Micromouse – Video as an Analysis Tool

I wanted to take a better look at the performance of some of the faster micromice. I was especially interested in their split times, and what their strategies are for dealing with cornering, acceleration and deceleration. I've collected a lot of video clips - some that I shot myself, and others that I picked up off the Internet.

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It's easy enough to do a frame grab to capture individual images, but I wanted something more automated, and less prone to my human mistakes. A little searching on the Internet turned up a program called Blaze MediaConvert by MysticMedia. It's loaded to the gills with features, bells, and whistles that I want to explore when I have a chance. And, there's a free trial download file. You can install and try it for 15 days before you have to decide whether or not you want to continue.

MediaConvert allowed me to import one of the video clips, digest it, then dump it out frame by frame. The clip I used was fairly short - about 11 seconds. But at 30 fps that generates over 300 images.

After I had all the frames converted to jpg image files, I browsed through them and picked out the ones that were particularly relevant.041207mm3runanalysis

It was easy to drop them into an Excel workbook, and to do calculations based on the images themselves. For example, knowing the video fps (30 frames per second) we can calculate the elapsed time between any two events, and to analyze the robot's journey in much more depth.

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