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Fall Project!

  1. Aug 31, 2010 #1
    Design, fabricate and test a device that will autonomously provide signals (visual, audio and/or others, creativity appreciated) as close as possible to two times following initiation. One signal shall be after 30 seconds. The second signal shall be at a time between 13 and 24 seconds, the exact time to be determined by the toss of a pair of dice only three minutes before initiation. The operation of the device must be visible throughout the “run”. The device shall weigh less than 10 pounds, the lighter the better for the Final Testing.
    The testing will take place on a table provided by the instructor. All materials are to be provided by the team. The “Testing” of the device will take place at normal class times in the normal classroom (although the Final Testing for the may take place in the Engineering Building Commons), Initial Testing on October 20th and Final Testing on November 8th and 10th. There is no restriction on the type of energy used, but there can be no external energy source, i.e., the energy source is part of the device. Designs using gravitational energy will be viewed more favorably than those using other forms of energy. If multiple forms of energy are used, the greater the proportion of gravitational energy used the better. Batteries are allowed. Devices that use “excessive” energy may be penalized. Safety is of utmost importance, both to the people constructing and operating the device, and to those observing its operation. “Unsafe” devices will be disqualified, and “safe” devices may be rated higher than those judged to be less safe.
    Teams must submit their devices immediately after the Final Testing for evaluation along with “brochures” describing and “selling” their devices. Both written extended abstracts and oral presentations are required. Further information on the constraints, goals and evaluation processes are given in this document.

    Totally Lost...any ideas?

    Thank you in advance for your help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2010 #2
    Awesome project. I am afraid you will have to provide a bit more information if you expect any help.

    Mention any ideas you have considered. Tell us where the pitfall of these ideas are and provide more specific questions such as "I can design a 2d pendulum that activates a button after a certain time but how can I vary the time?".

    A 10 second idea which might give you some inspiration is a 2d pendulum. Release it of a ramp of some sort and allow it to rotate in a circular motion until it reaches it lowest points where it activates a sensor of some sort. Here you have the problem of requiring an electrical sensor which reduces your final score, so this is far from a good idea but might point you in the right direction :)

    If you just want to pass and save a lot of time I'd program a battery operated microcontroller with an LED display. These can be found fairly cheap and would take little to no effort if you know some programming but would not give you a high score.
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