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Homework Help: Building a car in AP Physics, Need Suggestions

  1. Feb 4, 2010 #1
    Building a car in AP Physics, Need Suggestions!!

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Hello, I am in need of suggestions on a project that was recently assigned to my AP Physics class. The challenge was to make a "Tank" (any vehicle) that will go down a ramp, shoot a projectile over a 1.5ft wall, and go back up the ramp.

    The instructions of this project are as follows:
    -The ramp is 12 feet by 2 feet wide and at a 20 degree slope to the horizontal.
    -No incendiaries allowed.
    -Electricity can be used, but cannot exceed 3V (2 AA batteries)
    -The vehicle must stop in the "stopping zone" that is 12 inches long by 8 inches wide starting 18 inches from the bottom of the ramp.
    -A 1.5ft wall is to be placed at the bottom of the ramp.
    -The vehicle must shoot a projectile (minimum of .5in diameter, maximum of 1 inch, but not limited to spheres) over the wall and must hit a target placed 10 feet away from the wall.
    -The vehicle may not be interfered with until the run is over.
    -No guiding devices may be used (ie; strings, pulleys)

    As you can see, there are not a lot of methods we can utilize, but I am willing and grateful for any suggestions anyone may have.

    Thank you.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Other than some preliminary sketches of our ideas, our group really doesn't have any idea where to start.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2010 #2
    Re: Building a car in AP Physics, Need Suggestions!!

    I would visit a hobby shop (one that sells model airplanes, trains, etc) and ask for suggestions. This store will likely be your best friend for this project; most of what you'll need can (should) be found there.

    For sure, you'll need a frame, a drive shaft of some sort (motor, wheels, and axle), and some circuit board to operate these. You'll also need a spring and pin system to fire the projectile. There are probably other things you may want to include that I can't think of, but this should be a starting point.

    Hope this helps!
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