View Poll Results: What lead Techfest IIT mumbai to stop micromouse?

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  • There defeat in previous event by srilanka.

    3 33.33%
  • You agree with coordinators that people are not taking interest.

    1 11.11%
  • Techfest has become a commercial entity now.

    5 55.56%
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Thread: No more Micromouse at IITB Techfest

  1. #1

    Default No more Micromouse at IITB Techfest


    Recently I found that there is no micromouse event this year in IIT tecfest. The reasons are still not cleared by them. Last words by the coordinators of the Techfest this year ...IT COMES to BE SATURATED...AND STUDENTS are not showing interest and enthusiasm.In my own words i love this event when i was in my final year of engineering.It is a shock for me and my students that such a great international event has come to a halt.
    It is so devastating that it is only international platform for Indian students to show their skill.It will result a long term effect for indian technical societies as such competitions are very few.Again i really need your views for the topic. You can found our successful runs in Micromouse youtube-dubeyanupam

  2. #2
    Senior Member T-1000 debu's Avatar
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    I don't want to speculate on the reasons why there is no micromouse event this year. But I must say that I am impressed with the complexity of the other event. If students are able to compete successfully in the other events, I doubt that anyone is going to miss a micromouse event.

    Regards,

    Debu

  3. #3
    Administrator T-1000 vikas's Avatar
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    The smartest brains must have some reasons .

    I never found micromouse interesting . Everything could be bought commercially ( hw / sw / firmware) and its too easy for someone with money to get a decent micro mouse , which would outperform 99 % of self made ones.

    Anyhow i find the current choice of events better , maybe because i love idea of swarm robotics. And the other event looks like robosoccer in starting phases.

    Maybe this would interesting -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5y-0SPdnVQ ( scary fast )
    Vikas Patial

  4. #4
    Senior Member T-1000 debu's Avatar
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    (off-topic) @vikas: Since you posted that video from SRG'09, did you know that those robots are autonomous? According to the rules (clickie) the robots are supposed to be RF controlled from a PC equipped with a vision system to track the position of the ball and the bots. Imagine the speed of image processing for that!

    Regards,

    Debu

  5. #5
    Administrator T-1000 rao's Avatar
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    The only international event?? Honestly didnt know that techfest was an international event.

    Micromouse is a good event no doubt (still remember that discussion I had regarding the micromouse a long time back )

    Robocon is the only international event I know that Indian students participate in, and it doesnt have a micromouse theme.

    Moreover, in order to participate in an international event, you just need to have a good robot and not the stamp of approval from any IIT.

    Why are you disappointed?? and why should a techfest have the same theme every year?

    Rao

  6. #6

    Default All the 3 reasons are correct

    all the three reasons stated above are true............

    Indian micro mouse are really pathetic..........(why?) I believe Indian students think about winning competition money rather than making a good international mice.........they don't share information unlike UK/US/JAPAN (you can find numerous design pages with details and circuit diagram ). But here not one Indian describes his/her mouse with circuit and code details. So in real sense there is no sharing of Info and students are busy reinventing the same things generation after generation...........sad .............good to say Indians are individually smart and socially fools........ I hardly found and DC motor Mice......most of the Indian mice are stepper motor craps.........battery guzzlers.........that why Indian mice builders search for Lithium ion battery to run micro mice for longer duration.............


    Srilankan mice were DC motor mice with wheel encoders....beautiful and efficient........their design was logical...two seprate controller one for the maze algo and other for implementing PID algo for DC motors....I think it was PIC controller based.........(what I had sen 2 yrs back).............

    from past 2 yrs IIT micro muse became boring since the event was poorly conducted...in a big hall the stage was far away one couldnt see the mice in real only TV coverage on projected screens.............and organizers were bigger crap.............didn't even make presentation very interesting...........

    Good IIT stopped micromouse this time I really got bored watching it.......I can see much better mouse video on Utube rather go and see it there.............


    and what to say about commercial interest it looks more like a fare than a tech festival........shops selling pizzas.cakes pastries, ice creams, some shops selling Tshirts, solar torches,robotics components shops and what not..... etc........the louder the music at the event more students got pulled to that event..........

  7. #7
    Administrator T-1000 vikas's Avatar
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    I totally agree on what asimov said Indian micromouse....

    It could have been better if every one released the code at end of the event , so next year something better came. But sadly indian micromouse are not so,everything is kept hush hush.

    On the other hand look at the international counterparts they release most stuff in GPL and even vendors like SparkFun etc give everything free ( Schematics,codes etc ) with their products.

    Also I dont like the blatant commercialization too , fleecing students with courses and what not . But if the students are dumb and lazy they deserve this.

    Maybe attitude/interests of the people involved is very different.
    Vikas Patial

  8. #8

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    Really i also agree with Mr Asimov that HUMAN KNOWLEDGE BELONGS TO THE WHOLE WORLD.But This year we have opened electroons.com and logicbrigade.com to widespread the knowledge of building these stuff's.Atleast we itself can provide our efforts to fix these things down.As Mr rao has said micromouse in not a international event i think he is not gone through Electronics for you issue which put robocon and micro mouse on the same rack.Again international participants from different part of the world arrive here to show their talents.
    This time SWARN robotics need a wireless link specially need a 2.4 GHz transciever module which again restricts the students to develop their own rather then buying it from TR***.NEXUS again is conducting workshops in the same way selling TR** prototypes ,forcing students to this events. :?: :?:

  9. #9

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    I never found micromouse interesting . Everything could be bought commercially ( hw / sw / firmware) and its too easy for someone with money to get a decent micro mouse , which would outperform 99 % of self made ones.
    Techfest micromouse rules do not allow anyone to use ready made kits or parts. I have been participating in micromouse for last 3 years and I have not seen the mouse with ready made parts that is in top positions.

    I hardly found and DC motor Mice......most of the Indian mice are stepper motor craps.........
    yes, you hardly find any DC motor mice, because the kind of DC motor with encoders that is required for the DC mouse costs a fortune (Rs 10,000 to 15,000 per motor). I have only seen only two winning DC mouse in last three years.
    Last year's winner in the professional category had faulhaber motors that were imported and was priced around 12000 Rs / each , Also the winning team in student category from srilanka had bought the two faulhaber motors with the wheel assembly for Rs 20,000 from e-bay (how lucky !!).

    We had once tried making the DC mouse using off-the-shelf parts (using the encoders in the computer wheel mouse and simple toy DC motors) but We had to switch to steppers motors to meet the deadlines. I still have plans for resuming this project

    battery guzzlers.........that why Indian mice builders search for Lithium ion battery to run micro mice for longer duration.............
    Yes most mouse has lithium ion batteries, But I have seen one winning micromouse by ashish bhat using Ni-Cd batteries and using onboard step-up regulator , you see again it comes to ingenious design !!!

    Srilankan mice were DC motor mice with wheel encoders....beautiful and efficient........their design was logical...two seprate controller one for the maze algo and other for implementing PID algo for DC motors
    why to use the two controllers when it can be done with one controller (and it is a kind of challenge to complete everything with limited resources). Me with my Friend has tried implementing various designs of the micromouse on various controllers starting from 8085 to ATmega 128, we tried implementing it on the ATmega8535 which had only 512 bytes of SRAM and it was a challenge to implement the depth first search algorithm on it and was very interesting (we used to move the data from SRAM to EEPROM to make space in SRAM, and bring it back when required, It was similar to "demand paging" that most of the modern operating systems do). Although we later realized that microcontrollers with bigger memory exists and moved to those microcontrollers nevertheless it was interesting working with limited resources and still completing the task. I still have plans for implementing micromouse on ATmega 8.

    I have been working on and off the micromouse with my friend for around 3 years and I think it is the perfect platform for an "engineer". It involves everything that an engineer should be good at - mechanical design, circuit design, sensors, algorithms and embedded programming.


    I think micromouse is not the event which an "average engineer" like me can crack it in the first go (unless you do "ready made stuffs" or you are a super genious).
    By "average engineer" here. I mean the engineer who has

    1) a negligible support from colleage-faculty for doing tech things,
    2) whose faculties/seniors have never worked/heard of any other microcontroller other than 8051 family.
    3) whose lab hardly has any working CRO (and even if it has, you can not freely access it when-ever you wants without going through the chain and pain of permissions )
    4) Negligible access to internet ( cyber cafe is the only option).
    5) very less money in the pocket to order online or buy ready made boards or hi-fi microcontrollers.
    6) who is surrounded by internal and external exams all the time
    6) etc etc

    I am one such "Average Engineer" with passion for micromouse. and it has took almost three techfest for our mouse to reach the centre of the maze (Each mouse was designed with off-the-shelf parts and having no "ready-made-modules" ). Following is the summary of our attempts


    1) Techfest 2006 We could not clear the elimination,

    2) Techfest 2007 Cleared the elimination but could not reach the center, our program had a bug(it was accessing out of bound memory of an array ) which did not show up on our 5 X 5 maze, but showed up in the actual maze of 16 X 16. This was our final chance to compete as a student.

    3) Techfest 2008 micromouse reaches the center of the maze with decent speed and gets second price in the professional category.

    Micromouse is a big event, I know people who has been hooked to it for 15 years, some student is doing research around it, and some university is having a separate practical course to design a micromouse.

    I have never worked on the micromouse for prize money, I always wanted to see my mouse reaching the centre of a 16 X 16 maze and techfest is the only means I can do that. ( As a matter of fact the Maze walls and posts of techfest maze were imported from singapore and costs nearly 70,000 Rs )

    It is sad to know the demise of a a great Event, when only handful Indian Engineers have seen their mouse reaching center of the maze till now.

  10. #10
    Administrator T-1000 vikas's Avatar
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    @virgo - Nice to know your story.

    Well i still believe it comes down to resources , your examples prove it, Access to money and some brain will on an average give the team an edge.

    And i know full kits are not allowed , But with money ull build stuff which will outperform the kits anyday.
    Vikas Patial

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