Khiew Tzong Yong winning the 2010 half-sized micromouse final competition with a blazingly fast 5.513 seconds. Listen to the crowd response! They really appreciate his performance.
Ng Beng Kiat's second place speed run in the half-sized micromouse final competition:
Kato's half-sized micromouse robot “EggTorte” doing its initial discovery runs through the maze:
And, his speed runs:
As we reported last month, Kato-san, the amazing micromouse robot designer from Nagoya, won the 31st Micromouse Robot Expert Class competition held at Tsukuba. Unfortunately in the Half-size competition, held earlier the same day, his “EggTorte” robot ran into a few difficulties on some of its runs, and wound up in third place with a time of 8.373 seconds.
Its speed was pretty amazing however, especially considering the tiny robot size and the expanded maze complexity. You may want to go back and take a look at EggTorte close-up to get a feel for all the technology and performance Kato was able to pack into his micro-robot. Here are the robot's speed runs:
Before you ask, the other Half-size robot videos haven't been posted yet. We'll keep a close eye out and post about them as soon as they are available.
The Japanese are very serious about robotics, and follow the rules strictly when it comes to important competitions. Still, they have a wry sense of humor that pops up in some of the most unexpected ways.
For example, here is the official maze used for the 2010 Half-size Micromouse Contest Finals at Tsukuba last month:
At first glance it may look like a standard, run of the mill maze, but give it some closer inspection and you're bound to notice a few hidden figures or messages. What can you find lurking in the maze, or at least in the pattern of maze walls?
The official times turned in by the top micromouse robots were quite surprising. Although the robots themselves are half the size of their classic counterparts, and the number of squares in the maze has approximately doubled, the leading robots were able to clock total times that were extremely close to full size robots running the original maze configuration.
The top three finishers turned in exceptional times. Excel:Mini-2 (Khiew Tzong Yong) had the fastest run at 05:513 seconds. In second place, Ng Beng Kiat's Ning4.1 robot ran the maze in 06:865 seconds. And, the odds-on favorite to win the match, EggTorte, designed by Kato-san, finished in 08:373 seconds putting it in third place.
Ng Beng Kiat thoroughly enjoys robotics. In addition to his 'day job' as a lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore, he has done leading edge work in Micromouse, RoboCup, and other fields of robotics. In 1997 he had the opportunity to watch the 18th All Japan Micromouse Competition, which was dominated by Korean builders that year, and was totally hooked on the sport.
Since that time, he has racked up an amazing string of victories, including winning the championship in Japan several times, the APEC championship in the US, and numerous Singapore based competition.
At the 31st All Japan Micromouse Robot Competition, he captured 2nd place in both the half-sized mouse and full sized (Expert) categories. Here's his full sized robot in action at the event:
We uploaded the 2010 All Japan Micromouse Robot Competition photoset, including photos of all the Expert Class robots that were on display. Unlike previous years, this time the robots were placed on a table behind a barrier which made getting detailed shots a bit more challenging. Luckily we were blessed with long arms.
Kato's full size Tetra micromouse champion robot that took 1st place in the Expert category.
We weren't able to capture a lot of video showing the surprisingly well designed micromouse robot that uses a video camera instead of the more normal LED/sensor pairs. So, we decided to split the footage and insert a description of the design and how it works.
Notice how the robot doesn't need to go down a lot of blind alleys. It just glances down them quickly determining whether or not they are worth exploring.