Winter is Coming

In the past, we have run a November Robotics event at Birmingham City University. It seems that will no longer be possible but there is still a desire to have a late autumn event.  The event will have micromouse as its centrepiece but is likely to include line-follower, wall-follower and drag race events as well as any others that you want to run.

This year, it will be held in the Hazlemere Community Centre on November 4th. Full details later. Meantime, the new event needs a name. Some suggestions have been made – not all of them, I presume, serious.

Here is your chance to make your mark. Make a suggestion of your own or vote for one of those already made. the judges decision will be final. If we can find some judges.

Remember: Vote Early, Vote Often.


Vote for or Suggest a name for the November Robot contest formerly known as RoboFest
  • UK Micromouse - Autumn 2xxx 53%, 8 votes
    8 votes 53%
    8 votes - 53% of all votes
  • NovoBot 33%, 5 votes
    5 votes 33%
    5 votes - 33% of all votes
  • The Autumn-o-mouse Robot Trial* 13%, 2 votes
    2 votes 13%
    2 votes - 13% of all votes
Total Votes: 15
Voters: 14
July 11, 2017 - July 28, 2017
* - added by visitor
Voting is closed

You may vote for up to three choices and/or add your own.
You can also come back and change your mind later when a more cool suggestion is made so check back.
And no, Robot McBotFace will not be chosen. For anything.

© Kama


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.