Monday, April 14, 2008

Micromouse contest - MINOS 08 - report 3

At the end of the first day we had a really good meal at a local Italian restaurant and I think everyone got on really well and enjoyed themselves.

On the second day, the main thing (apart from a very nice breakfast) was the competition. This was pretty informal and there was a good atmosphere. It was timed and scored for each run.

Adrian divided the competition into heats and finals. The slowest in the qualifying heats would go first in the finals. These themselves were divided into wall follower and maze solver races. Even the mice that didn't finish were given a chance to run in the final. Perhaps there was over dozen mice competing with a fair number of different designs.

The wall followers were both contact and non-contact in one race - there probably weren't enough mice to split the competition into three races.

Quite a lot of the mice suffered very badly due to wall detection problems. They used a standard plastic wall set and it's the third year these walls have been used and some people hadn't altered their mice sensors - so something was up. I did wonder whether the walls had aged somehow and become less reflective of IR. They looked OK in visible light, of course.

Between races I got a chance to do some more on the vision processing code. A few things to sort out yet - but I'm getting further bit by bit. Of course seeing all of those mice compete really made me want to run our mouse. Still, without the vision processing the only place it will go is straight into a wall!

The event finished earlier than scheduled at somewhere between noon and 1pm. The only bad thing about this was a four hour wait at Heathrow, which is probably one of the most boring, soul-destroying places on the planet. At least I had Alan to talk to, my phone (to ring Claire) and my laptop. Things could have been SO much worst!


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