Fall 2003

Project Statement:

Design and build a vehicle, which drives along the wire shown below, using only the power of a mousetrap.

Rules and Constraints:

(No other energy source may be used)

* This rule is in place to prevent a design that uses the mousetrap simply as a launching device. If you have an idea that bends/breaks this rule, without using the mousetrap just as a launching device, it may be allowed with prior approval.

Design Report:

A design report will be due at the end of the semester. See the schedule below. In this report you will need to outline the design process you followed, including the engineering analysis that was performed to predict the performance of your vehicle, as well as detailed project budget. If you have parts donated, or you obtain them at a discount, this should be noted in the budget. Your report should also include a critique of your final product, addressing the problems that where encountered and what could be done to improve the vehicle. Even if your vehicle performs exceptionally well in the competition, this does not mean that there is no room for improvement.


After the designs are completed a competition will be held. It will be a round robin tournament, with a double elimination format (lose twice and your out). Two vehicles will compete head to head in the following manner:

One vehicle will be placed at each end of the wire, as shown below. Both vehicles will be started simultaneously by releasing the mousetraps.

After both vehicles have come to a complete stop, the vehicle, which has moved the greatest distance from its starting position, is the winner. Here are few examples:

While all of these are valid ways in which to win, the competition would be far more exciting if races were won in the following ways.

In the case where neither vehicle moves, both vehicles will be given a loss.



Grading (out of 100):