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Micromouse

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Micro-Mouse Organization

The Micromouse organization that will be covered in this project is the group from UCSD. Founded in 2006 by Christopher Aprea in southern California, this group is in association with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers based in New York, New York. With aspirations of solving the world’s most challenging problems and exceeding in engineering excellence, IEEE UCSD hopes to inspire the next generation of engineers in leadership and professional development by means including micromouse competitions and social events (IEEE USCSD, 2014).
Joining the team at UCSD has many benefits. Along with meeting people from all around the world there are grants available to the competitors and students such as undergraduate grants, Warren College grants and Jacobs’s school grants. Specific to the team at UCSD, the first ten teams to sign up are eligible for a $250.00 grant (IEEE UCSD, 2014). There are also many funding opportunities from companies, alumni and other private donors.
If someone is interested in joining the IEEE organization outside of the UCSD group, they can expect reasonable membership fees of $187.00 per person and only $32.00 per year if they are a student. This allows people to access many more resources such as having their own IEEE account, access to journals and periodicals, funding and discounts through reimbursements from the IEEE organization itself.
This particular organization at UCSD was chosen specifically for its association with the IEEE and the benefits that come with it as well as its geographical elation to the Silicon Valley, which has been the birthplace of many technological advances in computers and electronics. Also, since it is located within region 6 of the APEC conference (IEEE, 2014), it is one of the largest regions, encompassing the entire western seaboard of the United States of America, allowing it to diversify its knowledge input base.
Understanding the rules and regulations to participating in the Micromouse Competition is very important. Inability to adhere to them could mean disqualification of your team. Your MicroMouse shall be self-contained (no remote controls). It shall not use an energy source employing a combustion process. It cannot leave any part of its body behind while negotiating the maze. It cannot jump over, fly over, climb, scratch, cut, burn, mark, damage, or destroy the walls of the maze. It cannot be larger either in length or in width, than 25 centimeters, even if it changes shape. The total cost of the mouse may not be over $500.00.
The maze is composed of multiples of an 18 cm2 unit. The maze size is 16x16 units. The walls of the maze are 5 cm high and 1.2 cm thick. An outside wall encloses the entire maze. The sides of the maze walls are white, the tops of the walls are red, and the floor is black. The maze is made of wood, finished with non-gloss paint. The start of the maze is located in one of the four corners. The start square is bounded on three sides by walls. The start line is located between the first and second squares. After the mouse exits the corner square, the time starts. The destination goal is the four cells at the center of the maze. The destination square has only one entrance. Small square zones (posts), each 1.2 cm2, at the four corners of each unit square are called lattice points. The maze is so constituted that there is at least one wall at each lattice point. Multiple paths to the destination square are allowed and are to be expected. The destination square will be positioned so that a wall-hugging mouse will NOT be able to find it. In this contest the contestant or team of contestants design and build small self-contained robots (micro mice) to negotiate a maze in the shortest possible time.
All robots are unique in their sensors, wheel number and placement, shape, design and parts. There are a few things that the robots have in common, the robots use an ARM microprocessor - the same kind of processor found in iPhones, Blackberries, Windows Mobile devices. They use the GNU tool chain to program the chip. Since there is no OS, you have to program stepper motor drivers, sensor interfaces, interrupt handlers, memory management using the GNU tool chain.

References
IEEE. (2014). IEEE.org. Retrieved from IEEE R6 Western USA IEEE Region 6.
IEEE UCSD. (2014, April). IEEE UCSD - Micromouse. Retrieved from IEEE UCSD: http://ieee.ucsd.edu/micromouse/
IEEE USCSD. (2014, 04). IEEE UCSD - About. Retrieved from IEEE UCSD: http://ieee.ucsd.edu/
Micromouse IEEE USCD Mouse. (2014, April 12). Retrieved from IEEE.USCD.EDU: http://ieee.ucsd.edu/projects/micromouse/#what
Micromouse IEEE USCD Rules. (2014, April 12). Retrieved from IEEE.USCD.EDU: http://ieee.ucsd.edu/projects/micromouse/rules.php

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