APEC 2013

On Monday, March 18th 2013, the 27th APEC micromouse contest was held in Long Beach, California. This mid-winter break, to what is frequently a warm, sunny location, is another chance to catch up with some of the best micromouse builders in the world and see how you measure up against them. For the last couple of years, I have not done so well but I think this year’s mouse – Decimus 4 – may see a bit of a change in fortune. (more…)

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TechFest2013 Educational Robotics Workshop

Expressions of Interest and First Call for papers I am proposing that we add a workshop day to TechFest2013 to present designs, ideas, analyses of things micromouse and related TechFest competitions.  I would also welcome papers/presentations on the educational value of robotics in schools, colleges and Universities. This is particularly…

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The effect of speed on micromouse smooth turn

A little while ago, I came across a Japanese micromouse web site where the author had taken long-exposure pictures while his micromouse smooth turns. I decided to do some experiments of my own and test the effect of speed on cornering. (more…)

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Four wheels – good in a straight line, not so good in corners

Decimus 4 is a four wheel micromouse in the same style as so many others that you see now. Until building it I thought I had a good idea what some of the problems might be. I was partly right... Having watched many four wheel micromouse runs since Kato-san so…

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Quadrature encoders with the STM32F4

Most commonly, the speed and direction of the motors in a micromouse or other small robot will be read from quadrature encoders connected to the drive train. One of the great things about the STM32F4 processor is that it can read these directly. Quadrature Encoder Signals A quadrature encoder generates…

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Open Source STM32 Book

Lucky students at Indiana University might like to enrol on the [C - H]335 Computer Structures course run by Geoffrey Brown. If they do, they will be treated to a great introduction to the STM32 processor. The lab manual for the course is freely available to download. The course covers…

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Micromouse sensors aligned the easy way

An essential part of setting up a new mouse is the proper alignment of the sensors.  You micromouse sensors must have the emitters pointing exactly where you want them to and the detectors have to be aligned to get the best possible response. A simple paper target and an Infra Red camera can help get this right. (more…)

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Flexible shields for micromouse sensors

Micromouse sensors need shielding to work at their best. Here we are going to show you how to make a simple, flexible light shield for your micromouse sensors that will cut down the effect of ambient light and reduce leakage from the emitter. The problem with micromouse sensors The common…

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