Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Electrical engineering and computer science undergrads in ACM TechNews

Congrats to the robotic mouse makers at the Jacobs School. They landed in the 18 May issue of ACM TechNews. (In the photo above, they are cutting their own metal pegs for the maze). The 4 minute video is here, if you haven't seen it already.

The RSS feed for ACM TechNews is here...and I also added it to my new list of tech sites at the bottom of the right-side column of this blog.

Robotic Mouse Makes Maze Debut at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Jacobs School of Engineering researchers have designed and built a robotic mouse and developed software to teach the robot to navigate through a maze. The robot navigates the maze using a pair of wheels and two self-lubricating sliders made from high-tech cutting board material. The robot, which is about the size of a cylindrical cookie jar, uses a set of distance sensors that project light onto the maze walls, which bounces back and is used to identify openings. The sensor-based approach gives the robot vision capabilities without having to deal with the complexities surrounding cameras, says UCSD student Jeffrey Wurzbach, who worked on the project. The robot was built for the MicroMouse competition, which tasks students with controlling an entire robotics system, including hardware, low-level code, high-level code, and all related debugging tools. UCSD professor Charles Tu says graduate school admissions committees and potential employers are looking for this kind of experience. In addition to designing and building the robot, the team spent five weeks building the 10-foot by 10-foot maze for the competition.

From "Robotic Mouse Makes Maze Debut at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering"