Micro-Mouse Robots With Grippers Tournament

Japan has held country-wide micro-mouse robot competitions for almost thirty years. This year, they're taking it to a higher level - autonomouse (sorry) robotic mice now have gripper arms to manipulate special cylinders along the maze.


(Micro Mouse with grippers)

At specified intervals, the special micro-mice use their gripper arms to grasp a cylinder, hoist it high in the air, and then set it down on the opposite side. The event is timed; the shortest time to complete the maze and all tasks wins.

For an additional challenge, the shape of the maze is changed constantly, forcing the autonomous micro-mice to adapt.

These micro-mouse robots with gripping arms are sounding more and more like the "golden shuttles" from The Mechanical Mice, a marvelous 1941 short story written by Eric Frank Russell (Maurice A. Hugi is one of his pseudonyms).

Something small, metallic, glittering had shot through one of the rat holes, fled across the floor toward the churning monstrosity. A trapdoor opened and swallowed it with such swiftness that it had disappeared before I realized what I'd seen. The thing had been a cylindrical, polished object resembling the shuttle of a sewing machine, but about four times the size. And it had been dragging something also small and metallic.
(Read more about the golden shuttle robots)

Let's hope they don't yearn to serve the malevolent robot mother from the same story.

If you enjoy mechanical mice as much as I do, you'll squeak happily upon reading these stories:

Via Robot Watch.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/24/2008)

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