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Any ideas to time trolley crashes to simulate crumple zone

  1. Mar 6, 2015 #1
    I am trying to do a lesson where I will ask the students to build cardboard shells around trolleys. The aim is the next lesson to crash them and time how long they take to stop, eg the crumple zone.
    All I have thought of so far is filming it and using the stills to try time the crash. If anyone has any other ideas about how to go about this be much appreciated. Thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    Sounds like a fun project for your students! :smile:

    What equipment do you have available? Do you maybe have a digital oscilloscope that you could use? If so, you could either hook up an accelerometer to it (attached to the trolley), or have a microphone at the crash plane to record the sounds. You might be able to use a Smartphone to do the sound recording instead, with an oscilloscope-like graph of the sound of the crash. There are probably already Apps for that... :smile:

    EDIT -- Come to think of it, there are probably already Apps to take your Smartphone video and play it back frame-by-frame with time stamps...
  4. Mar 9, 2015 #3
    Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any of that equipment about, however we do have some camera's and some huddles (like an I pad). I don't have a smart phone and the students are not allowed phones in the class, Does anyone know of any free software I could download that would allow me to film the crashes and play them back frame by frame
  5. Mar 9, 2015 #4
    Hook it up to a computer and use a webcam?
  6. Mar 20, 2015 #5


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    In addition to viewing frame by frame, object features can tracked manually or automatically and tabulated.
    I get students to use this to analyze projectile motion and collisions of pucks on an air table.
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