RE: Questions about the Micromouse & Maze
I couldn't agree more!
When the contest was introduced to the UK in 1979/80 it took about four
years for any UK engineering graduate to get anywhere near producing a
plausible competitor. (Nick Smith doesn't count - he's a
mathematician/programmer! The same goes for Dave Woodfield and Alan
Dibley.) The winners were the ones who just 'got on and did it'.
It's interesting, though, that some of the European university entrants at
Euromicro '80 were bristling with bright ideas. Lami, from Lausanne, had
'wheels within wheels' with a principle which predated one that won prizes
in Albuquerque in 1985.
The Finns came out in force in '82, also with lots of ingenuity (though
there were some sledgehammers, too!)
I must have missed the earler discussion on the rolling ball. It's not an
easy option! It has to be steered very carefully, since touching a wall
will slew it to that side and wreck its progress. Or have I missed the
point? I have seen transparent plastic balls into which you can put a pet
rat to give it roaming exercise without fouling the carpet. is that what
was proposed? Is there a rule about making the target smell of cheese?
From: Duncan Louttit [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, 11 March 2002 19:00
Subject: Questions about the Micromouse & Maze
Prepare to be offended!
There has always seemed to me to be a split between "academic"
and "practising" engineers. The academics want to demonstrate their
knowledge and skills in their projects; the others just want to get the
project completed to spec using the least effort and cost before they get
on with the next one.
When I was a student, we had to design a folding double bed for a
course. The one design that could have made money as a commercial product
used a blow-up mattress returned to its storage by a flat spring when
deflated. The marks given to this design were very low as it "did not
demonstrate the principles required". I thought this was disgusting.
I am firmly in the non-academic camp. If micromouse can be solved
simple ball device, that information should be published and we can all
move on to a new challenge, possibly robot football. PLEASE DON'T
DISCOURAGE STUDENTS WHO HAVE NOVEL SIMPLE IDEAS! They are the ones who can
create whole new industries.