Techfest MicroMouse Competition

3-5 January, 2020 | Mumbai, India

Nine UQ MARS members poured months of hard work into creating three MicroMouse robots, to travel to the city of Mumbai and compete at IIT Bombay’s Techfest MicroMouse Competition. A global event, teams from China, Nepal, Bangladesh, and India raced their Mice for the prestigious title of champion. 

MicroMouse is a well-established robotics competition where teams compete to build an autonomous robot capable of reaching the centre of a maze in the fastest time. As first-time MicroMouse competitors, our members spent the months leading up to the event developing the skills needed to design a Mouse, growing proficiency in PCB design, programming search algorithms and CAD modelling. Designs were prototyped and refined as new challenges were discovered, with the teams hard at work to create the best Mouse possible. After many hours spent soldering, building and testing, three Mice were ready.

Team A

Members: Nick Jones, Keith Cunnningham and Konrad Born

Team A Mouse

Team B

Members: Nicole Harding, Matthew Cook and Callum Breetzke

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Team C

Members: Riley Bowyer, Cameron Stroud and Jordan Byrne

Team C Mouse

Teams from India competed against one another on the first day of MicroMouse competition in the National bracket. The second day featured the International round, with the top Indian teams moving on to compete against the rest of the competitors. Unfortunately for our three teams, China dominated the MicroMouse competition, taking home first, second and third places. However, our members had a great time watching the myriad of designs created by each country race to the centre of the maze. A presentation was given by Bella Song, a professor accompanying the Chinese team, on the experimentation and design that goes into the best MicroMouse designs.  

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UQ MARS members with teams from India, China, Bangladesh and Nepal

The MicroMouse competition is one of the many events held at IIT Bombay’s annual Techfest conference. Our members enjoyed all-access passes to the grounds, experiencing all IIT Bombay had to offer. Techfest featured many awesome displays and stalls, including informative workshops on emerging technologies, robotics-themed street art and demonstrations on human-life robots.

Techfest - Street Art

Street art in progress by Lily Brik

Other highlights of Techfest include meeting some of the world leaders in technology, seeing the action of the RoboWars finals and experiencing the closing concert. Staying in accomodation with many other Techfest attendees, the members made lifelong connections with people from India and around the world. The students made the most of their time in Mumbai and India, trying local cuisine at every opportunity. 

RoboWars - Tombstone vs Lockjaw

RoboWars finals night. Image: Techfest

Our teams truly did have the trip of a lifetime, developing not only their robotics skills in the MicroMouse competition, but also experiencing a culture vastly different from our own. They are proud to have represented UQ MARS, the University of Queensland, and Australia internationally in this awesome event and hope to be back next year! 

UQ MARS would like to thank IIT Bombay for inviting our members and for their effort in organizing the event and accommodating our teams. A special mention goes to our liasons and guides, Niranjan Herwadkah and Ashutosh Yadav, for their extra efforts in making our stay as enjoyable as possible. You can read more about the annual Techfest conference at their website. We are also grateful to the UQ Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology for their support and sponsorship.

Written by Matthew Cook - UQ MARS Marketing Officer 2020