My 2 pences - Challenge Idea(s) : LUSENET : Junkyard Wars : One Thread

Keeping these in mind (from the FAQ): - Can it be built in 10 hours? - Are there physics/engineering principles that can be illustrated by the creation? - Can it be safely built with scrap? - Are there at least two ways of building the creation? - Very important -- will it be entertaining?

1) Threaded vehicle. (Tracked or semi tracked to simplify steering problems?) - Teams need to make their own threads - Locomotion must come from tracks. - Race around a very tight and rugged [tank] course (need to run threads in different directions to turn on a dime) - Course filled with obstacles: ditches, mud, water, inclines (frontal and lateral)

2) Car catapult. (Think crash test. Car on rails or platform) - Propel a mini or VW bug into a solid concrete wall - Most violent decelaration wins, 3 attempts. (High G force == damage) - Possible designs: - Steam catapult(Aircraft carrier style) - Compressed air (not enought power?) - Springs? - Gravity power - High-speed winch - Air cushion (Hovercraft-like platform? Will not survive...) - Variation: Launch a mini. Greatest distance wins. Trebuchets are out of the question here... - Variation #2: Do the opposite. Stop a speeding car: Safety net or aircraft carrier style arrestor hook...

3) Trench digger - Dig a trench X feet deep and xx feet long. First to complete wins - Possible designs - Rotary: multiple buckets around a giant wheel - Hydraulic shovel with conveyer belt? - corkscrew - Added chalenge/variation: Seed the loose soil (at various depth) with some ancient archeological artifacts such as coins every few feet. Teams that collect/find the most wins. Team member's cannot pickup the artifacts using their hands. Think of it as a mechanical/remote archeological machine.

4) Unmaned Auto-rotation platform (Think helicopter landing without engine power) - Need to build a launcher - Must meet a minimum weight limit - Longest time aloft wins. (3 attempts) - No parachutes allowed - Possible design variations - Single rotor - Dual-rotor - mini-wings

5) Solar-powered car (Variation on High milage vehicle challenge) - Solar panels supplied/seeded (build your own??) - Use a combination of bateries/solar - endurance / speed contest ???

-- Frederic Kam-Thong (, February 16, 2001


How about a simple rowboat?

Van roof vs a sleek skiff (Simplicity vs efficiency)

-- Frederic Kam-Thong (, February 16, 2001.

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