Lightening Fast MicroMouse Uses Vacuum Traction (Video)

micromouse robot

If you think this tiny autonomous micromouse robot kind of sounds like a vacuum cleaner, you could be right. Maintaining adequate traction on the maze floor while running at high speeds is always a challenge, and builders have attempted quite a few different strategies to solve the problem.

David Otten, who has been involved in micromouse competitions since the very beginning, fielded some early vacuum style designs quite a few years ago with mixed results. More recently builders, like Hidejr1053 whose robot appears in the video below, have refined their design approaches and are achieving very impressive results.

I'm wondering what the limiting factors will be, now that they have successfully addressed the traction issues. What is the next constraint that limits cranking up the robot speed even further? And, what is the theoretical upper limit on speed?

It's going to be interesting to see what records are broken as the 2013 series of micromouse competitions gets underway.

Related links: micromouse_AVCHD_60p_test - YouTube

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  5. All Japan Micromouse Robot Competition 2008: Momoco8 (Video)
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2 comments

  1. I remember there was a racing car from the ’70s, the Vacuum Cleaner, that also used fan-induced vacuum for more mechanical grip. But it was banned for safety reasons. http://ashcom.homestead.com/elford2j.html

  2. Another interesting piece to read about vacuum grip is F1 story: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brabham_BT46#Brabham_BT46B.C2.A0.E2.80.93_the_.22fan_car.22

    In micromouse speed is a result of motor power (brushless motor awaiting?), traction and sensor/mcu speed. Impressive little racers ;)

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