Another year, another MINOS (UK Micromouse conference). This year I only went for the first day, the talks and testing, but was still a great experience. I got quite a few of my questions answered and am now ready to start working on my mouse proper.
The day started off well, no waiting at stations for trains and the weather was kind so I got to Egham about an hour before kick off. The first talk was on Inertial Navigation with Accelerometers from Dave Otten; is a very interesting concept as if the system works you can check to see if the wheels are slipping (something hard to detect, but can have bad consequences if it happens too often). We then had a great talk on using Machine Vision on a micromouse from Richard Nock , a bit over my head but it was early in the day and I had not looked into using sensor arrays for measuring the heights of walls.
Following was an informative talk on Pete Harrison’s mice, unfortunately as I was not around on the Sunday so did not see them run. David Hannaford gave a presentation on intelligent mice, reminds me of some lectures we have had on AI over the past 3 years at Reading.
Michael Beatus gave a presentation on his mouse to date, again not sure how well it actually did as I was not around to see it. Rob Probin then gave an excellent talk on using a camera to find the maze walls, I did something similar for a different application about a year ago and dismissed it as being too much processing for a mouse to do, but Rob seems to be making some progress, will wait an see!
Finally Tony Wilcox gave a presentation on using VHDL to build ‘circuitry’ such as quadrature decoders for mice. Interesting avenue to go down, but I think I am biting off too much with a 32 bit PIC in my design!
I also gave a small presentation on the MOD Grand Challenge, which was followed by a video from Derek Hall of his trip to India (for a micromouse competition).
Was a lot of ‘fun’, and I look forward to going to next years conference with a mouse to present! Anyhow I have already started buying new components, some Lithium Ion batteries are on their way…