A test maze is essential to fine tune all the various algorithms and control routines when making a micromouse. Without one, you cannot be sure your mouse will perform well on the day, if it performs at all.
There are detailed specifications of a competition maze at this website. Of course, we won't be building a 16x16 test maze, that would be silly. We are going to build a 5x5 maze, since its small enough to store in a bedroom, and all the different maze problems can be implemented in it. We will also make the walls reconfigurable, so we can see how our mice handle different types of mazes.
Tongue and Groove
To make the walls reconfigurable, we will use tongue and groove type of connections between the walls and posts.
The main board will have 16 holes drilles in a 4x4 grid spaced 180mm. The picture aove shows a 5x5 grid of holes because I forgot that the outer walls will need no reconfiguring.
16 posts will be made with 4 grooves on each one -
We also need to make some wall pieces -
Making the posts
The easiest way to make the posts is to cut a few long (about 1 m each) sticks with 12mm square cross section. Cut the grooves in the wood then chop them down to size.
To cut the grooves, use a *name* -
Lay your stick sufficiently clamped down and configure the groove cutter to the right measurements -
Place the groove cutter on the wood and start working :D
When you have cut all your grooves. Measure out lots of 5cm long pieces and mark them. Leave a couple of mm between the measurings so you can sand them flat.
Cut the between the little markings (the ones with a couple of mm between)-
Then sand down to the markings to ensure a good finish.