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Homework Help: Mouse trap cars

  1. Jan 11, 2005 #1
    Does anyone have any tips on how to make/build a mouse trap car, with the mouse trap being the only source of energy? I have an idea of what it should look like, and how it should work, but I'm really not sure. Is there any helpful hints that I might need while building my project for my physics exam?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2005 #2


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    The easiest way would be to use the mouse cage itself as a pair of wheels...but I don't think this is the conventional design, nor will it be very comfortable for the mouse, having to deal with irregularities of the road directly. :biggrin:
  4. Jan 11, 2005 #3


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    Where's the difficulty. Just use a little cardboard trough, with a mousewheel in the center connected on either side to axles that are in turn connected to rubber wheels (that you can purchase in an R/C hobbyist shop). The axle is supported using a low friction support of some sort. The mouse faces the forward direction of the "car" (lets say that lies to the left of our view), and its running causes a counterclockwise rotation of the mousewheel that then rotates the wheels counterclockwise, driving the car forward.

    So it's simple, you don't even need a system of gears to change the directions of rotation. However, if you wanted to store the mouse's energy, you'd need a more complicated contraption with a spring that gets wound up with the forward motion of the mouse, and then releases its energy when it stops. You'd have to find a way to disengage the mouse wheel before energy release happens, otherwise you'll get a car full of mouse puke. :rofl:
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