Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Robotic Mice in a Maze

A couple of Fridays ago, I spent the afternoon with five of the Jacobs School undergrads who make up the UC San Diego MicroMouse team. They were deep into prep mode because the following morning, their robotic mouse had to be ready to solve a maze with no help from humans.

Of course there were midterms to be preparing for, and all the usual Friday afternoon distractions on a college campus, but none of that mattered. Software bugs had to be found and fixed. The maze had to be cleaned. And there was even another algorithm to be implemented.

If you have five minutes, watch the video embedded below [high rez YouTube version here] (or read the full story). I hope it gives you a glimpse of team engineering in action.

The students made the sofa in the background from the recycled wood from the deck they built as a level construction platform for the maze.

The fireworks (above) started when students cut nails for the maze.

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