Gravity Vehicle C

chalker
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Re: Gravity Vehicle C

Postby chalker » August 31st, 2011, 8:00 pm

Ramp design and construction will be a critical part of the competition. While it may seem very basic, ramp geometry (flat vs. curved and if curved, what shape exactly), material selection (friction, strength and weight will all be considered by top teams), transportation issues (the ramps may be difficult to move, requiring rapid disassembly/reassembly) and the launching/release mechanism all add significant complexity to the event. All of those factors will have to be optimized for you to consider doing well at a state tournament or nationals.

In my mind, one of the key benefits of this event is that it will be very accessible to brand new teams without direction while also offering many factors for optimization. Reducing mechanical complexity does not necessarily mean an event is more "simple," just easier to visualize.

I do not see it as a cramped shoebox at all. By your assumptions, forcing everyone to use mousetraps as the propulsion method for a vehicle is equally cramped. There will be a tremendous amount of variation between teams throughout the year.
Ditto what my brother said, plus the following: we've already done the hammer/spring/pulley route in previous years and there are lots of excellent designs floating around for those already. For example, check out the EXCELLENT Scrambler wiki page: http://scioly.org/wiki/Scrambler Having a ramp is a new challenge no-one has faced before, which helps to keep the event fresh, interesting, and relatively fair between 'new comers' and 'old timers'.

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Re: Gravity Vehicle C

Postby illusionist » September 1st, 2011, 6:40 am

I actually kinda the ramp idea, now that I think about it. It makes it much more accessible to teams, yet requires the advanced teams to look at the minor details in order to get maximum performance.
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Re: Gravity Vehicle C

Postby Flavorflav » September 3rd, 2011, 4:25 am

There were always a few ramps under the scrambler rules, most of which didn't work as intended because the designer hadn't noticed the rule about the egg starting on the line. If that rule were removed so that the car was allowed to start anywhere within the square, then the ramp would have been a viable design for entry-level teams, while more experienced teams could experiment with more complicated and efficient designs. Building a good ramp may be technically difficult but is theoretically quite simple, and I don't see what is gained by making everybody build one. I always like it better when the rules establish parameters but leave the actual designing up to the students.

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Re: Gravity Vehicle C

Postby chalker7 » September 3rd, 2011, 6:43 am

There were always a few ramps under the scrambler rules, most of which didn't work as intended because the designer hadn't noticed the rule about the egg starting on the line. If that rule were removed so that the car was allowed to start anywhere within the square, then the ramp would have been a viable design for entry-level teams, while more experienced teams could experiment with more complicated and efficient designs. Building a good ramp may be technically difficult but is theoretically quite simple, and I don't see what is gained by making everybody build one. I always like it better when the rules establish parameters but leave the actual designing up to the students.
And what makes you think these rules will have the same problems as scrambler ramps/will not allow students to develop their own designs? I'm a bit confused by the preemptive negativity before anyone has seen the physical rules, let alone devices competing.
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Re: Gravity Vehicle C

Postby chalker » September 3rd, 2011, 7:01 am

I always like it better when the rules establish parameters but leave the actual designing up to the students.
There's nothing in the rules that specify the design of the ramp, just the 'parameters' that a ramp must be used and fit within certain dimensions. We decided that the fundamental aspect of this event is to utilize a ramp to launch a vehicle. It's no different than in the past where we established 'parameters' such as using a mousetrap or electric motor to launch vehicles.

Taking your argument to the extreme, I guess you don't like any of the tower building or the flying events like helicopters and wright stuff because they specify specific 'design' criteria that must be met, such as certain weights, dimensions, materials, etc etc.

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Re: Gravity Vehicle C

Postby rjm » September 3rd, 2011, 9:41 am

A big part of the challenge of these events, is choosing to be challenged by them. An event which seems simplistic generally turns out to have a great deal of room for optimization and refinement, and at the higher levels of competition success turns on those refinements. An ideal event is one which challenges everyone at some level, so that every participant learns and feels a measure of success and satisfaction. It's no different here.

I think we'll be pleasantly surprised by the ingenuity of ramp builders, and that the detail of the ramp will be at least as important, if not more so, than the vehicles.

I love it when the students come up with solutions, within the rules, that the rules writers never anticipated.

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Re: Gravity Vehicle C

Postby winneratlife » September 3rd, 2011, 9:44 am

It appears then, that unless we are allowed some form of braking mechanism, the event will be rather dependent on the floor surface; how clean it is, wet, what type of surface, etc, will it not?

I mean, even the tiniest change in mu will result in a relatively large change in distance, especially at the more competitive rounds where a couple cm can be everything. I'm not concerned so much with the difference between hardwood and tile, which, while is a factor, is not the same as the difference between a just cleaned surface vs a very dusty one that hasn't been cleaned in a couple weeks. Unless we get a braking mechanism, this doesn't seem very standard.

I do recognize that everyone at the competition will have to most likely put up with the same problems, but this does make testing it accurately very difficult and in a way rewards teams that can test on the competition floor should they take advantage of it.

Sooooo... braking mechanism please? :roll:

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Re: Gravity Vehicle C

Postby chalker7 » September 3rd, 2011, 9:58 am

It appears then, that unless we are allowed some form of braking mechanism, the event will be rather dependent on the floor surface; how clean it is, wet, what type of surface, etc, will it not?

I mean, even the tiniest change in mu will result in a relatively large change in distance, especially at the more competitive rounds where a couple cm can be everything. I'm not concerned so much with the difference between hardwood and tile, which, while is a factor, is not the same as the difference between a just cleaned surface vs a very dusty one that hasn't been cleaned in a couple weeks. Unless we get a braking mechanism, this doesn't seem very standard.

I do recognize that everyone at the competition will have to most likely put up with the same problems, but this does make testing it accurately very difficult and in a way rewards teams that can test on the competition floor should they take advantage of it.

Sooooo... braking mechanism please? :roll:
Braking mechanisms are explicitly allowed in the rules.

I propose we stop coming up with theoretical issues until everyone physically has a rules book and can see what we are talking about.
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Re: Gravity Vehicle C

Postby bearasauras » September 3rd, 2011, 10:00 am


Sooooo... braking mechanism please? :roll:
I agree with Chalker7; just wait until you see the rules. You can complain after that.

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Re: Gravity Vehicle C

Postby illusionist » September 3rd, 2011, 10:19 am

lol bear, "nerdatlife" :lol:

Anyways, yeah chalker(i think it was 7) is right. Besides winner, why would you assume that breaks are not allowed...?
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