The twenty fourth annual APEC MicroMouse Contest was held at the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, California on February 22, 2010. A record total of 24 mice were registered for the contest, including 22 foreign entries. BR10SW from Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore came in first with the best score. Excel-7 from the Institute of Technical Education in Singapore came in second. MITEE 11 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology came in third. Excel-7 from the Institute of Technical Education in Singapore had the Fastest Run. Ghost Gasper from the Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore received the Best Student award. All the contestants are listed in the table below together with their best score.

List of Contestants for the APEC 2010 Contest
Mouse Name Affiliation Country Score
BR10SW Nanyang Polytechnic Singapore 9.695
X580 Nanyang Polytechnic Singapore 10.817
Ghost Gasper Nanyang Polytechnic Singapore 13.174
Excel-7 Institute of Technical Education Singapore 13.691
Black Mouse Nanyang Polytechnic Singapore 15.679
STM Institute of Technical Education Singapore 15.921
BR10 Nanyang Polytechnic Singapore 18.077
Final Nanyang Polytechnic Singapore 24.335
MITEE 11 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States 25.678
Style X Nanyang Polytechnic Singapore 26.896
BR831X Nanyang Polytechnic Singapore 29.295
Rush Nanyang Polytechnic Singapore 34.421
Ghostly Nanyang Polytechnic Singapore 40.495
Sakura Nezumi San Shunsuke Sakura Japan 100.859
Knight Institute of Technical Education Singapore No Runs
Decimus 2 Peter Harrison UK No Runs
Zeetah V Harjit Singh, Pierre Hollis United States No Runs
Decimus Peter Harrison UK No Runs
DEXTER Vellore Institute of Technology University India No Runs
SNIPER Vellore Institute of Technology University India No Runs
MMIT Vellore Institute of Technology University India No Runs
FED Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Technology India No Runs
Indian Robochargers Vellore Institute of Technology University India No Runs
XETA 4 Vellore Institute of Technology University India No Runs


Cash prizes were awarded again this year. BR10SW received US$500 for first place. Excel-7 received US$250 for second place. Sakura Nezumi San received US$125 for third place since MITEE 11, the third place winner, was entered by the contest organizer. Ghost Gasper received US$500 for the best student entry. Excel-7 received US$150 for the fastest run.
The contest was held on Monday night after the exposition so that everyone at the conference could attend. To handle the audience of approximately 200 people, an aerial view of the maze was projected on a large screen behind the judge’s table. The contest was run on a maze imported from Korea.

New this year was an electronic scoring system that timed the mice with infrared sensors at the edge of the start and finish squares. The scoring system superimposed the timing information on the overhead view of the maze, so that everyone could see it in real time. Unfortunately a programming error displayed the wrong score for each run. The run time and maze time were correct however, so it was possible to calculate the correct score for each run from the archived data on the computer.
Gerardo Molina prepared the maze design once again. APEC has developed a reputation for very difficult maze designs. This year’s design had two paths to the center, 108 squares long shown in blue, and 110 squares long shown in red. Most mice used the shorter blue path.

Style X, Ghostly, and Ghost Gasper were developed by students from Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore. The robots use an Analog Devices gyro sensor for measuring of turning angles. Each robot has an on-board digital signal processor to solve the maze and control the motion. All these robots participated in the Singapore Robotic Games 2010 this past January with Ghost Gasper emerging as the First Runner-up.

X580, BR831X, BR10, BR10SW, Black Mouse, Final and Rush are designed and built by staff from Nanyang Polytechnic. Black Mouse has 8 infrared sensors and a gyro sensor for navigation and it emerged as the Champion in the Singapore Robotic Games 2009. BR10 and BR10SW are new separate designs with 4 wheels. Final is a light weight mouse, weighing approximately 90g. Rush runs on two Faulhaber DC motors and it came in first in the All-Japan Micromouse Contest 2009 – Expert Class category last November and first in the Singapore Robotic Games 2010 this past January.

Knight and STM are designed by students at the Institute of Technical Education in Singapore. Excel-7 is designed by staff at the same school. The name STM actually stands for Short Term Memory. Sometimes the micromouse will reset by itself when the students are practicing in their own maze, so they named it short term memory (forget everything). It is just a coincidence that the name is the same as the ST microelectronics MCU. Excel-7 does actually use the STM32F103 MCU.

Decimus and Decimus 2 are designed by Peter Harrison of the UK. Decimus is a conventional wheelchair mouse using Faulhaber 2224 motors controlled by a dsPIC30F6015 processor running at 32MHz. The processor was chosen because it is cheap, provides high performance, has a good set of peripherals, and uses readily available, free tools. This is his first mouse driven by DC motors. It can manage accelerations of up to 4m/s2 and corners at variable speeds depending on the turn radius. By his estimate, it is half as quick as the leading S.E. Asian mice and could rank inside the top 15 if he could just stop it from crashing. Decimus 2 is an evolution of Decimus using a slightly different sensor configuration and Faulhaber 1717 motors, making it significantly lighter. Both mice make use of an on-board LCD screen for interaction with the user.

MMIT is built by a team of students from Vellore Institute of Technology, a University in South India.

MITEE Mouse 11 is from the team of David Otten and Tony Caloggero, staff members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It came in 7th at the All-Japan Micromouse Contest last year.

DEXTER, SNIPER, and XETA 4 are built by a team of students from Vellore Institute of Technology. They use an ATmega microcontroller and are programmed with an advanced flood fill algorithm. They use DC servo motors.

Zeetah V is designed and built by Harjit Singh with some help from Pierre Hollis. It uses a STM32F103 CPU with 512KB flash and 64KB of RAM. It has six triangulation based sensors, the same technology as the MITEEx based mice as well as a ADXLRS610 gyro and KXSD9 tri-axis accelerometer. Also included are 4MB of on-board serial flash, a beeper, and a four character display for debugging and data logging. Power comes from two LiPo 140 mAh cells. The motors are MicoroMo 1524T006SR with IE-512 encoders. The mouse weighs 100 g and measures 119 mm x 75 mm.

FED is built by a team of students from Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Technology, an affiliate of Jawaharlal Nehru Technical University, in Hyderabad, India.

Indian Robochargers is built by a team of students from Vellore Institute of Technology, a University in South India.

Sakura Nezumi San is built by Shunsuke Sakura, a student at the Tokyo University of Science. The name includes his name “Sakura”, “Nezumi” which means mouse in Japanese, and “San” which means third. It uses DC motors with encoders and measures 75 mm x 100 mm x 25 mm. It is powered by a 2 cell Li-Po battery rated at 240 mAh. There are no filters in the 4 optical sensor circuits; all the filtering is done in software. In addition to the optical sensors, the mouse also monitors one gyro and the battery voltage. This is his first DC mouse, made partially with information collected from the web.

This report is abridged from the original written by the contest organiser, David Otten . The complete, original report with the individual run times is attached below…

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Shannon

    Sounds like it was a successful event. Wish there were more competitors from the US seeing as it’s “home turf.”

    Any explanation why there were so many “No Runs”? Was there a lighting issue?

  2. peteh

    I had two mice. One was not ready in time, the other failed probably because I messed with it too much. None of the Indian mice turned up for the competition start.

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