Micromouse wins 2011 maze race in under 4 seconds

It’s off to the races once again with the Micomouse maze solving contest at the 2011 RoboGames. This is a picture of the winner, a bot called Min7 (main page) which was built by [Ng Beng Kiat]. Using four phototransistors and a flash sensor it managed to first map the contest maze, then speed run it in under four seconds. See both runs in videos after the break. He’s certainly got a leg up on the bots we saw last year. Min7 beats them both in time, and overall control during the speed run.

[Ng] mentions that this year is the first time he’s built a micromouse with four wheels instead of two. There’s a gyro on board which aids navigation by feeding the orientation data to the STM32 chip which controls the device. We took a moment to page through his past designs. It’s remarkable how they’ve evolved through the years. Continue reading “Micromouse wins 2011 maze race in under 4 seconds”

Tactile 4-bit maze

[Oskar] has been making puzzles for some time now. In 2000, he made a small electromechanical 4-bit maze that’s really fun to play. Lately though, he’s been working on an improved version that could be the beginnings of a commercial product.

The earlier electromechanical maze (you can play it in an applet on that page) is just a microcontroller hooked up to electromagnets and switches. To complete the maze, find the patterns of bits that move everything from 0 to 1. It’s a little bit like the Fox Chicken Grain puzzle, only a bit more complicated.

[Oskar]’s latest version uses motorized faders to represent the 0 and 1 states of the bits. The same logic in the electromechanical version is in the newest version. An Ardunio takes care of the motor control and game logic.

As a tiny logic game toy, it’s a great idea; everybody needs to get some hands-on action with Karnaugh maps sometime in their life. Check out the video below for the demo of the 4-bit maze in action.

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Gum ball maze updated… now with robots!

In what is surely becoming an ever-growing Rube Goldberg machine, [Dan] updated his gum ball dispenser to include a robot arm. We looked in on this human lab-rat experiment that rewards successful maze navigation with bubble-gum just about a year ago. As you can seen in the video after the break he’s added several new features to delight users. The original had a maze actuated by an accelerometer and that remains the same. But when the device fires up, the wooden ball is moved to the start of the maze by a Lynxmotion robotic arm. That arm is mounted on rails so it can also move to deliver the gum ball after a successful run. There’s also an anti-jamming feature that shakes the gum ball dispenser to ensure you don’t come up empty.

Whether playing chess or being controlled by a mouse the Lynxmotion has been quite popular lately. [Dan’s] solution uses a vacuum pump to grab onto the spheres (both wooden and gum), similar to the method used with the CNC pick and place from a while back.

Continue reading “Gum ball maze updated… now with robots!”

Maze-solving robo mouse

Looking for something to build that will be challenging and interesting to laypersons at the same time? Take some inspiration from this maze-solving robot mouse. It take the idea of a line-following robot, and makes it infinitely more cool. The tiny rover uses sensors to map out a physical maze. Once it figure it out, you put it back at the beginning for a speed run to the finish. We’ve embedded the video below showing the whole process. Looks like the speed-run is completed in just under five seconds.

Now that you’ve enjoyed a virtual mouse in a real maze, check out a real mouse in a virtual maze.

Continue reading “Maze-solving robo mouse”

Maze solving

[Mitchel Humpherys] and his fellow developers didn’t just develop a maze-solving algorithm, they also built a ping-pong ball maze platform that is computer controlled. Using a webcam the computer picks up the high-contrast maze by peering down from above, calculates the solution, and moves the ping-pong ball to the goal using two different tilt servos controlled by an 8051 microcontroller. But wait, there’s more! Why have the computer solve it when you can make a game out of a maze? Once the PC was thrown into the mix it was pretty easy to add Wii remote and Wii balance board control too. See these alternative inputs in action after the break.

Continue reading “Maze solving”

Cubicle-dwellers rewarded for reflexes

[StudioJooj] is trying to torture or test his colleagues in his office. A lot of folks leave a candy jar on their desks for all to enjoy but he’s making his friends work for their reward. Like cubicle-dwelling lab subjects, they must successfully navigate his maze to be rewarded with chocolate. The game piece is an amazingly orb-like peanut M&M candy. The maze is constructed from plywood and moves on two axis with the help of a couple of servos. The user interface includes a couple of NES console buttons to release the game piece and a PS2 joystick to control the maze. [StudioJooj] was nice enough to include a music video in his project clip.

We wonder the M&Ms will disappear faster or slower than they would from a candy jar.

[via SparkFun]

Complete the maze, get a gumball

This neat accelerometer controlled marble maze adds a level of fun to retrieving a gum ball. You have to first navigate the maze using a controller that has a dual axis accelerometer in it to control the angle of the platform. Though that does look like a wii accessory, there is no wiimote in there.  Only after you have completed it will the gum ball machine dispense the candy. [Dan] constructed everything himself, which might explain the lack of “pits” for the marble to fall into in the maze.

More details on the build and source code are available on his page.

[via hacked gadgets]