CSU, Chico News

Robot Records at Stake in Micromouse Competition

Date: 04-27-2007

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico engineering students will try to hold onto Chico’s “mouse maze” record as they host Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Davis and other schools in a regional competition of student-made miniature robots.

The CSU, Chico branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (known as “IEEE” – pronounced “I-triple-E”) will host the Region 6/Central Area Micromouse Competition tomorrow, April 28, at 1 pm in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) room 135.

The micromouse competition is based on the construction of miniature robots controlled by a microcontroller. The mouse has to find its way through an arbitrary maze. It competes with other mice to see which one finds the center of the maze (the cheese) in the least amount of time.

The competition is held once a year in the spring. Students can enter the competition individually or with a group. CSU, Chico will be represented by three teams this year. Participants are required to be members of IEEE.

Schools competing this year include CSU, Fresno; CSU, Sacramento; San Francisco State; San Jose State; Santa Clara; Stanford; University of Nevada, Reno; UC Davis; UC Berkeley; UC Santa Cruz; University of the Pacific and University of Hawaii.

CSU, Chico alumnus Dustin Hess still holds the record for the fastest micromouse competition time of 23 seconds, set in spring 2001. Hess was a fall 2001 CSU, Chico graduate in computer engineering.

IEEE, a nonprofit organization, is the world’s leading professional association for the advancement of technology. Through its global membership, the IEEE is a leading authority on areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics, among others.

For more information about the micromouse competition, contact Trish Hamar at trishhamar@yahoo.com, 530-228-3975, or visit the web site.