Find the rotation centre for your robot

A robot like the micromouse needs to be able to make accurate, repeatable and stable turns. The rotation centre is the point about the robot will turn in place. For a two-wheeled robot, it should be halfway between the two contact patches. If it is not, the turns will leave the robot out of position. Here I will show you how to accurately find the centre of rotation. Continue reading

Micromouse Portuguese Contest 2017

The Micromouse Portuguese Contest 2017 will take place in Gondomar on 20th of May 2017. Last year’s event, held in Agueda, near Porto, was excellent and I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to take part. This year, the venue has moved to Gondomar – also near Porto.

I will be taking part as will Taiwanese entrants  Cai Xin-Han, with his mouse Diu-Gow 4, and Chao-Wei Chen, running Edumouse. Diu-Gow 4 is fan assisted and has recently won in Japan and America. It will be an exciting contest. Find out more at

Minos 2017 Mini contest results

On the Sunday of Minos, after a bit of chat, we run a small contest in the 11×11 maze and on a small line follower course. Here are the results

Line follower best times:
David Otten Jehu3 8.67
David Otten Jehu 9.54
Ian Butterworth Asymouse 13.23
Bernard Grabowski Wham Minus 17.8
Duncan Louttit Wham Plus 18.35
Wall Follower best times:
Peter Harrison Decimus5a 31.17
Bernard Grabowski Muso 35.15
Bernard Grabowski Leo 39.5
Emma McCheesy DNF
Ian Butterworth Freda DNF
Maze Solver best score times:
Peter Harrison Decimus5a 6.73
Derek Hall MouseX 6.94
Derek Hall PicOne Turbo 15.81
Ian Butterworth Freda 21.78

I neglected to record the maze layout properly but this is the copy discovered by Decimus as it went around


Interestingly, it took a shorter route home (at lower speed). Presumably it found the other route to be faster. Who knows what they do? The time recorded on-board is always a little longer that that recorded by the timing gear.

The maze timing results are suspect because search penalties seem to be missing on most runs.

Remember that the UK contest scoring includes maze search time and any touch penalties.

Another curiosity comes from running it in wall-following mode. I don’t think I can run it much faster through unknown mazes and yet the dedicated (and, lets be honest, less smart) wall followers are nearly as fast. Some lessons to be learned there I think.

Minos 2017

Minos 2017 will this year be held at Birmingham City University City Centre Campus, Millennium Point, Birmingham on Saturday 22 April 2017 with informal competitions on Sunday 23 April. 

As usual, this is a great opportunity to find out what is going on in the world of micromouse and small robotics as well as share ideas with other builders.

This year’s sessions include:

  • A roundup of news from the various international Micromouse contests
  • Mouse data collection and calibration
  • a BBC Micro:bit mouse
  • Mouse building developments and updates on internationally competitive mice
  • Mouse emulation
  • 3d Printing hints and tips
  • Building a line follower timing gate
  • Other robotic competitions
  • Time of flight range sensors
  • Making line follower courses
  • Analysis of using a gyro

It is not too late to make arrangements and the event is open to all comers.

There is currently no charge for the venue although parking at Millennium Point will be around £5 per day.

Exact details of catering available on site are not completely clear but there should be hot drinks and snack available. We can always send out a hunting party during the day as the venue is only ten minutes walk from ‘proper’ shops.

The start time on Saturday and finish time on Sunday depend on the number of contributions we get, so we will finalise that nearer the date. We hope to start at about 10:30 on Saturday and finish sometime after lunch on Sunday.

The Minos event takes place at the Birmingham City University Campus at Millennium Point:


You may use the comments section below or the site contact form to seek further information or offer to present a slot.