Saturday 1st June the 2019 National Schools and Colleges Micromouse
Competition was held by the UKMARS organisation and hosted by Birmingham City
University as part of the annual City Centre Campus TechFest event.
usual three events were run: The Drag Race – a 6 metre sprint following a white
line; the Line Follower – a circuit of straights and curves of varying radii,
again following a white line and the Wall Follower – finding a route from the
start cell to a target cell in a maze by following the left-hand wall.
total of 20 mice were entered. Many of
them were capable of, with a change of sensors and wheels, competing in all
three events. There were kit mice and scratch built mice on show. The lightest weighed 97 grams and the
heaviest 330 grams.
to the competition this year were Kesgrave High School, Ipswich who had been
working on their designs since October 2018.
They are an after-school club formed by retired teachers Simon Clapson
and John Fisher, both stalwarts of Micromouse who previously enjoyed great
success in this competition with their former school. Schools are desperately keen to get STEM
ambassadors to run robotics clubs but are generally very inflexible regarding
using school computers to run suitable programming software. John and Simon
were very limited in the choice of microprocessor for their students’ robots and
had to abandon their tried and tested Picaxe programs, eventually settling for
Crumble, an icon based software system similar to Scratch.
clubs and schools from Buckinghamshire were again represented and there was one
entry from a primary school pupil, Maxwell Bayliss from Pershore Junior. Unusually there were four entrants who were
veterans of the 2018 competition making a return appearance: Kaviyashree
Damodaran, Nathesa Sivakumaran, Lahari Ballina and Bethan Edwards.
Edwards was the stand-out performer on the day.
Her mouse “Jerry” came first in the Line Follower (beating her brother
Owain into second place by 0.05 seconds), second in the Wall Follower and third
in the Drag Race.
were on offer for any competitor who completed a successful timed run in each
of the three events. There were also
trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed mice in each
event. Grateful thanks are due to Duncan
Louttit of Swallow Systems who donated all the Schools awards and was Chief
Judge on the day. Thanks are also due to
Chris Evans and the BCU team and Ian Butterworth, Chairman of UKMARS for
providing us with excellent facilities.
Last, but by no means least, we would like to thank the parents and
teachers who supported the competitors and saw their charges fully focused and
highly competitive perhaps for the first time.
Mouse: 97.12g “Jerry”, Bethan Edwards,
Recorded Mouse: “Thanos”, Lekha Ballina, Wycombe High School.
Award: “Wally”, Kyle Baker, Kesgrave High School, Ipswich.
wrote the program for his mouse in just three after school sessions. His entry completed the wall follower event
successfully – an outstanding achievement.
Place: “Sivan”, Nathesa Sivakumaran, Beaconsfield High. (2.304s)
Place: “Mozzarella”, Kaviyashree Damodaran, Beaconsfield High. (2.419s)
Place: “Jerry”, Bethan Edwards, Wycombe Warriors. (2.462s)
Place: “Jerry”, Bethan Edwards, Wycombe Warriors. (10.411s)
Place: “Idea”, Owain Edwards, Wycombe Warriors. (10.461s)
Place: “Sivan”, Nathesa Sivakumaran, Beaconsfield High. (10.798s)
Place: “Human Being”, Abigail Robinson, Wycombe High School. (34.06s)
Place: “Jerry”, Bethan Edwards, Wycombe Warriors. (34.50s)
Place: “Maze Finder”, Maanya Shankar, Wycombe High School. (34.85s)