The MicroMouse project began here at UC Davis in 1989, when a researcher on leave fromIBM and some dedicated undergraduates got things organized. They got some microcontrollers and equipment donated from AMD and Intel. They got permission from the UC Davis Electrical and Computer Engineering department to use some lab space on the Engineering Unit II, and they obtained faculty sponsorship.
The project here at UCD now has its own course number - it is known as EEC194 A, B, and C. It requires a full year commitment to complete, and there is deferred grading pending completion of the sequence. People usually ask "What classes should I take before taking on this project?" It really depends on what part of the robot you are going to be working on. If you are only going to be working on the chassis, then you might want to have some M.E. classes so you have a pretty good idea of how to design the chassis and you also might want to be familiar with some CAD tools, like IDEAS. If you are going to be programming, then you might want to be familiar with C and C++. Data structures, low-level programming, efficient code-writing, and other useful skills might also be handy, but NOT necessary. If you are going to be working on the circuits/logic part of the robot, then you might want to at least have taken EEC100 (circuits) or EEC180A (digital logic.) It really depends on what you want to do. That's the reason why when choosing your teammates, you might want to make sure you do NOT pick people with the same area of interest. Make sure your team is well-balanced.
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has graciously given us the exclusive use of room 2151 and some equipment to use. This lab is presently being shared with one other project: Nat Car.
For the class, competing in our Picnic Day contest will count for 200 out of 1000 possible points in the class. That, combined with the prizes, will hopefully provide good incentive for people to get their mice working in time for Picnic Day (besides, if the mouse if working by Picnic Day, the team gets an automatic A for the entire course!) We usually invite other schools to come here so they can also test out their mice. This event provides teams with a practice run before the real contest, that way if something goes wrong, or changes need to be made, they'll have 2 weeks to fix things that don't work.