Daniel in Singapore is making a lot more progress with his robotics projects than I am.
He reports that he did very well in the recent inter-college micro mouse contest. Entries in that particular contest are restricted to using a standard design - kind of like the Formula 1 racing rules for cars. Nevertheless, his mouse turned in some very fast times. He's also made progress on his own micro mouse and was kind enough to send me the video clip below. The speed and control seemed very impressive, at least to my untrained eye, so I asked Daniel how he managed it:
"Control was obtained through careful tuning of the feedback loops on the mouse. The aim is to get fast response without too much overshoot. Basically I can give a command and assume pretty much it will be carried out in 1ms which makes the control loop much easier to do.
As for the turns, I'm actually using a gyro to control my angular position so the turning quite easy too. The more difficult part is programming it such that as speed increases my turn radius remains constant."