a little over 14m long.
And my final time was 6.37 seconds – an average of about 2.2m/s. It felt like it should have been quicker but there were no long straights. The top speed reached was only 3.9 m/s.
The first speed run took about 8.2 seconds – I don’t have the detailed timing data yet. The last run was performed at the maximum available speed setting and there were no visible errors. The penultimate run clipped a post. I heard it but saw no sign of disturbance.
There were 33 turns and 17 straights in the path. The search took a while and the battery voltage was down to 7.5 Volts at the start of the first fast run and just 7.14 Volts at the start of the last fast run. That will have limited the top speed a little.
We did not have a huge entry list this year but here are the fastest times:
On Saturday 1st June the 2019 National Schools and Colleges Micromouse Competition was held by the UKMARS organisation and hosted by Birmingham City University as part of the annual City Centre Campus TechFest event.
As usual three events were run: The Drag Race – a 6 metre sprint following a white line; the Line Follower – a circuit of straights and curves of varying radii, again following a white line and the Wall Follower – finding a route from the start cell to a target cell in a maze by following the left-hand wall.
A total of 20 mice were entered. Many of them were capable of, with a change of sensors and wheels, competing in all three events. There were kit mice and scratch built mice on show. The lightest weighed 97 grams and the heaviest 330 grams.
New to the competition this year were Kesgrave High School, Ipswich who had been working on their designs since October 2018. They are an after-school club formed by retired teachers Simon Clapson and John Fisher, both stalwarts of Micromouse who previously enjoyed great success in this competition with their former school. Schools are desperately keen to get STEM ambassadors to run robotics clubs but are generally very inflexible regarding using school computers to run suitable programming software. John and Simon were very limited in the choice of microprocessor for their students’ robots and had to abandon their tried and tested Picaxe programs, eventually settling for Crumble, an icon based software system similar to Scratch.
Several clubs and schools from Buckinghamshire were again represented and there was one entry from a primary school pupil, Maxwell Bayliss from Pershore Junior. Unusually there were four entrants who were veterans of the 2018 competition making a return appearance: Kaviyashree Damodaran, Nathesa Sivakumaran, Lahari Ballina and Bethan Edwards.
Bethan Edwards was the stand-out performer on the day. Her mouse “Jerry” came first in the Line Follower (beating her brother Owain into second place by 0.05 seconds), second in the Wall Follower and third in the Drag Race.
were on offer for any competitor who completed a successful timed run in each
of the three events. There were also
trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed mice in each
event. Grateful thanks are due to Duncan
Louttit of Swallow Systems who donated all the Schools awards and was Chief
Judge on the day. Thanks are also due to
Chris Evans and the BCU team and Ian Butterworth, Chairman of UKMARS for
providing us with excellent facilities.
Last, but by no means least, we would like to thank the parents and
teachers who supported the competitors and saw their charges fully focused and
highly competitive perhaps for the first time.
Summary of Results
Lightest Mouse: 97.12g “Jerry”, Bethan Edwards, Wycombe Warriors.
Best Recorded Mouse: “Thanos”, Lekha Ballina, Wycombe High School.
Judges Award: “Wally”, Kyle Baker, Kesgrave High School, Ipswich.
Kyle wrote the program for his mouse in just three after school sessions. His entry completed the wall follower event successfully – an outstanding achievement.
1st Place: “Sivan”, Nathesa Sivakumaran, Beaconsfield High. (2.304s)
2nd Place: “Mozzarella”, Kaviyashree Damodaran, Beaconsfield High. (2.419s)
3rd Place: “Jerry”, Bethan Edwards, Wycombe Warriors. (2.462s)
1st Place: “Jerry”, Bethan Edwards, Wycombe Warriors. (10.411s)
2nd Place: “Idea”, Owain Edwards, Wycombe Warriors. (10.461s)
3rd Place: “Sivan”, Nathesa Sivakumaran, Beaconsfield High. (10.798s)
1st Place: “Human Being”, Abigail Robinson, Wycombe High School. (34.06s)
2nd Place: “Jerry”, Bethan Edwards, Wycombe Warriors. (34.50s)
3rd Place: “Maze Finder”, Maanya Shankar, Wycombe High School. (34.85s)
Techfest 2019, held on Saturday June 1st at Millennium Point, Birmingham is the UKMARS main event of the year and includes the UK micromouse contest as well as a host of other contests.
Registrations now open at: http://registration.ukmars.org
At the 2019 Minos conference in April, the UK Micromouse and Robotics Society (UKMARS) agreed revisions to the rules governing its contests. Many of these changes were minor, to reflect the common practice that has been observed for several years. Some were more significant and are intended to bring the event up to date.
The most significant changes are for the UK Micromouse contest. This affects both the full size (classic) contest and the half-size contest. For these, UKMARS have decided to adopt a translation of the current Japanese rules for these events. There are minor changes to some details but, for practical purposes, the scoring for both contests is the same. There will no longer be a search penalty and the scoring is based only on the fastest run of each robot.
You can see all the current rule sets here: