Thursday, May 16, 2013

(Electronic) Mice Go Head to Head at the Jacobs School

What pitted a green giant against an anteater at the Jacobs School of Engineering May 12? Why the 2013 California Micromouse Competition, organized by the UC San Diego chapter of IEEE. The mice's programming  is geared toward solving a maze and finding its center—without getting a piece of cheese as a reward. The mice are completely autonomous and the goal is to get to the center of the maze as fast as possible. They typically use a microcontroller and infrared sensors reflecting off the walls to make their way through the maze. Some also use a wireless interface to transmit debugging data back to their team’s laptop. Most teams build the robots with off-the-shelf components. But some prefer to put together a custom circuit board, chassis and other parts. Many of the components students work on will be part of their future professional lives as engineers.
Sunday,  the Green Giants, UCLA's team, solved the maze in just 8.77 seconds. They were followed by the Anteaters, from UC Irvine, with 1 minute 5 seconds and by the Kansas State team with 3 minutes 47 seconds. Some pictures of the action below. 

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