Our MouseRobot is a Micromouse robot that’s unique feature was vision-based maze detection. There is now at least other one other running vision-based mouse, although the vision system principle and algorithm is very different (I believe).
Normally micromouse robots use IR sensors, or similar, to "feel" or "see" walls. This design actually has to do some complex calculations to do the same thing.
Micromouse Maze is 16x16, with each ‘’cell’’ being 18cm x 18cm. The Maze solver rules can be found on the TIC site and on the Royal Holloway University of London site
It contains the following main hardware features:
- 2 DC motors in wheelchair configuration with 2 optical shaft encoders for motor position and speed sensing - this complete drive train was kindly supplied by Swallow Systems (http://www.swallow.co.uk/)
- Motor drivers
- Display + input with 3 switches and 3 LEDs
- An LPC2106 32bit ARM CPU with 128K of Flash and 60K of RAM
- A Camera board with a VGA camera, another LPC2106 CPU, a video FIFO. This is a reprogrammed CMUcam3.
- A battery power supply plus regulators
- An accessible serial ports per processor for both reprogramming and access to the command line (see below).
- A buzzer for signalling states
- Both microprocessors have the same software which auto-configures on power up
- The software has a command line that allows incremental development by issuing commands that do single actions
- The software has the ability to upload images - but it takes around 20 seconds at 230400 baud (via xmodem). So (sadly) not real-time
- Theoretically it could compete in line follower competitions as well, with appropriate changes in software
- Using a bluetooth serial module would allow monitoring as it runs
- A battery monitoring circuit would be useful to show when low battery is present
- More memory, processing time and camera resolution would be nice