Competing in the traditional Micromouse robot competitions is hard enough. Although the engineering and design sport originated in the US quite a few decades ago, the Japanese took to it with a passion and have been holding regional and national competitions religiously for 27 years. At one point there was even a regular micromouse magazine published here in Japan.
Although the number of builders is still high - over a hundred at the annual national event - the top times have been dominated by entries from Singapore for the past few years. To inject more energy and enthusiasm into the competitions and to provide a challenging, highly motivating goal, a new "half size" classification is being introduced this year.
We recently got a look at one of the first designs in action (see video below), a half-size micromouse robot kit developed and marketed by RT Corp in Akihabara.
The maze wall on the left is standard size while the dimensions for the new maze walls are half making it a quarter the size of the original.
The RT micromouse robot kit is scheduled to go on sale mid-summer this year. The company also plans to release half size micromouse maze layouts and parts this April.