Japan Micromouse Competition 2009: Impressions (Video)

Micromouse2009-gaijin
  Left to right: Harjit Singh, Joseph Chiu, Peter Harrison, David Otten, Lem Fugitt

Although we communicate regularly via e-mail, Facebook, and other social networking channels, the All Japan Micromouse Competition 2009 was a rare opportunity for us to get together face-to-face, and swap stories, experiences, and observations.

This year our after-dinner session on the final night of the competition was almost totally focused on the surprising performance turned in by Kato-san’s TETRA micromouse design. David Otten already explained how we suspect TETRA was able to achieve its lightening fast speeds. Here are the impressions of the other members of our elite group of foreigners at the world’s leading micromouse event.

(more…)

Read More

Breaking the 5 second Micromouse barrier (Video)



micromouse 2009-84
Originally uploaded by Robots-Dreams.



Kato-san's new TETRA micromouse robot totally confounded competitors with his innovative 'out-of-the-box' design and record setting times during the early matches. Unfortunately the lighting conditions, or other unknown factors, defeated TETRA during the final Expert Class event.

There's been lots of speculation and debate over what times TETRA would have turned in running the Expert Class maze that fateful day. Some people felt, as we did, that TETRA could have broken the 5 second mark with a little extra margin to spare.

Now we know the answer....


(more…)

Read More

Multi-talented robot designer wins top robotrace competition (Video)

micromouse01 029

Ng Beng Kiat (right) from Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore talking with David Otten during the 2005 All Japan Micromouse competition.

Most robot developers tend to specialize in a very narrow area of expertise. They may excel at mechanical design, dynamics, sensing, software optimization, or autonomous operation, but tend to be weak in other areas. But occasionally someone comes along that excels in several critical disciplines at the same time, and their robot designs are always a force to be reckoned with.

(more…)

Read More

New TETRA micromouse is blazingly fast. How does it do it? (Video)

micromouse 2009-14

The basic rules and regulations for the Japan Micromouse contest haven’t changed in 30 years. You might think that would stifle innovation and creativity, but exactly the opposite has occurred. Competitors continue, year after year, to introduce surprisingly new and fast designs. This year one new design, TETRA by Kato-san, really stood out dramatically, and clocked unbelievablely fast times.


We asked David Otten, a 22 year veteran of the competitions, to share his observations, and the current theories on how Kato’s robot was able to achieve world-class performance. 


(more…)

Read More

David Otten: 30th All Japan Micromouse Competition summary

micromouse 2009-13

David Otten has been a leader, if not The Leader, in micromouse competitions for the past few decades, and has been actively competing in the annual Japan Micromouse competitions for 22 years without missing a single competition.


David was kind enough to share his initial report from this years competition in Tsukuba, Japan, along with a marked up copy of the final Expert Class maze and the successful paths used by the robots.


(more…)

Read More

Micromouse Robot Design Presentations at Minos 2009

If you’re interested in building a micromouse robot, or if you’re already a micromouse builder but are looking for advanced discussions of the technology involved, you’ll definitely want to check out the micromouse robot design presentations made by leading experts like David Otten at the Minos 2009 competition in the UK. The topics covered included inertial navigation, timing systems, maze solving, adaptive control, flooding algorithms, and even vision guided mouse. Some of the presentation material also includes video clips.

Read More

Robot Sightings: Willis Tackles Robots, Humongous Humanoid List, Free Online Robot Soccer, and more…

What's going on today in my crazy robot world?

Robotically posted for Lem by LoudTwitter

Read More

Robot Sightings: Dr. Robot tutorial, Sugiura is an Indian God, Jonas and the Stupid Robot, and more…

What's going on today in my crazy robot world?

  • 20:16 Tsukumo Robot Kingdom is open for business again after a breif shutdown. tinyurl.com/6pd6gd
  • 20:31 Indian robot builders join ROBO-ONE 14 & learn from Sugiura-san (Dynamizer): blog.acyut.com/?p=73. They call him "legendary" & "GOD".
  • 20:37 Dr. Robot teaches us how to build a sumo robot from hell: tinyurl.com/6zqggt Definitely got to buy him a new shirt.
  • 20:59 We love Star Wars, but isn't making R2D2 into a toilet paper holder going too far? tinyurl.com/54wjlu
  • 21:10 With only 256 MB this robot USB memory stick is impractical. tinyurl.com/6y9j39 So, why do I want one?
  • 21:22 Jonas challenges the BakaRobo (Stupid Robot) contest, and gets slapped in the process. tinyurl.com/5m44wc
  • 21:29 Basquash! Yet another robot movie I'll be putting on my "must-see" list. tinyurl.com/5l72xc
  • 21:45 ATR is mapping human brain patterns into visual images: tinyurl.com/5nlmbt
  • 21:48 Sangatsu Usagi's great report on the 29th Micromouse Competition: tinyurl.com/6xzhfn
  • 23:37 With auto companies in trouble, and Honda dropping F-1, will other research, like Honda's robot legs, survive? htinyurl.com/69ngeb
  • 08:51 John published a good, though troubling, study on robot hobby trends (tinyurl.com/robothobbytrends). Let's hope it's only temporary.
  • 09:05 The Vex robot system has taken off like wildfire (tinyurl.com/vex-robot-competitions). What makes it so popular with schools?
  • 09:15 For robot fans that don't want to build from scratch, PicONE released a cool micromouse robot kit. tinyurl.com/54pw94
  • 10:20 Thanks to a reminder from Martin, here's one of the best robot resources around www.robot.org.uk/ even if it doesn't have a RD link.
  • 10:25 Robert's next RoboDance version will be out next Spring and will even control the kitchen sink! tinyurl.com/robodance-specs
  • 12:12 The Kyosho MANOI robots aren't drawing much attention overseas, but here in Japan they are still hot stuff! tinyurl.com/kyosho-manoi
  • 12:26 RT Corp has an under-1 kg. humanoid robot competition scheduled for January 18th starting at 2:00 pm. www.rt-shop.jp/blog/?p=126
  • 12:49 140 year old head for a smoking robot automaton (tinyurl.com/smoking-robot-head). Pretty spooky - looks very "Stephen King" style.
  • 13:20 Daniel Ruben Rojas sent us a video of this blazingly fast line-follower robot: tinyurl.com/blazing-line-follower-robot running at 80%
Robotically posted for Lem by LoudTwitter

Read More