The 2012 All Japan Micromouse Contest takes place at Shibaura Institute of Technology, Toyosu Campus, over the weekend of November 23rd to November 25th. I will be there with the current update to Decimus 2D.
D2D uses mostly the same hardware as the original Decimus 2 that first ran two years ago. Since then it has undergone a lot of software updates. Based on the same platform as Decimus 1, it started life with the same code. Looking back, D1 behaved remarkably well. It was my first DC motor mouse and it did well for me in 2009. While D2 carried a number of enhancements – not least the addition of a gyro – it never seemed to perform as well. It was also clear that the software from D1 was inflexible and simply not suitable for running a faster mouse.
I have learned a lot over the last couple of years and in just the last few days I worked out how to make some significant improvements to the cornering behaviour of the mouse. Corners are now generally much more stable and, most importantly, much more repeatable. They also have some compensations for drift. Ideally, I still need a few days to get the parameters sorted out as that takes time and all the code only went in today. D2D is still a long way off the kind of speed seen in the top competitors but now I think I am on the right track for improvement. Assuming the (still slightly unpredictable) search phase lets me get a run, I have high hopes for a reasonable speed. Today, just to keep me paying attention, I ended up with a loose pinion on the motor. It is fixed as best I can. Lets just hope it stays fixed.
Whatever happens, it will be a great weekend. !2 hours until the plane leaves. Best get some sleep.
Here is Decimus 2D practicing a couple of small runs: