DASH FREE 99 is our latest kit for making a robot to enter the schools micromouse competition. It can be used to make a reasonably fast machine to follow the standard rectangular course made from 50 mm wide white masking tape on a black background. The DASH FREE 99 kit was used by the top three in the schools' standard national competition in 1999.

In the kit there is a tested assembly of two fairly powerful DC motors with worm gear drives to wheels. This assembly is ready to use and avoids the problem that some entrants will have in making gearboxes.

The kit also contains two Hamamatsu S4282-51 photo-ICs. These are very clever devices that have everything needed for a modulated-light digital sensor except for an LED. The kit includes bright red LEDs to shine down on the course. The photo-ICs respond to the light reflected from the course and, when correctly set up, will give a reliable on/off signal corresponding to the light reflected from the tape or the background. These sensors are unaffected by ambient light and will even run with direct sunlight and shadow on the course.

The rest of the kit is a simple electronics circuit to switch the speeds of the motors according to the sensor outputs. For further details of the system see ALGORITHM.

We do not supply a PCB or stripboard. Neither do we supply batteries, wire or solder. You will have to design your own layout of the components and batteries. Good weight distribution and ideal positioning of the sensors will enable your version of the kit to achieve lap times of under 10 seconds. Some details of how to make your DASH FREE 99 kit faster are shown here.

A gallery of schools' mice.


We also supply various bits and pieces to make building micromice easier both for the schools competition and the complex maze-solving competition. Click here for details.

Musings on the new corner-to-corner competition.

We also have some technical information. Click here for details.

For a list of sites that we have found interesting, click here.


 You can email queries to us at:- sales@swallow.co.uk

Date Last Modified: 8/8/99