Tech Challenge 2001

Last updated 06/02/01

Welcome to the "Techies" home page for the The Tech Museum Challenge ! The job of the team is to build a "crater crawler" that can climb the vertical walls of a 10 foot deep crater coated with carpet (just like on Mars!).  Our team is composed of four 7th graders from JLS Middle School in Palo Alto.  They are Kenneth, Rigel, Greg, and Michael.


1/15/00 (Sat) - We build a partial crater from what appears on tech drawings
First, we got a motor, some slides, and some control arms to tinker with.  Here, the kids try out the new motor hooked up to a power supply.
Mike saws a support for the arm  
Greg drills a hole in the arm for the motor shaft
 Meanwhile, Rigel drills the support plate for the motor while Kenneth gives advice on the advantages of not drilling through the table.
Greg and Rigel screw the motor into the support base.  After a soccer game, it appears.
 The basic drive unit is assembled.  The motor rotates the arm at the bottom of the support plate, and the angled arm drives the slide in and out (towards greg). 
The unit crawls up the side of the crater, and has plenty of drive strength, but progress then begins to falter.  Two discoveries are made:  The "sticky feet" support is bending and pulling the pins our of the carpet, causing the device to slide backwards.  Here, Rigel shows the effect of the weight of the crawler causing the "sticky feet" to rotate.  The angled pins are at the top of the "sticky feet", and during rotation, they pull out of the carpet, causing the crawler to slide backwards.  
Rigel takes a closer look at some of the pins, removes one, and shows that the pins are bending!  It's time to beef up the "sticky feet"


Modified 06/02/01

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