The annual APEC micromouse will soon be upon us. This year the contest will be held in Palm Springs, California at the Palm Springs Convention Center on Monday, February 22nd. APEC is the Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition. It is held annually in the US in a different venue each year. I believe it tends to be in the warmer parts of the USA to provide a bit of winter relief…

A long-standing part of the APEC conference is the micromouse contest organised by David Otten. It draws contestants from all over the US and a good many from overseas. Generally, the top-performing mice from the Japan contest will be there as well as a number of other entries from South East Asia. This year, I will be going for the first time. My main competition mouse, Decimus, will be running and I hope to have ready an updated version with better motors and a slightly different sensor alignment. the motors represent a significant improvement saving more then 25% of the weight while still being capable of comparable torque and speed. I am hoping that the weight reduction and a lower centre of mass will give a noticeable increase in actual performance in the maze. The sensor alignment change is intended to solve one problem but may cause another. Still, no point in worrying about that until I get it running.

Palm springs in winter looks like a pleasant place to be. In the summer I would imagine it is very hot but late February temperatures should be around 20 degrees Celsius – so a bit warmer than an English summer! the venue, and Palm Springs itself should be interesting. I have an extra couple of days to go touring about. There is not a lot out there after the desert and the mountains but then I don’t have a lot of time so that will probably work out just fine.

Find out more about APEC here:

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