The 30th All Japan Micromouse Contest will run from Saturday November 21 to Monday Noember 23rd 2009 in Tsukuba. The organisers have released the rules for this event and there are a couple of surprises…

The new event is the half-size contest. All the linear dimensions are half those of the traditional contest. You can skip straight to the published rules (in English) here: The first surprise I noticed was that the maze is described as being up to 32×32 cells. The actual size was not set. Thus, it would be foolhardy to make any assumptions about the actual size in your code. This shouldn’t be a problem as long as you have enough memory in your controller and can make sure your code does not rely upon the magic of 8 bit quantities wrapping around to zero when looking up maze data. The other surprise was that the target region was in a position to be determined at the start of each contest. I assume it would be given in time for entering into the mouse but the target could be almost anywhere and need not be the traditional 4×4 cell block. The rules state that the coordinates of the entry point would be given although that seems slightly ambiguous. Here I suppose they mean the coordinates of the cell which has the timing gate in it. This may imply that there is only one possible entrance to the target area. Timing for the Japanese contest appears to have been better described. Last time I looked at their rules, they appeared to be much the same as the UK rules which have been largely unmodified for a good number of years. Now it is much more clear that the score is based solely on fastest run time. Provision is made for tyre cleaning without incurring a touch penalty. No penalty is associated with a long search time. To encourage fast searching, there is a prize specifically for the fastest mouse to find the target. It seems the main event is still considered to be the full-size contest. At least, that is how it is described in the rules. This is now called Micromouse Classic and you can jump to the rules here:

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Dave Churchyard

    Thanks for the info Pete.

    I was thinking that the rules say a maximum of 32×32. If the size of the maze stayed at 16×16, the maze area becomes 1/4 of the original. Now to my thinking, that size maze would allow people to have something like a 11×11 test maze setup on a board that would probably fit under the bed (or is at least a manageable size in the domestic environment). This would allow for mice to be tested to a “real” centre point.

    By making the maze “half the size” but then doubling the number of cells in each direction, doesn’t really help when testing them!

    Maybe in the future, the UK competition could consider a 16×16 maze as an option. It could be a subset of the full 32×32.


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