Great Orange Navel Race

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Downtownbrown26, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. Downtownbrown26
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    Downtownbrown26 Junior Member

    I have to design a miniature boat to travel around my schools fountain. It can not cost more that 60 dollars and can not use remote controls. It also can not run on flammable liquids such as gasoline. It has to complete the journey under five minutes while carrying an orange on it. If you have any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated since I have no clue where to start
     
  2. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Sounds like fun.

    Sail or power? Any rules (like number of hulls, size, allowed to ask for help online)? An orange weighs what, 200-400 grams... hmm....
     
  3. Kay9
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    Kay9 1600T Master

  4. Downtownbrown26
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    Downtownbrown26 Junior Member

    There are no rules concerning size, hulls and such the only really other rule i forgot to say is that we are not allowed to buy anything that has been previously manufactured and and can not use any type of remote control. We were also told that the orange will be any where from a quarter pound in weight to a half pound so that makes its more difficult. And the fastest boat with the best design wins a scholarship for the rest of the books while I am in college at UCF so I want to try and at least have a chance to win
     
  5. Downtownbrown26
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    Downtownbrown26 Junior Member

    Everything must be built by hand
     
  6. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    That's an interesting set of engineering and yacht design issues. Which fountain? General shape and tacking room?

    Clearly you'll have to have a self controlled boat, likely sail if you can't use anything manufactured.

    If you sailed with some rudder deflection, you could possibly go to one side, scrape your way along the perimeter of the fountain, until she fell off on the other tack and hopefully sail back to the starting point, again dragging it's hull along the inside of the fountain this time.

    A rubber band powered prop is an option, but you'd have a limited amount of return (duration), though this could be controlled to some degree.

    I suspect the likelihood of circumnavigating the fountain is remote, but solutions to the various engineering issues are the goals of the problem. This means they'll be looking for clever and elegant problem solving, rather then actual success.

    Which course are you involved in? I'm about an hour north of Orlando.
     
  7. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Orange boat

    This is an excercise in creative thinking. You have said that you are not allowed to use "anything previously manufactured". How shall we take that meaning? Does it mean that you can not use a previously built or manufactured boat, or does it mean that you can not use ANYTHING previously manufactured such as a piece of copper wire or some AA batteries? On the one hand it means that you must construct the boat as if you were in the deepest jungles of the Amazon. Or you may construct the boat of available materials from the hardware store or elsewhere. The rule says that you can not spend more than $60, so I presume that you can in fact buy some matrial in addition to the wood that you'd probably use. (wood is not counted as manufactured, I suspect)

    Pars' idea of having the boat scrape around the fountain perimeter has possibilities. I'm thinking of a rudder with a system of levers (tiller) and wheels or rollers that can steer the boat somewhat, but continue to allow the boat to stay in contact with the fountain perimeter. Propulsion: Let us imagine that a little Mabuchi motor is allowed. You can get one of those at the hobby shop, from a cordless drill, even from an electric toothbrush or one of those thingys that spray soap scum solution inside the shower stall (SC Johnson device I think). The sprayer device has a lot of very useable gears inside it. It also has a timer circuit that delays start for 15 seconds and then shuts the motor off after a few more seconds. Are we getting the idea yet? The tiller arrangement can actuate the start button found on the sprayer gadget, as well as providing some steering input for the rudder. If the motor, gears, and circuit board are disqualified then you'll have to become more creative. The boat should have a skeg or some other way to make it tend to go in a straight line, deviating from straight only when there is rudder input. Hopefully that will keep the boat at or near the perimeter wall.

    If the parts from the sprayer or drill is deemed illegal then you will need to make your own motor. That is not as difficult as one might imagine. A few turns of wire , a pair of magnets, and a commutator. The com is made from a piece of split copper tubing glued to a small length of dowel rod. Brushes can be made from a piece of brass shimstock. You will need to gear the motors rotation down to drive a propeller. The prop ought to be large diameter and low pitch. Not hard to make. Presuming that gearing is not allowed then you'll belt drive the reductions with rubber bands and wood dowels of suitable relative diameters. Are we having fun yet?

    If the sprayer thing is possibly legal then I will give you the innards of the one that I recently opened to see what made it tick. PM me if you need to have these parts for free. This can be a worthy project for you because the book subsidy can be quite valuable. Not only that, but you will gain some prestige for having done the project.

    Keep on thinking.
     
  8. Downtownbrown26
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    Downtownbrown26 Junior Member

    Great Navel Orange Race
    2008 Competition Rules
    Objective
    The objective of the Great Navel Orange Race is to transfer an orange safely through a required naval route in as little time as possible (maximum 5 minutes). The transfer device will need to be loaded by an operator at the staging area and then have to traverse through the course
    with the orange to the finish line. At the finish, another operator will need to remove the orange from the vehicle and place the orange on the finishing bay.

    Rules
    The following rules outline the general guidelines that will be applied to the competition, please note that any rule clarifications will be made by the course instructor and are final.

    Course Layout
    The figure below illustrates the basic course layout of the reflection pond during the competition.

    Course Description
    Check In Area – This area is where your vessel will be inspected for any rules violations and
    will be judged on your overall design and construction.
    Staging Area – This is where your vessel will be placed into the reflection pond. There will be separate starting gates, and your starting gate will be assigned, at random, after check in.
    Orange Bay – At the start of your race, your vessel will not have the orange already loaded; when the race begins you will need to load your particular orange and start your vessel around the track.
    Reflection Pond – The course itself will require you to travel from the staging area to the
    finishing area. There will be a flexible barrier preventing your vessel from traveling into the fountain (the barrier will be approximately 2 feet tall, will extend approximately 6 inches into the water, and will be quite flexible, so plan accordingly), however, it will not prevent waves or spray from traveling onto the track.

    Finish – At the finish line, one of you teammates will remove the orange from your vessel, place it on the final orange bay and your time will be recorded. At this point they should remove the vessel from the water and proceed to the check out table. Note that your vessel does not need to hit the finish wall at any particular point; it simply has to get close enough for your operator to remove the orange. Also note that if your operator enters the water for any reason, you will automatically be disqualified and will receive the maximum time (5 minutes).

    Check Out Area – This is where the final judging and score assignment will be completed.
    Additionally, all group members will be required to use their CPS for a competition attendance grade.

    Detailed Objective
    At the start of the race, an operator from your team will need to pick up an orange from the starting orange bay and load your vehicle. Once your transport vehicle has been loaded, it then needs to travel the reflection pond and arrive at the finishing area. Once your vehicle has reached the finishing line, a second operator will need to remove the orange from your vessel and place it on the final orange bay. Your total time will be recorded as the time from when the race is started until your unloading operator has placed your orange on the final orange bay.

    Additional Rules
    1. All oranges (standard navel oranges) will be provided by the instructor on the competition day. Orange weight will be ¼ to ½ pounds each.
    2. The spending limit on the device will be $60.
    3. You must bring all receipts of your purchased parts to the competition for your check in.
    Online purchases will be allowed, however, you must still be able to provide a receipt of your purchase. All parts used must be counted towards the allotted budget, and any donated parts must have an equivalent RETAIL price associated with it (you must provide proof of your retail price: store ad, online price search, etc.).
    4. All vessels must be self guided and self propelled, absolutely no remote control and no string or line-based guidance systems will be allowed.
    5. The team must perform all production of the device themselves (no commercial manufacturing). No preassembled parts or kits will be allowed (this includes store purchased boats and boat hulls).
    6. Your vehicle must be based in the water, i.e., it cannot leave the water area at any point during the race.
    7. The orange bay will be within reaching distance of the staging area. At the start of the race one of your team members must pick up their respective orange from the orange bay and secure it in your vessel. Your loading and unloading time will be included in your total race time, so make sure you account for loading and unloading the orange in your design.
    8. Vehicle must transport one and only one orange to the finish line, if your vehicle looses the orange during the race a penalty will be assessed to your performance score.
    9. Orange must remain in its original condition during the race, if the orange does not return in its original condition a penalty will be assessed to your performance score.
    10. No liquid flammable objects are allowed (including gasoline and other liquid combustible fuels).
    11. Solid fuel rockets are allowed; however, if your design is deemed unsafe at check-in, you will not be allowed to race and will receive the maximum time (5 minutes).
    12. No animals of any kind are allowed.
    13. All designs must be capable of finishing, at most, 4 trials.
    14. If each run uses disposable items (i.e. CO2 cartridges, etc), then the cost must be calculated on ALL 4 trials.
    15. A list of ALL materials used must be submitted on competition day with receipts.
    16. Once the race has begun, no interference will be allowed by any of your team members. If your vessel fails to finish the race, the maximum finishing time of 5 minutes will be given to you.
    17. If at any point any of your operators enters the water, you will be disqualified and given the maximum finishing time of 5 minutes.
    18. Each team must check out properly by:
    a) Turning in their competition sheet.
    b) Turning in their final report.
    c) Returning the orange to the starting orange bay.
    d) Disposing of any waste in relation to the device.
    e) Turning in your peer evaluations (individual responsibility).
    f) Failure to complete the above tasks will result in a 50% loss of the team’s overall performance score.
    19. Additional rules and clarifications will be posted on WebCT.
     
  9. Downtownbrown26
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    Downtownbrown26 Junior Member

    There is the actual rules that we have been given by our professor and his teaching assistants. Hopefully this will help convey everything I was trying to say in my earlier post and can clear up any of my fuzz spots
     
  10. Kay9
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    Kay9 1600T Master

    Wow. Solid rock fuel IS allowed. I would really want to try that approach.

    K9
     
  11. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Kay9, you can always delete the post if you double-post (click edit, then a delete button will appear at the bottom right of the edit pane).

    Solid rocket fuel? Would have to be an A-class motor, because a C would definitely put it halfway across the field. Or make your own... zinc, sulphur and a bit of alcohol might work? (Just kidding, that will DEFINITELY be deemed unsafe to race!)

    You're using WebCT? I feel sorry for you... hate that bloody piece of you-know-what....

    For steering, it seems you could either bump against the outer wall of the fountain, or build a rudder that you can set at a fixed angle corresponding to a turning radius that has you doing a circle of the appropriate size. Another option might be a stiff wire out to the side that moves the tiller arm when it brushes the fountain wall?

    It has to run 4 trials, so simple is good- the more parts there are, the more that can go wrong halfway through the final lap.
     
  12. Kay9
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    Kay9 1600T Master

    Oranges float. So I guess you could tow the orange.

    K9
     
  13. Kay9
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    Kay9 1600T Master

    Oh heres an idea. Tape a solid rocket motor to the orange with a small fin taped to the bottem of the orange. Fire it off and point at the side of fountian. It might go around 4 times fast but it would go around. Of course it might go over also, but it will be neat to see a flying orange. You would of course lose.

    K9
     
  14. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Clearly you have lots of options, including batteries, small electric motors, timers, relays, switches, etc. I'd love to participate in a project like this. It seems a reasonably easy one to complete with several avenues of operational pursuit to follow. The net of course, would be to finish the route with the best time and least amount of penalties.

    My thoughts would center around carrying the load (orange) and relatively fast propulsion. Steering would be a timing thing, which could be hammered out in a pool.

    Once you get a suitable hull shape, that can easily handle the 1/2 pound load, one that possibly is efficient and easy to motivate, you can arrange a battery driven motor and prop. All of this is simple enough. Then set up some timing runs in a straight line. Say several runs with an average speed worked out. With the speed you can easily calculate the distance you'll cover, before requiring a rudder input.

    A quick note to the folks at BoatDesign.net, let Downtownbrown26 get his grade. So far I've not gotten any deeper then 9 grade mathematics, lets not ruin the focus of the course, for the poster.

    Downtownbrown26, these things are real fun and force you to think outside the box and incorporate what you've gathered during your stay in school. Success is nice, but development and innovation are just as important. I remember my final for structural, which required a device climb a vertical wall, which had a 90 degree corner in it. We were given a box of stuff and a list of things we could and couldn't so. I thought it was imposable, but did eventually manage to get a device to climb up that damned wall. Mine almost made it to the top and only three others actually did get there.

    The point is, there's much to learn from an exercise like this and asking the RC guys and boat design guys how isn't going to further your career, but doing research (like talking to the RC and boat design guys) is just what you're supposed to be doing, before you set off and crush the competition with your latest demonstration, of your engineering abilities.

    So, what have you come up with so far Downtown?
     

  15. Downtownbrown26
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    Downtownbrown26 Junior Member

    My original design so far was possibly using foam to create some kind of hull pantoon. I was thinking about using a fan motor and some batteries to power some kind of prop. Possibly two props, since I could have one timed to turn off so that the other one could turn the boat and then have it turn back on so that the boat would straighten out. I also thought about carving a hull either out of foam and some how paint the sides so that it would be more stream line in the water. I am not completely sure of my design though that why I have been posting on this forum asking advice hoping that someone's idea could point me in the right direction for success.
     
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