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Toy car on potential energy

  1. Sep 5, 2006 #1
    Hey guys...
    Is it possible to make a car running on only potential energy stored in it,..well the path is supposed to be horizontal & only the initial impulse is allowed.Also the vehicle is supposed to follow a certain path without any inputs while cruising.The path is supposed to be around 50 feet long and elliptical.
    Any suggestions are welcome
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 5, 2006 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The power bit is easy. Just use a spring, a falling weight, a flywheel, a rubber band, or if you're feeling sneaky, a battery.

    What are your constraints for the path following? You could use an electronic system, - either tracking or with the path pre-programmed, or just a mechanical guide. Let us know more about your task.
  4. Sep 5, 2006 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    I'm not sure I understand that "initial impulse" constraint. Also, what size car are we talking about here? As brewnog implied, you could buy yourself a nice electric car and drive it 100 miles, but I suspect that wouldn't fit with the spirit of what you are trying to do...
  5. Sep 5, 2006 #4


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    Just in case the term 'inputs' includes electronic signals or mechanical interference such as a track, then you might have to work a timed steering mechanism into the design. You could get a circular path by using different sized wheels on each side, but elliptical would be pretty tough. :confused:
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