These rules were revised November 30, 2001 and are valid for the Spring
2002 contest. The 2001 revisions are: (1) The MicroMouse competition is
intended to be a design contest, culminating the aggregate knowledge earned in a
typical undergraduate degree. To support this, the participants will submit a
report including a summary of the project, schematics, layout, Bill of Materials
(with costs), and software code. The participants will present their design for
review and answer questions from the judges prior to competing on the maze. The
following rules were adapted from 1986 OFFICIAL RULES for NORTH AMERICAN
- In this contest the contestant or team of contestants design and build
small self-contained robots (micromice) to negotiate a maze in the
shortest possible time.
- CONTEST ELIGIBILITY
- All contestants must be an undergraduate IEEE student member at a
Region 6 school from within the Area of Region 6 in which contest they
will compete at the time of entry in the MicroMouse contest. Any student
who graduates anytime during the Fall-Spring academic year in which the
contest is held is eligible to enter the contest. A student graduating
after competing in the contest still remains eligible to compete in
succeeding Area, Region, and higher contests as an undergraduate
student. Up to two graduate students per team are also allowed as stated
in Rule A.4 below, providing they meet all other requirements.
- All contestants must be an IEEE Student Members or must have submitted
an application for membership (and have it accepted by their Student
Branch Counselor) prior to entry in the Student Branch and/or Chapter
- The contestant(s) will submit their design in a document that will
include a summary description of their mouse, schematics, layout, Bill
of Materials (with associated costs) and code prior to the competition.
This information will be presented, in five minutes or less, and the
contestant(s) will answer any questions posed by the judges of their
- The MicroMouse entry may be the effort of an individual or a team. In
the case of a team it should be possible to demonstrate that each
individual made a significant contribution and that they are all IEEE
- A team may consist of up to five people. A team of four or five people
may include no more than two graduate students. A team of two or three
people may have no more than one graduate student. A team consisting of
a single graduate student is not allowed.
- All entrants to the Student Branch Area contests must declare their
intention to enter the contest at least 2 weeks before the date of the
Area contest. This notice must be submitted to the current Student
Activities Coordinator, appropriate Area, Region 6, by mail, email, or
phone (see the names and addresses at the end of this document).
- If the total number of declared mice, from all schools, is less than
the number of eligible schools to compete in that Area, all shall be
eligible to compete in the area contest. Two or more mice of near
identical design from the same school are not allowed. If more mice than
the number of eligible schools to compete are entered in the contest (ie.,
four mice from the same school), a qualifying competition will be held
in the morning. A qualifying contest might involve, for example, having
the mice transverse a specific numbers of cells.
- RULES FOR THE MicroMouse
- A MicroMouse shall be self-contained (no remote controls). A
MicroMouse shall not use an energy source employing a combustion
- A MicroMouse shall not leave any part of its body behind while
negotiating the maze.
- A MicroMouse shall not jump over, fly over, climb, scratch, cut, burn,
mark, damage, or destroy the walls of the maze.
- A MicroMouse shall not be larger either in length or in width, than 25
centimeters. The dimensions of a MicroMouse that changes its geometry
during a run shall not be greater than 25 cm x 25 cm. There are no
restrictions on the height of a MicroMouse.
- The total cost of the mouse (in materials, labor is assumed to be
free) may not exceed $500.00. This is judged on actual cost and market
value of any donated materials used in the mouse. Contestants should be
prepared to present a list of materials and their market values to the
judges upon request. Since market values may vary from source to source,
contestants should be prepared with catalogs or quotes to confirm
unusual prices. The judge's decision shall be final in these matters.
- Any violation of these rules will constitute immediate
disqualification from the contest and ineligibility for the associated
- RULES FOR THE MAZE
- The maze is composed of multiples of an 18 cm x 18 cm unit square. The
maze comprises 16 x 16 unit squares. The walls of the maze are 5 cm high
and 1.2 cm thick (assume 5% tolerance for mazes). The outside
wall encloses the entire maze.
- The sides of the maze walls are white, the tops of the walls are red,
and the floor is black. The maze is made of wood, finished with
- WARNING: Do not assume the walls are consistently white, or that
the tops of the walls are consistently red, or that the floor is
consistently black. Fading may occur; parts from different mazes may
be used. Do not assume the floor provides a given amount of
friction. It is simply painted plywood and may be quite slick. The
maze floor may be constructed using multiple sheets of plywood.
Therefore there may be a seam between the two sheets on which any
low-hanging parts of a mouse may snag.
- The start of the maze is located at one of the four corners. The start
square is bounded on three sides by walls. The start line is located
between the first and second squares. That is, as the mouse exits the
corner square, the time starts. The destination goal is the four cells
at the center of the maze. At the center of this zone is a post, 20 cm
high and each side 2.5 cm. (This post may be removed if requested.) The
destination square has only one entrance.
- Small square zones (posts), each 1.2 cm x 1.2 cm, at the four corners
of each unit square are called lattice points. The maze is so
constituted that there is at least one wall at each lattice point.
- Multiple paths to the destination square are allowed and are to be
expected. The destination square will be positioned so that a
wall-hugging mouse will NOT be able to find it.
- RULES FOR THE CONTEST
- Each contesting MicroMouse is allocated a total of 10 minutes of
access to the maze from the moment the contest administrator
acknowledges the contestant(s) and grants access to the maze. Any time
used to adjust a mouse between runs is included in the 10 minutes. Each
run (from the start cell to the center zone) in which a mouse
successfully reaches the destination square is given a run time. The
minimum run time shall be the mouse’s official time. First prize goes
to the mouse with the shortest official time. Second prize to the next
shortest, and so on. NOTE, again, that the 10-minute timer
continues even between runs. Mice that do not enter the center square
will be ranked by the maximum number of cells they consecutively
transverse without being touched. All mice who enter the center square
with the maze for another run, a one-time penalty of 30 seconds
will be added to the mouse’s best time.
- After the maze is disclosed, the operator shall not feed information
on the maze into the MicroMouse however, switch positions may be
changed. See Rule D.1.
- The illumination, temperature, and humidity of the room shall be those
of an ambient environment. (40 to 120 degrees F, 0% to 95% humidity,
- BEWARE: Do not make any assumptions about the amount of
sunlight, incandescent light, or fluorescent light that may be
present at the contest site.
- The run timer will start when front edge of the mouse crosses the
start line and stops when the front edge of the mouse crosses the finish
line. The start line is at the boundary between the starting unit square
and the next unit square clockwise. The finish line is at the entrance
to the destination square.
- Every time the mouse leaves the start square, a new run begins. If the
mouse has not entered the destination square, the previous run is
aborted. For example, if a mouse re-enters the start square (before
entering the destination square) on a run, that run is aborted, and a
new run will be deemed begun, with a new time that starts when the
starting square is exited.
- The mouse may, after reaching the destination square, continue to
navigate the maze, for as long as their total maze time allows.
- If a mouse continues to navigate the maze after reaching the
destination square, the time taken will not count toward any run. Of
course, the 10-minute timer continues to run. When the mouse next leaves
the start square, a new run will start. Thus, a mouse may and should
make several runs without being touched by the operator. It should make
its own way back to the beginning to do so.
- The judges reserve the right to ask the operator for an explanation of
the MicroMouse. The judges also reserve the right to stop a run, declare
disqualification, or give instructions as appropriate (e.g., if the
structure of the maze is jeopardized by continuing operation of the
- A contestant may not feed information on the maze to the MicroMouse.
Therefore, changing ROMs or downloading programs is NOT allowed once the
maze is revealed. However, contestants are allowed to:
- Change switch settings (e.g. to select algorithms)
- Replace batteries between runs
- Adjust sensors
- Change speed settings
- Make repairs
- However, a contestant may not alter a mouse in a manner that alters
its weight (e.g. removal of a bulky sensor array or switching to lighter
batteries to get better speed after mapping the maze is not allowed).
The judges shall arbitrate.
- There is only one official IEEE MicroMouse contestated in Rule 4.1, mice that do not enter the
center square will be ranked by the maximum number of cells they
consecutively transverse without being touched.
- A rotating trophy is awarded to the first place mouse. Verbal
recognition and certificates will be given to the top three mice among
those who are competing for the first time. If you and your mouse are
first-time contestants, be sure to so stipulate when you register for
the contest and notify the contest judge at the time of the contest.
- If requested, a break will be provided for a mouse after any run if
another mouse is waiting to compete. The 10-minute timer will stop. When
the mouse is re-entered, the 10-minute timer will continue. The judges
shall arbitrate on the granting of such breaks.