The 2002 Schools Micromouse Competition Rules

The aim of the challenge is to design and build a Micromouse. A Micromouse is a device with a chassis, a drive or motor to move it, a steering or turning method, sensors, control logic to keep the vehicle on track, a power source and of course somebody to build it!

There are four classes of competition.

Formula 1 (Rat Race) requires teams to build a micromouse that will travel as fast as possible over a straight course, rather like drag racing, then brake to a standstill before hitting the end wall.

Formula 2 requires a micromouse that can navigate an unknown track as fast as possible, involving both left hand and right hand 90° turns.

Formula 3 is intended to be the starting point for entrants to Micromouse. The aim is to complete a rectangular track as fast as possible, involving turns in one direction only.

Wall follower is intended to be an introduction to the full maze-solving Micromouse competitions. The aim is to complete a circuit of a known piece of maze as quickly as possible.

Rules for All Classes

There are also specific rules that apply to each class, and these are given later.


1. Mice must fit in a box 25 centimetres square. This implies a maximum dimension of 35 centimetres. There is no height or weight limit.

2. Only non-polluting power sources may be used; for example clockwork motors, rubber motors and electric motors. Internal combustion engines are not permitted and external combustion systems such as steam engines are not allowed due to the safety hazard they present.

3. Mice must carry their own power supply. This means that all batteries or other energy sources must be carried on the mouse and that the use of catapult or external push systems is not allowed.

4. Mice must be self-contained during their run. This means that umbilical cords for control or power are not allowed.

5. External control systems such as ultrasonic, infrared or radio control are not permitted.

6. A lifting hook near the point of balance must be fitted to all mice so that in the event of failure they can be recovered without the need to walk on the competition track.

7. Mice must be fitted with a timing flag of minimum size 25 mm square. This should be positioned to one side of the mouse, near the front and be about 5mm above 'ground' level. This timing flag is to ensure that a reliable signal break is given to the optical timing equipment so that your mouse run can be recorded accurately. See Figure 1.

Figure 1 - Timing Flag Position


8. Teams may consist of any number of people, all of whom must be 18 years of age or less at the time of the competition. All team members must be nominated in advance of the competition.

9. No more than 2 mouse handlers are allowed to operate the mouse during the competition in order to avoid having a crowd at the circuit and restricting the view of spectators. The micromouse handlers must be nominated at the start of the race.

10. Teams may enter any number of classes, but may only enter one micromouse in each class.


11. Scrutineers will reject a mouse if it does not comply with rules 1 to 7, if in their opinion it is hazardous, likely to cause damage to the track or has not been constructed within the spirit of the competition

12. Pre-race qualification will take place for all mice in order to make sure the mouse is capable of performing the race and determine the running order for the main race. Only mice which have qualified may go through to the main race

13. At the start of each race within the competition, all the mice entered for that race must be placed in the 'mouse park' and can only be removed to do their run. Only nominated mouse handlers may handle the mouse once the competition has begun.

14. Any touch by the mouse handler once the mouse is running on the circuit will incur a 10-second penalty being applied to that lap or timed run.

15. A mouse entered for Formula 2 may not be entered for Formula 3, and vice versa.

16. Mice must not damage or mark the track in any way and may be disqualified if they do.

17. Optical timing will be used for all race events within the competition. The optical timing light source and sensor will be placed approximately 1.5cm above the track.

In the event of a dispute over the rules, the judges' decision will be final.

 Last changed 27/12/01