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Micromouse - the early years, 1981-b

[postmark 29-July-1981 Paris]
SCHEDULE OF THE 1981 EUROMOUSE CONTEST --------------------------------------

1- Saturday 20th and Sunday 2lth of june 1981 : ----------------------------------------------- . Exhibition of the maze at the PALAIS DE LA DECOUVERTE . Trials of the maze by the participants 2- Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st of june 1981 : ----------------------------------------------- . Idem 3- 20th of August 1981 ---------------------- . Subscription closing date : for all complementary information contact : J. Bi11ingsley Portsmouth Polytechnic - dept. of electrical and electronic Eng. Anglesea Building - Anglesea rd - Porsmouth P01 3DJ - U.K. - 4- 7th and 8th of September 1981 -------------------------------- . Trials will be held during the EUROMICRO 81 symposium at the University Paris VI of Jussieu - 4 place Jussieu - 75005 Paris - France - Underground Jussieu - Signs inside the university will be posted to show the location of the trials. 5- 9th of september ------------------- . The final of the Euromouse Contest will be held at the PALAIS DE LA DECOUVERTE on Wednesday 9th of September 1981 from 5h30 up to 8,00 pm. (PALAIS UE LA DECOUVERTE - av. Franklin Roosevelt - 75008 Paris - France - underground : Franklin Roosevelt - )

concours "MICROSOURIS"

Qu'est-ce qu'une MICROSOURIS?

Une Microsouris est un dispositif sur roues, équipé d'un mécanisme commandé par un micro-ordinateur. Placée à l'entrée d'un labyrinthe, la Microsouris doit le parcourir et atteindre le poteau d'arrivée en un temps minimum.

Un micro-ordinateur est un ordinateur de taille réduite, obtenue grâce aux techniques d'intégration à très grande échelle des circuits électroniques sur une surface de quelques millimètres carrés de silicium.

La Microsouns est donc de taille raisonnable (surface de base ne dépassant pas 16 cm2 ), et programmée de façon intelligente grâce à un ordinateur miniaturise. Le labyrinthe s'étend sur une surface de 3 mètres carrés.

Comment marche une MICROSOURIS ?

La Microsouris est propulsée grâce à un moteur non polluant (moteur électrique) avec des roues permettant à la Microsouris d'avancer, de reculer, et surtout de tourner à 90 pour suivre le trajet du labyrinthe.

Le contrôle de la marche de la Microsouris est obtenu en envoyant des ordres au moteur qui agissent en conséquence sur les roues. Les ordres tiennent compte de l'état des capteurs placés sur la Microsouris pour connaître le positionnement de cette dernière par rapport au labyrinthe, à la façon d'un aveugle se dirigeant avec sa canne.

L'énergie est probablement fournie par des batteries, si c'est un moteur électrique qui est utilisé pour la propulsion.

Comment participer au Concours ?

Il faut tout d'abord savoir construire des maquettes roulantes, intégrant de la mécanique et des moteurs. Ensuite, il faut savoir souder et manipuler l'électronique ainsi que la programmation informatique. Une association des compétences est souvent nécessaire pour ce type de construction pour obtenir un résultat.

Les personnes intéressées par ce concours peuvent demander une inscription officielle au concours des Microsouris, ainsi que le règlement. Le concours se déroulera en deux étapes :

un préliminaire à l'occasion de la MICRO EXPO 81 (Palais des Congrès, Paris) aboutissant à une finale avec distribution des prix le sarnadi 9 mai 1981 ;

une finale à l'occasion de la Conférence EUROMICRO au mois de septembre 1981 à Pans, avec distribution des prix le 9 septembre 1981.


II suffit d'envoyer une enveloppe timbrée avec adresse personnelle à :

Centre Paris-Daumesnil
4, place Félix Eboué
75012 PARIS

Un règlement et un calendrier seront fournis en même temps que le formulaire d'inscription.

Department of
Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Anglesea Building
Anglesea Road
Portsmouth P01 3DJ
Telephone Portsmouth (0705) 827681
Portsmouth Polytechnic    
Extension 509
14th August, 1981.

Dear Contestant, The 1981 Finals of the Euromouse Contest are almost upon us, They will he held in Paris early in the evening of Wednesday, 9th September. The maze will be set up for elimination heats on the morning of Monday, 7th September in the University of Paris, Jussieu (the Jussieu metro stop is quite close). The building is easy to recognise - it has a 22-storey tower. Eliminations will be held on Monday, Tuesday and early Wednesday. Since the contest final will be held as an auditorium spectacle before the Conference Dinner and bearing in mind the insistence of the French that they should always eat punctually, this year's eliminations will be taken very seriously to ensure a keen contest final. Virtuoso displays will be judged at the time of the eliminations and at most two mice will give a virtuoso performance before the audience. For those who are keen to make last minute adjustments the maze can probably be made available for practise on Saturday and Sunday. Please let me know by telephone if you intend to travel early and I will try to make arrangements if there is sufficient demand. To ensure smooth running it is important that we know in advance how many mice intend to turn up. Please could you therefore fill in and return the slip to reach me not later than 27th August - please do it now! David Woodfield has been investigating the possibility of hiring a coach for the journey which would then be available in Paris for sight- seeing. The price may well be somewhat cheaper than rail fare* If you are interested please telephone him on 0902-67076 (at home) or on 0902-334361 (work). Good luck for Paris - and please do not kill your mice with kindness. That last minute improvement may well be fatal! John Billingsley ----------------

Head of Department F Dellow, MPhil(S'ton), CEng, FIFE

I do/do not intend to compete at Euromicro 81 in Paris



STATE OF READINESS - Running and tested/construction completed, troubleshooting/
mechanics running, programming problems/program running
mechanical problems/busy completing

(please give details overleaf)

Please complete and return at once to -

John Billingsley,
Department of Electrical & Electronic

Portsmouth Polytechnic,
Anglesea Road,
P01 3DJ

Euromicro 81

Paris, September 7-10, 1981
[this page - Euromouse Contest] [this page - Euromouse Contest]



17:00	Presse
17:30	Presentation Concours Euromouse Public
17:35	Superlite ( Germany )
17:50	Sun of The Zeus (GB)
18:05	Midnight Sun Junior ( Finland )
18:20	Jukka ( Finland )
18:35	Kim ( France )
18:50	Sterling Mouse ( GB )
19:05	Minitaurus ( Finland )
19:20	Thumper ( GB )
19:35	Déliberation du JURY
	Minitaurus - Virtuosité ( Finland )
19:50	Distribution des Prix
Centre Paris-Daumesnil, 4, place Félix Eboué, F-75012 Paris France
Tél. 341.71.10 Poste 242 - 341.08.46 - Télex 211801

Editors note
17:50	Sun of The Zeus (GB)
- should have read 
17:50	Son of Thezeus (GB)
obviously a little knowledge of Greek Myths is a dangerous thing

Department of
Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Anglesea Building
Anglesea Road
Portsmouth P01 3DJ
Telephone Portsmouth (0705) 827681
Portsmouth Polytechnic    
Extension 509
November,   1981.

Dear Contestant, Micromouse Contest, 1982 ------------------------ The British Finals of the Euromicro Micromouse Contest will be held at the Computer Fair, 23rd to 25th April, 1982, under the sponsorship of Practical Computing. The winner will receive an expenses paid trip to Haifa to display the prowess of his mouse at the Euromicro Conference 5th to 9th September, 1982. 16 mice arrived in Paris for this year's final and in practice nine of them showed themselves capable of reaching the centre within the 15 minutes time limit. Accordingly a very difficult maze was used for the final in the Palais de la Decouverte and three mice reached the centre in times of 5 minutes, 1 1/2 minutes and 45 seconds! The two winning mice displayed amazing reliability - an attribute lacking from most mice. The Micromouse page in Practical Computing will continue to appear, together with a new series giving "hard details for the construction of a typical mouse". As long as they don't give listings of an optimal program*.. at some stage it is going to be necessary to divide the mice into classes. I would be glad to hear of any suitable scheme. For a start I propose that there should be several special prizes at the Computer Fair for school teams. Best wishes and good luck. Yours sincerely, John Billingsley ----------------

Head of Department F Dellow, MPhil(S'ton), CEng, FIFE



23-25 APRIL 1982
Microprocessor controlled robot mice must find their way to the centre of the maze. 1. Dimensions The maze consists of 16 x 16 squares. The squares are based on a 7 inch/18 cm matrix. The walls of the maze are 1/2 inch/12 mm thick, and the passageways are thus 6 1/2 inch/16.5 cm wide. The walls are 2 inch/5 cm high, painted white with red tops. The target post at the centre, 1 inch/2.5 cm square, is 8 inches/20 cm high, and can be removed if desired. The starting square is at the 'bottom left' corner of the maze, and the mouse is initially oriented so that the target is diagonally to its right. The running surface is chipboard, sprayed with black paint. 2. Tolerances Dimensions should not be assumed to be more accurate than 5%: the maze may be made to metric or imperial dimensions, and quoted figures may be approximations (to 5%). Joins in the maze base will not involve steps of greater than O.5 mm - possibly covered with tape. However, warping of the maze base during transport or storage may result in a change in gradient at a join of as much as 4 degrees. 3. Contest rules (a) Each mouse is allowed a maximum total of 15 minutes to perform. The judges have the discretion to request a mouse to retire early if by its lack of progress it has become boring, or if by erratic behaviour it is endangering the state of the maze. (b) If the mouse can succeed in finding its way from the start to the maze centre, the time is noted. The handlers can then restart the mouse, so that it can profit from any learning ability in making a second run. Within the 15 minute limitation any number of runs can be made, and the mouse is credited with the shortest time of a successful run. - 2 - (c) If a mouse 'gets into trouble', the handlers can ask the judges for permission to abandon the run and restart the mouse at the beginning. If any other handling occurs, the judges may impose an appropriate time penalty, and a mouse which has been so handled will be beaten by any other mouse which has reached the centre without handling. A mouse may not be re- started merely because it has taken a wrong turning - the judges decision is final. The judges may add a time penalty for a restart. (d) Within reason, and at the judges' discretion, battery changes and minor repairs may be made - however the 15 minute timer must continue running. (e) If no successful run has been made, the judges will make a qualitative assessment of the mouse's performance, based on distance achieved, 'purposefulness' versus random behaviour and quality of control. (f) If a mouse elects to retire before three minutes have elapsed, the judges may at their discretion permit it to perform again, with a 1O minute limit, later in the contest. (g) The judges will use their discretion to award the prizes, which in addition to the major prize may include prizes for specific classes of mouse - perhaps lowest cost, most ingenious, best presented, etc. (h) Before the maze is unveiled the mice must be accepted and caged by the contest officials. The handlers will place the mice at the start under the officials' instructions. (i) Although the superstructure of the mice may 'bulge' above the top of the maze walls, mice must be subject to the following size constraints - width 25 cm, length 25 cm. There is no height limit but beware of toppling! Mice must be completely self-contained and must receive no outside assistance. The method of wall sensing is at the discretion of the builder, however, the mouse must not exert a force on any wall likely to cause damage. The method of propulsion is at the discretion of the builder provided that the power source is non-polluting - internal combustion engines would probably be disqualified on this count. If the judges consider that a mouse has a high risk of damaging or sullying the maze they will not permit it to run. Nothing may be deposited in the maze. - 3 - The mouse must negotiate the maze; it must not step over or otherwise illegally cross any maze wall. The means of locomotion of the mouse is again at the discretion of the designer. 4. Virtuoso Display Mice have 10 minutes to display their abilities. Their dimensions must be such that they could run in the maze. Their performance must be limited in travelling range to be accommodated either within the maze, or on an 8 foot square (2.4 metre) surface of hardboard. Handling will be discouraged. The Micromouse Maze Contest was first held in the U.S.A. by IEEE Spectrum. November, 1981.

Editors note The only difference from 1981 (which used the October 1980 rules) was to change:
the mouse must not exert a force on any wall of greater than one Newton.
the mouse must not exert a force on any wall likely to cause damage.

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