Project (SP12)

August 27th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

For the Spring 2012 semester, your team is tasked with building a device that projects objects towards a series of targets.  Each target will be worth a fixed amount of points (see the Points section).  Your objective is to score as many points as possible in a 3 min. period.  Rules are as follows:

  • Allowable sources of energy are: stored human energy (must be converted and stored within the device during the 3min. period though) and stored electrical energy (batteries)
  • All energy sources must be verified to be safe by your lab instructor BEFORE used by your team
  • During testing, all team members (and any proxies) must be at least 24″ away from the device
  • The device must initially fit within a 36” by 36” rectangular area and be less than 60” tall
  • Once activated, the device may go outside of the starting area (if the device leaves the starting area, no additional external energy may be supplied to it)
  • Any safety issues are up to the instructor’s judgment
  • The maximum allowable voltage in your team’s device is 24V
  • If your team uses batteries, a maximum battery mass of 1kg will be allowed
  • The maximum projected object mass is 100g
  • The device must be designed and built by your team.  Components may be sourced from vendors but must be team assembled.  What is and is not considered to be team-built is to be determined by your lab instructor and/or Dr. Hutcheson.
  • It is your team’s responsibility to retrieve any projected objects within the 3min. testing time (updated)
  • UPDATE: The objects must be solid and have a volume (convex hull) of >0.065in^3

Testing Area
Below is a rough sketch of the testing area. All dimensions are approximate. The testing area will be made available for measurement during the third week of class.


  • Target 1 – 1 point
  • Target 2 – 5 points
  • Target 3 – 10 points
  • Target 4 – 20 points
  • Target 5 – 20 points
  • Triple-target – 10, 20, 40

Targets 1-5 will have a nominal inside diameter of 4″. Targets 1-4 will have a height of 6″ and will contain a material to limit bouncing out. All dimensions are approximate. The triple-target consists of three targets. They must be impacted in order, from largest to smallest, in order to score the listed points.

UPDATE: A “hit” is defined as the object being stationary and completely contained within the target (for targets 1-5). For the triple-target, the largest two targets positively lock in a rearward position when hit. The third target releases the other two and resets the triple-target. You may attempt multiple cycles of the triple-target.

*Point values may be adjusted to reflect Alpha prototype scores


  • The device does not need to be automated, external control may be provided remotely, examples of allowable control interfaces include:
    • Strings that can be pulled
    • Electronic switches (low voltage only, <14V)
    • A poke with a stick, etc.
  • The device can be “recharged” during testing as long as it is completely within the start area during “recharging”


  • Performance: 60% (based on a linear weight between the minimum functionality criterion and the maximum score)
  • Creativity: 20% (based on a creativity metric)
  • Aesthetics: 20%
    • Team name on design (6%)
    • Team logo on design (6%)
    • Design is painted or decorated (8%)
  • If the device meets the minimum functionality criteria, the project automatically has a minimum of 70% score on performance
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