Micro Mouse Contest Rules

Specifications for the maze

1. The maze shall comprise 16 x 16 multiples of an 18 cm x 18 cm unit square. The walls constituting the maze shall be 5 cm high and 1.2 cm thick. Passageways between the walls shall be 16.8 cm wide. The outside wall shall enclose the entire maze.

2. The sides of the maze shall be white, and the top of the walls shall be red. The floor of the maze shall be made of wood and finished with a non-gloss black paint. The coating on the top and sides of the walls shall be selected to reflect infred-red light and the coating on the floor shall absorb it.

3. The start of the maze shall be located at one of the four corners. The starting square shall have walls on three sides. The starting square orientation shall be such that when the open wall is to the "north", outside maze walls are on the "west" and "south". At the center of the maze shall be a large opening which is composed of 4 unit squares. This central square shall be the destination. A red post, 20 cm high, and 2.5 cm on each side, may be placed at the center of the large destination square if requested by the handler.

4. Small square posts, each 1.2 cm x 1.2 cm x 5 cm high, at the four corners of each unit are called latice points. The maze shall be constituted such that there is at least one wall touching each lattice point, except for the destination square.

5. The dimensions of the maze shall be accurate to within 5% or 2 cm, whichever is less. Assembly joints on the maze floor shall not involve steps greater than 0.5 mm. The change of slope at an assembly joint shall not be greater than 4. Gaps between the walls of adjacent squares shall not be greater than 1 mm.


Specifications for the Micro Mouse

1. A Micro Mouse shall be self contained. It shall not use an energy source employing a combustion process.

2. The length and width of a Micro Mouse shall be restricted to a square region of 25 cm x 25 cm. The dimensions of a Micro Mouse which changes its geometry during a run shall never be greater than 25 cm x 25 cm. The height of a Micro Mouse is unrestricted.

3. A Micro Mouse shall not leave anything behind while negotiating the maze.

4. A Micro Mouse shall not jump over, climb, scratch, damage, or destroy the walls of the maze.


Rules for the Contest

The basic function of a Micro Mouse is to travel from the start square to the destination square. This is called a run. The time it takes is called the run time. Traveling from the destination square back to the start square is not considered a run. The total time from the first activation of the Micro Mouse until the start of each run is also measured. This is called the maze time. If a mouse requires manual assistance at any time during the contest it is considered touched. By using these three parameters the scoring of the contest is designed to reward speed, efficiency of maze solving, and self-reliance of the Micro Mouse.

1. The scoring of a Micro Mouse shall be done by computing a handicapped time for each run. This shall be calculated by adding the time for each run to 1/30 of the maze time associated with that run and subtracting a 10 second bonus if the Micro Mouse has not been touched yet.

For example assume a Micro Mouse, after being on the maze for 4 minutes without being touched, starts a run which takes 20 seconds; the run will have a handicapped time of:

20 + ((4 * 60) / 30) -10 =18 seconds

The run with the fastest handicapped time for each Micro Mouse shall be the official time of that Micro Mouse.

2. Each contesting Micro Mouse shall be subject to a time limit of 15 minutes on the maze. Within this time limit, the Micro Mouse may make as many runs as possible.

3. When the Micro Mouse reaches the maze center it may be manually lifted out and restarted or it may make its own way back to the start square. Manually lifting it out shall be considered touching the Micro Mouse and will cause it to loose the 10 second bonus on all further runs.

4. The time for each run shall be measured from the moment the Micro Mouse leaves the start square until it enters the finish square. The total time on the maze shall be measured from the time the Micro Mouse is first activated. The mouse does not have to move when it is first activated but it must be positioned in the start square ready to run.

5. The time taken to negotiate the maze shall be measured either manually by the contest officials or by infra-red sensors set at the start and destination. If infra-red sensors are used, the start sensor shall be positioned at the boundary between the start square and the next unit square. The destination sensor shall be placed at the entrance to the destination square. The infra-red beam of each sensor shall be horizontal and positioned approximately 1 cm above the floor.

6. The starting procedure of the Micro Mouse shall not offer a choice of strategies to the handler.

7. Once the maze configuration for the contest is disclosed, the operator shall not feed the Micro Mouse any maze information.

8. The illumination, temperature, and humidity of the room in which the maze is located shall be those of an ambient environment. Requests to adjust the illumination may be accepted at the discretion of the contest officials.

9. If a Micro Mouse appears to be malfunctioning, the handlers may ask the judges for permission to abandon the run and restart the Micro Mouse at the beginning. A Micro Mouse shall not be restarted merely because it has taken a wrong turn.

10. If a Micro Mouse team elects to stop because of technical problems, the judges may, at their discretion, permit the team to run again later in the contest with a 3 minute maze time penalty.

For example, assume a Micro Mouse is stopped after 4 minutes; it must be restarted as if it had already run for 7 minutes, and will have only 8 more minutes to run.

11. If any part of a Micro Mouse is replaced during its performance, such as batteries or EPROM's, or if any significant adjustment is made, the memory of the maze within the Micro Mouse shall be erased before restarting. Slight adjustments, such as to the sensors may be allowed at the discretion of the judges, but operation of speed or strategy controls is expressly forbidden without a memory erasure.

12. No part of the Micro Mouse (with the possible exception of batteries) shall be transferred to another Micro Mouse. For example if one chassis is used with two alternative controllers, then they are the same Micro Mouse and must perform within a single 15 minute allocation. The memory must be cleared with the change of a controller.

13. The contest officials shall reserve the right to stop a run, or disqualify a Micro Mouse, if they believe its continued operation is endangering the condition of the maze.

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