"Build me a Pyramid"

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Scenario: Each team is provided a limited number of cinder blocks which are located on one side of a ten foot wall.

The Challenge: Build a machine with which to build a five tier pyramid on the other side of the wall. No team member can operate on the far side of the wall, so the machine must be capable of placing the blocks with enough precision to conform to the pyramid design. The first team to do so wins.

Options: * Place the wall at a distance, requiring the teams to construct long arms. (Good for showing how the principle of controlling weight as it moves over distance.) * Make the wall solid and provide each team a tower where one member directs the efforts of the others. This will emphasize teamwork as well as mechanical design. * Allow the opportunity for variable wall height based on location. If a team choses to make their machine mobile, and comes up with a way to move their pile of cinder blocks, they may be able to move to a section of wall that is lower, allowing greater visability/flexability.

-- Sean McKellips (mckellip@uswest.net), January 31, 2001


The challenge to build a pyramid sounds good but these machines will be made with little accuacy i'm afraid the cinder blocks would be easily broken or chipped. Also, with out being able to see what they are constructing there might just be some bricks just scattered around-what then? Finally, a machine to move bricks would be to easy to build, no engine, no hydrolics just a boom and some simple mechanism on the end to pick up bricks with.

-- josh ketner (jrkc01@mizzou.com), February 02, 2001.

Each team would have a spotter to direct them, and enough extra bricks to allow for some wastage. The challenge would be to develop a boom that is both long enough to be effective, and which possesses fine enough manipulation to place the blocks on target without damaging too many of them. At 30 feet, this could involve a mechanism to support fine horizontal movements to place bricks in the array, one for delivering the blocks from the "loading" end to the working end, and a release mechanism that places the load carefully enough to avoid shattering them. At first glance, the concept is pretty simple, but the successful execution could be deceptively difficult.

-- Sean McKellips (mckellip@qwest.net), February 03, 2001.

Hey Sean,

This is the kind of brilliant thinking that has made this show that it is. You said "one side of a ten foot wall." and "Build a machine with which to build a five tier pyramid on the other side of the wall." OK blocks are 8"x8"x16" so 8" x 5 gee that's 3'4" so that are ya going to do about the other 6'8", JUMP! LOL

-- Rick The Rocket (hoodoo2@povn.com), February 04, 2001.

ya! that's why they call it junkyard wars. so the teams can use materials that are in a junkyard. not using some premade blocks to make a pyramid. ass...

-- Marc (mgomps@hotmail.com), February 05, 2001.

Seriously build pyramid of far side of wall with teams spotting with the radios used in the Junkyard to talk to the garage area. the teammember on the build side could not touch pyramid. This could be done. Crane vs Hydraulic arm?!?

-- Stephen A. Binion (Stephenbinion@hotmail.com), February 05, 2001.

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