APEC 2014 hosted its 28th annual Micromouse contest in Fort Worth, Texas, on Monday, March 17. Participants design, build, and program robotic mice and compete to see who can navigate their way through the maze in the shortest time.
A typical entry has a pair of motors for propulsion, a battery for energy storage, infrared sensors to detect walls, and a microprocessor (under the battery) for intelligence.
The rules for the contest use a scoring system with a penalty for the time taken to map and run the maze, and a bonus for not touching the mouse. They are similar to those used at the IEE World Final held in London in 1987 except that the touch penalty has been reduced from 10 seconds to 2 seconds. The time for each contestant has also been reduced from 15 to 7 minutes. Within this time limit, the Micromouse may make up to 7 runs. Only one mouse per handler will be allowed this year.