Registration is open for the MINOS 2010 event coming up April 10th & 11th at Royal Holloway, University of London. For those not familar with the event, it is a fantastic opportunty to not only see great micromouse and line follower robots in action, but also to hear how it’s done from the top designers.
Typical technical presentations include in depth coverage of algorithms, sensor and chassis design, motor control, and actual user experience from experts like Peter Harrison and David Otten.
Whether your interested in building and competiting or just want to see what it’s all about, MINOS is just what you are looking for.
The latest generation of micromouse robots are lightening fast, so fast that it’s actually hard for camera people to track them.
The video clips below were captured during practice sessions for the 30th All Japan Micromouse Competition by Peter Harrison (Decimous) using a Casio FC100 camera set for 640x480 at 210 fps. While the high video frame rate effectively slows down the robots speed by a factor of 7X, the micromouse robots still seem to run surprisingly fast.
Watch for the mouse with extremely low ground clearance and four drive wheels towards the rear. That’s Kato’s TETRA robot design.
’Micromouse robots viewed in slow motion (Video)’ continues
The right and right front LED/sensor pairs (top of image) used to sense the micromouse maze walls turned out to be a critical factor in TETRA’s performance.
The performance of Kato-san’s amazingly fast TETRA micromouse robot design delighted fans, and competitors, at the 30th All Japan Micromouse event in November, but due to technical difficulties it failed during the final competition on Monday. Everyone was puzzled, including Kato-san, since they fully expected TETRA to walk away with top honors.
There was no question that TETRA was technically capable of mapping and then running the maze in world-record time. In fact, the robot ran the same maze after the competition was finished in a blazing 4.766 seconds.
So, what went wrong on that fateful day?
’TETRA Micromouse performance improved (Video)’ continues
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.
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....
’Breaking the 5 second Micromouse barrier (Video)’ continues
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.