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The first micromouse competition in 1977, had 6000 initial entries, what would the majority of them have been (e.g. wall followers)?

  • Note - In the link above, first micromouse competition in 1977, it states that the competition was announced in 1977, to be held in 1979, and there were 6000 initial entries. So there would not have been a micromouse competition in 1977. So an uncertainty would be, was the first micromouse competition held in 1978, or, 1979, since a comment below has a link citing 1978 as the first micromouse competition .

  • 6000 initial entries is way more than I would have thought, however then I thought that maybe every decent sized town may have had a little robotics club, and in those days robotics clubs may have been more common than computer clubs.

  • Another possibility could be that a large number of those entries were not from robotics clubs, but rather, just people after the prize money or something, so they just maybe adapted something like cheap electric toy cars to be wall followers.

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    Mostly wall-followers I'd assume. You'll note that the maze designs were changed in later years to render wall following ineffective. For context, a wall-following robot can be as simple as two wheels, a chassis, a battery, two motors, and a feeler-actuated switch turning one motor on or off. Dec 21, 2021 at 23:50
  • Also note it's extremly easy to make a wall follower robot. You only need two sensors, two motors, and a bit of discrete electronics. No search tree, no memory. It was a big fashion to build those at this time (as I said in the other answer, I build one, too, with help from my father, using Fischer-Technik, and I never was in a robotics club).
    – dirkt
    Dec 22, 2021 at 11:37
  • I imagined that the simplest design would be, something even simpler, a 2-wheeled motor-cycle shaped vehicle, that leans ( weighted ) extremely to one side, and on that side of the motorcyle are 1, or 2, balls or wheels, which are turned by an electric motor, they would have traction against the wall, the ground wheels of the motorcycle would be un-powered, is there any reason that would not have solved the 1977 micromouse maze ?
    – infomtn
    Dec 22, 2021 at 22:41
  • Or a variation of the simplest design I just posted, to allow it to do a 180-degree turn around the edge of a single wall of the maze ?
    – infomtn
    Dec 22, 2021 at 22:46
  • Also, if this motor-cycle shaped design I posted in the above comments, tended to keep slipping down and away from the wall, an unpowered side wheel on an arm could force the vehicle to steer closer to the wall whenever it touches against the ground
    – infomtn
    Dec 23, 2021 at 1:36

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