The beginning of the Micon Car Rally

he Micon Car Rally is classified as line trace type robot competitions in which fully self-propelled Micon Cars controlled by microcontrollers compete in driving speed. In 1994, a salesperson from Hitachi, Ltd. at the time began activities to encourage use of H8 microcontrollers in classes at a Sapporo high school. These activities matched the direction of technical high school teachers in Sapporo who wished to incorporate control technology using microcontrollers into the curriculum, and the activities were realized in 1995. At the time, H8 microcontrollers were simply mounted onto radio-controlled cars that were currently on the market. A movement began to not only use these cars in class, but also to have an opportunity to present the results publically. This naturally resulted in the name, Micon Car. The first Micon Car Rally Convention was held at Sapporo International Information High School in Hokkaido on January 13, 1996. Participants at the first convention and the second convention in the following year were only from the Hokkaido district. During this period, Micon Car Rally workshops were being held across the country. The convention reached a national scale from the third convention. The convention name was also changed to Japan Micon Car Rally National Convention. Nowadays, Japan has been divided into 12 districts nationwide, each with its own district office that holds regional conventions. Players who win the regional convention will compete for the championship game. This convention has evolved into the largest robot competition for high school students in Japan, with about 300 schools and about 2,500 students participating every year. Moreover, Micon Car Rally Conventions have been held overseas.

Chronology of Micon Car Rally

Year Events
Japan Micon Car Rally Renesas Micon Car Rally
1995 ・Technical high school teachers established "Micon Car Rally Executive Committee."  
1996 ・The first Micon Car Rally '96 Hokkaido Convention. (The first Convention.)
(Sponsor: Hitachi, Ltd.)
 
1997 ・Micon Car Rally '97 Hokkaido Convention. (The second Convention.)
(Sponsor: Hitachi, Ltd.)
Recorded approximately twice the number of participants of the first competition.
 
1998 ・Became a national convention. Changed the convention name to "Japan Micon Car Rally."  
2001 ・The development of Mini Micon Car Kit for elementary and junior high school students.  
2002 Launched the Mini Micon Car Kit for car production workshop. (Held at about 20 venues)  
2003 ・Establishment of the Incentive Award of the Minister of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology.  
2004 ・Japan Micon Car Rally 2004 Convention. (The ninth convention.)
Sponsor was carried over from Hitachi to Renesas Technology.
 
2005 ・10th Anniversary Convention was held at NTT Hokkaido Seminar Center.
・Established the Minister of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology Award.
・Exhibited Micon Car at RENESAS China Forum.
Held Micon Car demonstration at two Universities in Vietnam.
2006   ・Held Micon Car Rally Convention at the University of Natural Science in Ho Chi Minh.
・Exhibited a Micon Car at AES2006 (The Second China International Automotive Products and Technology Exhibition and IT Summit)
2007 ・Japan Micon Car Rally 2007 Convention. (The 12th convention.)
Introduced a new course called "lane change"
・Held China Micon Car Rally 2007.
(Organizer: The Chinese Government Ministry of Education. Sponsor: Renesas Technology.)
2008 Published "Learn While Making Practice Micon Car Rally" written by Haruo Shimazu  
2009 Awarded a letter of appreciation as longstanding support of the Renesas group has contributed greatly to the dissemination and promotion of technical education in the 90th anniversary of the Principal Association of the National Association of Technical High School. ・Renesas Micon Car Rally Convention (The first Convention)
(Organizer: Renesas Technology. Venue: Akihabara UDX Building.)
2010   ・Renesas Micon Car Rally Convention (The second convention)
(Organizer: Renesas Technology. Venue: Akihabara UDX Building.)
2011 ・Japan Micon Car Rally 2011 Convention. (The 16th convention.)
Sponsor was carried over from Renesas Technology to Renesas Electronics.
・Renesas Micon Car Rally Convention was canceled due to the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
2012   ・Renesas Micon Car Rally Convention (The third convention)
(Organizer: Renesas Electronics. Venue: Renesas Semiconductor Training center.)
・Exhibited Micon Car at DevCon2012(Renesas Electronics America)