The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Freshman ECE Team Wins Micromouse Contest

The all-freshman team of Justin Marple, Aaron Lucia, Rohan Kapoor, and Dylan Pare of our Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department won the Micromouse contest at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Region 1 Student Conference, held at New Jersey’s Science and Technology University (NJIT) on the weekend of March 29 and 30. The winning team, named IEEE Micromouse Venus, also won $800. Micromouse is an event in which small robot mice solve a 16 foot by 16 foot maze. See videos of the winning micromouse in action: official search run; 1st place run. Here is a link to the IEEE region 1 conference site:

Another group from the ECE department, Andrew Sousa, Greg Buitkus, Brett Gavin, and Peter Balkum, also competed.

The mice are completely autonomous robots that must find their way unaided from a predetermined starting position to the central area of the maze. The mouse will need to keep track of where it is, discover walls as it explores, map out the maze, and detect when it has reached the goal. Having reached the goal, the mouse will typically perform additional searches of the maze until it has found an optimal route from the start to the center. Once the optimal route has been found, the mouse will run that route in the shortest possible time.

The IEEE conference objective is to encourage student competition and provide an opportunity for the students to network and learn from other students from across the IEEE Region 1 (Northeastern United States), while applying practical engineering knowledge in the various competitions. (April 2014)