UK Micromouse Competition 2008

IMG_2856 The UK micromouse competition for 2008 was run on June 28th at Millennium Point in Birmingham. We had an excellent turnout and a truly International flavour with teams from Iran, India, Singapore and Holland as well as the UK teams. As well as the micromouse contest there was also mini-sumo, ant-weight robot wars, Formula1 and Formula 4 schools competitions, biped robots and a number of other displays.


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Pre-competition testing of Decimus

Mm05There are two days to go until the UK micromouse championships at Millennium Point in Birmingham. The competition will be held on Saturday 28th June 2008 and the day starts at 09:45. Decimus is as ready as it is going to get now and I am afraid to tinker any more in case I break something. The code is fairly safe in its revision control system but there is always the risk of physical damage…


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Micromouse Tuning

IMG_2674Here we are with ten days to go before the UK micromouse competition and Decimus is still far from ready. All the basic software is there but there are still issues with the basic motion control. I have all the turns calculated and the parameters have been tuned to a good first approximation. This takes hours of tedious repetitive work as the parameters are altered…


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Buffered H-Bridge from Vishay

si9986sHaving half a mind on the challenge of half-size micromouse, I was looking at some information on the megabitty controller. As supplied, it may well have enough features to make a micromouse controller but that wasn’t what caught my eye. On the board are two full-bridge motor drivers. While looking for data on these, I came across the slightly more flexible Si9986, also by Vishay…


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Adachi micromouse maze solving algorithms

maze2 Going through some old notes, I came across reference to the micromouse maze solving methods described some time ago by Adachi in Japan. While these are apparently quite well known in Japan, they are, as far as I can tell, almost completely unknown in the West. At least, I can’t find any description of them in English anywhere on the web. After a lot of hard work with the Google translator and some assistance from Lem Fugitt, I think I have them pieced together…


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Rise of the Robots Update

IMG_2749 I have just returned form the Rise of the Robots event at the National Space Centre in Leicester. Just one of many specially themed weekends they hold, this proved a great success for exhibitors and guests alike. Visitors were able to experience a variety of robotic experiences from the mayhem of Robot Wars to the more genteel charm of a range of walking robots made by David Buckley. Naturally, there was room for micromouse. The space tie-in was provided by the presence of a particularly scary set of Daleks…


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Minos 2008 maze

The MINOS 2008 conference ended, as usual, with a couple of semi-formal competitions. The maze solver final is always interesting as we get to see some of the potential for the summer competition. So far it seems I will still be holding firmly on to a runner-up place. The image…

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Decimus the wall follower

IMG_2667 We often tell beginners that they can learn a lot by building a non-contact wall following micromouse. If it can keep track of where it is and knows when it is in the centre of the maze, most of the hard problems have been solved. To get to that stage, you need working sensors, reliable motor control and good information about the maze and the mouse’s position in the maze…


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Decimus speed feed forward

As set up for the last post, my micromouse Decimus is performing reasonably well on the ground. So far. The data plots show some features that are a little bit curious. However, my concerns over the apparent error in the endpoint were a little misleading. The recorded error is derived from the integral of the set speed and the total count from the wheel encoders. Thus, it does not represent an actual error on the ground…


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