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Building a mouse trap vehicle

  1. Oct 28, 2009 #1
    I am very interested in engineering, so I decided to build a mousetrap vehicle. I want my vehicle to reach 5 meters and return back to its original destination by itself. I need help constructing this system to accomplish this goal. Is there any way to build it with 2 mousetrap at most?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2009 #2

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Sounds like a school project. What are your ideas so far about how to do it?
     
  4. Oct 30, 2009 #3
    I remember doing this many years ago in middle school, but we didnt have to make the vehicle return to its original position. That's a neat extra challenge.

    I suppose you would have to have the first mouse trap set off the second mouse trap when it gets to the bottom. I think the second mouse trap would have to be larger to make up for the energy that will be dissipated during the original journey, and unless the second mousetrap starts once the vehicle is stopped on its own you will have to account for the energy necessary to slow the vehicle down and change its direction.

    I remember when I did this my vehicle always turned to the left. If yours does that I imagine it will be difficult to make it return to its original location if it can't move in straight lines. So make sure everything is lined up well.
     
  5. Oct 30, 2009 #4

    minger

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    Why don't you just have a regular mousetrap car. However, as it move forward, have it wind up a rubber band or something attached to the axle.

    It may cycle a few times, but neglecting friction it should come back to rest where it started.
     
  6. Oct 31, 2009 #5

    Danger

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    I have the perfect mousetrap car. It's an R/C dune buggy with a mousetrap on the front that I use to chase the little bastards around the house.
     
  7. Oct 31, 2009 #6

    berkeman

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    Predator! Do you have a helmet cam on the RC vehicle? This is starting to sound like fun!
     
  8. Nov 3, 2009 #7

    Danger

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    Alas, no. I'm on Social Assistance (Welfare in Yank-speak). My budget doesn't allow for such things. I could barely afford the MA-15 tail gun. :biggrin:
     
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