RE: Mazes, NanoMouse, etc, etc...
Judging by the responses I thing the view of the
establishment to a reduced size maze can be summed up as "thanks, but no
However, I feel I should at least defend the idea
before letting it slip quietly beneath the waves.
main criticisms seem to be:
a) The mice would be too difficult
b) The small parts for the mice
would be too expensive
c) There is no need to have a full
d) That a second maze size would
fragment the community.
them in order...
because the mice are smaller doesn't necessarily mean they will be more fiddly
to build; just that they require a little more thought in their
design. I remember at MINOS 01 someone said that when the original
micromouse concept was proposed it was deemed "too difficult" now the complaints
are that there is no significant challenge and ways were being sought to make
things more difficult (e.g. Duncan's notorious 13 bit algorithm), and hence more
interesting. Though I'd hardly call the work being done
to squeeze the last ounce of performance out of the mice
Smaller parts are not always more expensive, or
necessary - different layouts can significantly reduce the size. Similarly,
when the competition started, the controller was necessarily complicated, bulky
and power hungry. Now the same function can be performed by a couple of
chips. Though I will agree that to get the kind of performance Dave
Otten gets from his mice requires more complex hardware.
I agree that it is possible to test most aspects of mouse performance on a "test
maze", it's not an ideal situation. Acceleration profiles and sensor accuracy
are difficult to test on a small maze. Also, competitions are few and far
between. Having built a mouse, it would be nice to be able to run it properly on
a full maze and really see how it performs. For me a full size maze is out
of the question so I'd have to wait for a competition to really see it
said all that the last point is, I'm afraid, the killer. I can't deny it, having
two maze sizes would divide efforts and potentially damage the community. On
that issue I must concede defeat - a second, incompatible, maze
size just wouldn't be in the interests of the micromouse community as a
to thank everyone who took the time to respond to my suggestion. It's nice to
see that there are still plenty of people passionate about the subject
to defend it so well.
still build a small maze and a mouse to go in it, just for my own amusement of
course (and to see if it can be done). However, I don't have any plans to
set up a rival league!