Sci-Fi Vehicles

  • We used wood to cut circles because we wanted to make a groove to hold the stick. 
    However, we found the wooden wheel is too heavy for the stick to hold it. So we used a lighter plate. Firstly, we used two plates and two holders to do it. However, we found the platform above couldn't touch the ground, so the vehicle wasn't able to move forward. Then we thought that we could change the plates into gears. We let two gears bite together in a certain angle so that when they turn, the vehicle can move forward.

    In order to control the car much more easily, we changed two wheels and two holders into 4 wheels.

    We drew something like gears which had convexities. We planned to print them with 3D printer because we can't make it by ourselves.

    However we found it difficult to let the two gears turn at different speeds.

    So we made the gears turn in different directions to let the vehicle turn right or turn left.

    We met a problem that we didn't consider how it could take a turn. With help of our coach , we decided to use two boards connected with hatches.

    And now it is the time to make a body.
    At first, we decided to add Chinese culture to the body, so we cut something like Yin-Yang. However the shape of the body didn't fit our design. As a result, we gave up it with a pity.

    Then we made a body like a birdcage with iron wire. In order to make it prettier, we twined some golden thread on the wire. however, it can not move with the car because it does not have the hatches,  so we need some other thing. 

    Finally, we decided to use plastic paper to cut a board. Because it has toughness when the two board close, it can fold itself. And we cut a “GZ” on the board. It’s the abbreviation of our school. 

  • The Geared Vehicle is for a time in the future when quicksand covers 90% of the earth. This vehicle is able to elegantly traverse even the most dangerous quicksand pits using its innovative geared wheeled system. The vehicle is able to both go straight and backwards. And by bilaterally disengaging the gears, the vehicle is able to turn left and right. After the Great Sandstorm, human survival will depend on vehicles like this to allow us to continue to traverse great swaths of what is now a giant desert. 

     

  •      Our world is mountainous with difficult terrain to traverse. The ‘Segmented Mountain Climber’ is able to deftly maneuver up and down the steep mountainsides, and over their sharp peaks. Its Whegs, half wheel half legs, are able to climb over both small rocks and large boulders. It can also quickly reverse, turn and is able to continue movement even if flipped upside down. 

        

  • Our world was blown apart into many pieces by a nuclear war. The people that survived then tied the world back together using large cables. The people still didn't have a way to move large amounts of goods from floating shard of earth to floating shard of earth. The way that we thought of solving this problem is to create a barge that would be able to travel on the cables to transport goods, we were especially interested in spices.

    In the first iteration of our idea we used hooks to attatch a cardboard box to the cable. We were also going to shoot the box out of something to have it travel along the rail. What we found out when we tried this idea was that the hooks created to much tention and the idea to spit the box out was to hard to do because the string/cable would have to be incredibly taught. We planned to use 3D modeled wheels powered by electric motors in our second iteration.

    When we tried our second iteration it did work but not as well as it could have. The way that we had attached the wheels with screws and washers meant that the wheels could pop off at any moment and the wheels scrapped the motor when they turned because they were mounted too low. 

    Finally, in the third itteration, the vehicle worked well. We put new wheels on it so they could hold onto the line better and we made wheel spacers for the wheels to rest on. This meant that the wheels worked really well. If we had one more day we were making a system for the vehicle to be able to go onto a rail and turn in mid-air.

      Overall, the final design works well and could travel across the floating shards of earth.

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  • Zoom your way through this studio by building your own RC model of a sci-fi vehicle! Learn about all the components that make your vehicle vroom: motors, batteries, engines, radio signals, types of chassis and wheels, and robotic intelligence.

    In this studio, students will be constructing an electric vehicle with a sci-fi theme. They will also evaluate the merits of nitro and gasoline combustion. Students will ride the waves of radio frequency and modulation, thus understanding how transmitters and receivers communicate. Other topics of discussion include on-road versus off-road suspension, how RC models compare to full-sized cars, and levels of robotic intelligence (automaton, remote control, teleoperation, full autonomy). Students will experience the hands-on joy of soldering, drilling, and building circuits before applying a custom paint job for the finishing touch. Then it’s off to the races in a final exhibition where the fantasy cars whoosh to save the world!

    Focus Skills/Subjects/Technologies:

      Design

      Physics (Electricity, Magnetism)

      Engineering

      Programming

      Electronics

      Robotics (Arduino)

      Sensors & Actuators

      Digital Fabrication (Laser-cutting, 3d Printing)

      3d Modeling

     

 
  • Your "Final Post" should only show the final images and diagrams of your final project. 

    Images: See slideshow above explaining the images required for the final post

    Text: The text should answer the following questions:

    • What is the main idea? This can be a 2-3 sentence "Elevator Speech"..
    • What is the design problem? What are you trying to solve?
    • Why is this project important?
  • Your "Process Post" should go through the entire process from beginning to end.

    Images: See slideshow above explaining the images required for the process post. 

    Text: The text should read somewhat similarly to a thesis paper:

    Introduction: What was the design prompt? What did you brainstorm? What was your solution?  

    Arguments: These are your 3 iterations, there should be one clearly labeled paragraph for each iteration explaining the design decisions you made. 

    • Sketches
    • Design Prototype, images, drawings
    • What works?
    • What doesn't work?
    • What will change?
    • Why?

    Conclusion: This is an explaination of your final product.

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  • The Swinging Machine is a robot that swings sideways and swings over itself to move forward. Our first prototype model was made out of cardboard so we could get a sense on what we were making. Our second prototype was made out of wood, and we attached servos to them, so we could test if the robot actually worked. We also changed our hand design. Instead of using electomagnets, we designed a clamp design. We originally decided that we wanted to make our final project out of acrylic but the acrylic kept on braking. We made a few adjustments, and eventually decided to make the Swinging Machine out of wood instead of acrylic.

  • The OmniCar exists in a future overpopulated world. It serves the function of allowing the driver to avoid other drivers and people with its agile maneuverability. The original idea for the OmniCar was to have three spherical drive wheels. We redesigned the OmniCar because we realized that getting the three powered wheels to be coordinated would be nearly impossible to accomplish in two weeks. We decided on one large wheel because the car would work just as well with one drive wheel and it would not require complex coordination. Along with the original three wheeled design, we were going to have an accelerometer in the palm of our hand and a knob to turn for throttle control. We changed this design slightly, and excluded the knob and instead just kept the accelerometer. The direction and speed are now controlled by tilting the glove that the electronics are attached to. We left the car uncovered to show the drive wheel and how it works.

    The next thing that we would do is improve the drive wheel to increase the speed and to improve the stepper motor that we used to turn the gears to give it better functionality. One of our biggest challenges was that we spent a lot of our time designing parts that would later become unnecessary. Another big challenge that we faced was that the stepper motor did not turn the drive motor to the correct angle because it did not have enough torque to overcome the resistance of the gears.