I was just reading about Claude Shannon's famous maze-solving mouse, Theseus, which used a movable magnet under the maze to draw the mouse in a given direction. I'd like to play around with this idea.
I'm trying to decide the cheapest and simplest way to have a square board of, say, 40cm by 40cm, and programatically move a magnet on that board to a given coordinate with reasonable precision.
My first thought was to position a series of electromagnets at the edge of the board that, when activated in various combinations, could exert the correct force on the movable magnet.
This seems like a fairly crude solution that would be difficult to control with accuracy. I also thought of placing a matrix of electromagnets under the board and activating them in a timed sequence, but this seems like an unnecessarily complex solution requiring far more parts and pins than necessary.
I remember enough EM that I think I could work out the necessary field equations to get the magnet where it needs to go, but am unsure how to best create that field.
Or maybe I'm thinking about this all wrong??