Micromouse Robot Builders Seek The Brass Cheese

The UK Micromouse 2004 Championship will be held on June 19th; tiny autonomouse (sorry about that) robot mice race to solve a 16x16 maze. The trick is that the robot mice must fit within the squares of the maze, which are a mere 18x18 centimeters; the walls are 5 cm high and 1.2 cm thick. The winners in the various classifications will win the coveted Brass Cheese.


(From Micromouse Robot Gallery)

The first record of a maze-solving mouse problem was in 1950 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The first maze competition was the Amazing Micromouse Maze contest in 1979; the winner was Moonlight Flash, a dumb wall follower mouse. Subsequent contests allowed more challenging mazes to encourage the building of more intelligent mice.

International micromouse competitions followed; the first World Micromouse Competition was held in Tsubuka, Japan in 1985. Micromice have also appeared on the BBC Technogames.

Science fiction fans may recall the dustmice of Greg Bear's 1990 novel Queen of Angels; these tiny robotic sensors were used by police at crime scenes to search for clues. )This link also shows a micro-robot that can turn on a dime and park on a nickel.

See the Micromouse 2004 home page for more information about the competition; see also a short History of Micromouse Robots.

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