|The Microclipper Contest is a contest in which robots compete by discovering empty cylindrical cans in
an unfamiliar maze by themselves and turning as many of them as possible upside down within a certain
time period. Robots entered in this contest are called "microclippers."
1. Rules for the Microclipper
1-1. A microclipper shall be selfcontained. A microclipper shall not use an energy source employing a
1-2. A microclipper shall not have any hardware or software added, deleted, replaced or modified by the
operator during the contest. It is however permissible to make minor repairs or adjustments and to
replace the batteries with those with exactly the same specifications.
1-3. No part of the microclipper should be left in the maze.
1-4. A microclipper must run on the floor surface in the maze. It must not jump over or climb up the
cylinders or the walls of the maze.
1-5. A microclipper must not deform or destroy the maze and the cylinders.
2. Rules for the Maze.
2-1. The sides of the maze walls shall be white, and the top of the walls shall be red.
The floor shall be black. The track of the maze shall be made of wood finished with non-gloss black paint.
2-2. The maze shall be composed of multiples of an 18 cm x 18 cm unit square. The maze shall comprise
16 x 16 unit squares. The walls constituting the maze shall be 5 cm high and 1.2 cm thick. (See Fig.1)
2-3. The starting point is located in one of the four corners of the maze. A microclipper shall start in a
2-4. Small square zones, each 1.2 cm x 1.2 cm, at the four corners of each unit square are called lattice points.
The maze is so constituted that there is at least one wall at a lattice point. (See Fig.1)
3. Rules for the Cylinders
3-1. Cylinders shall be placed almost at the center of each of the several unit squares in the maze.
3-2. Empty steel cans for commercially available juice and other products shall be used as the cylinders.
3-4. The top surface of a cylinder shall be painted white, the sides yellow, and the base blue.
4. Rules for the contest
4-1. Each contesting microclipper shall be subject to a time limit of 7 minutes.Within this time limit, the
microclipper may try up to 5 runs.
4-2. The objective of the game is to manipulate the microclipper so that it turns cylinders upside down as it
moves through the maze. The number of cylinders turned upside down at the end of the game shall be recorded as the result of the game.
4-3. If there is more than one microclipper that has turned all cylinders upside downwithin the given period
of time, ranking shall be determined on the basis of the time that has elapsed until the microclipper returns to the starting point from its last run and stops.
4-4. The configuration of the maze and the position of the cylinders shall not be made public until the start
of the contest.
4-5. After the layout of the maze is disclosed, the operator must not feed any information on the maze and
the position of the cylinders into the microclipper.
4-6. Measurement of the time given to a microclipper shall start with the start call of the tournament committee chairperson.
4-7. The run time will be over when the microclipper fails to make a move for two seconds or more or when the microclipper is deemed to have stopped its run.
4-8. The operator is not allowed to come into contact with the microclipper in motion unless he/she is directed by the tournament committee chairperson to do so, or approved to discontinue its run. The tournament committee chairperson may approve the operator’s request to discontinue a run in the event of an apparent malfunction in the microclipper’s action. Request for the discontinuation of a run on grounds other than the above will be rejected.
4-9. The cylinder shall be placed at designated locations in the maze before the start of the contest.
The operator must not touch the cylinders while the microclipper is running.4-10. In the event of restarting
the microclipper, the contestant may, subject to approval by the tournament committee chairperson, remove from the maze those cylinders that have come into contact with the microclipper.
4-11. The illumination, temperature and humidity of the room in which the maze is located shall be those of
an ambient environment. Requests to adjust the illumination shall no be accepted.
4-12. The tournament committee chairperson reserves the right to ask, as he deems it appropriate, the operator for an explanation of his microclipper. The tournament committee chairperson also reserves the right to stop a run, declare disqualification, or give instructions as he deems appropriate.
4-13. Prizes and evaluation criteria will be set forth individually for each competition.
［Important Notice Concerning the Microclipper Contest］
1. Number of microclipper permitted to register
Evaluation Criteria for the Microclipper Contest
* The foundation may limit the eligibility for awards to only one robot that achieves the highest score among robots demonstrating technologically similar characteristics created by a single group.
* All award recipients will receive special souvenirs. All contestants will receive a prize for participation.