RE: Rules or specifications?
I couldn't get to my emails for a couple of days and wow there's a lot of
stuff about micromouse! Great!
I cannot tell the difference between rules and specifications. The
abstract concept "make the fastest maze solver" might qualify as a rule
under Tony's ideas but any real mouse has to have a specification (as he
puts it) for the maze, any limitations on the mouse (size etc.), "solving",
and the way it will be scored. Any change to any of these specifications,
changes the nature of the competition. I entered two mice in the
"non-contact" wall follower class partly because I was not sure how "non
contact" would be interpreted. One definitely never touched the walls and
came (I think) last. One brushed them occasionally and came second.
"The rules" must completely specify the competition. Changes to the rules
imply changes to the mice (consider the confusion as to which of Dave
Otten's mice won). The rules must be clear, unambigous and complete and
they must be defined many months before competition date. The rules must
describe the competition as it is, warts and all, not as we would like it
I really like the idea of collapsing walls. That is the kind of rule that
is easy to judge and clear to understand. In the schools competition there
is a similar problem for deciding whether the mouse had hit the restraining
wall at the end of the rat run. The solution was to make the wall out of
expanded polystyrene. If the mouse moved the wall it suffered the 5 second