Mechatronics Obstacle Course


One exciting new addition to the annual 4DFrame-sponsored international Math and Science Creativity Competition held in South Korea is the Mechatronics Obstacle Course. Not only must competing student teams design and build a functioning Mechatronics vehicle, they then have to face the challenge of driving it along a straight 10m-long obstacle course that features five different kinds of hazards. Participating vehicles are judged on how far they travel along the length of the course and how long it took them to do so. The highest scores go to those that complete the distance in the shortest time.


The different parts making up the Mechatronics obstacle course are:

• Flat track for 1,0m

• 1st Obstacle – Friction

• Flat track for 1,5m

• 2nd Obstacle - 15˚ slope

• Flat track for 1,5m

• 3rd Obstacle - A bridge structure

• Flat track for 1,5m

• 4th Obstacle - 25˚ slope

• Flat track for 1,5m

• 5th Obstacle - Water

• Flat track for 0,5m and the obstacle course ends


What are some of the things that would have to be thought about in designing and building a Mechatronics vehicle to successfully complete the Obstacle Course?

- How many wheels—four, six or more—would work best?


- What kind of wheels would be able to have the best grip on the different kinds of surfaces of the obstacles and still be able to drive through the water of the last one?


- Is there anything that could be added to wheels that could be made with 4DFrame materials that could increase their traction – for example rubber bands stretched around their perimeter?


- Is the weight of the vehicle important when it comes to being able to negotiate all of the different kinds of obstacles, but without sacrificing speed because it might be too heavy?


Overview of the Mechatronics Obstacle Course




























Detail views of each obstacle


























































































































































































































Mechatronics Mazes

Another way to test skills with driving Mechatronics vehicles is by making a maze: an enclosed area where contestants must drive in through the entrance and follow a collection of twisting paths through rooms and past walls to the exit where they leave the maze.


Here we can see a maze that was built for middle school students to test their Mechatronics vehicle driving skills. Note the different kinds of obstacles that it must be able to drive over in addition to making its way along the path through the maze.



















You can also see a short video showing one of these middle school students driving their Mechatronics vehicle through the same maze. (Video: 4D Land, Inc.)


This final example of a maze uses sand to drive on instead of a smooth floor. And, like the previous example, it also has different kinds of obstacles the Mechatronics vehicles must be able to drive over.



















No matter which of these two Mechatronics vehicle challenges you find interesting, we hope that you will be inspired enough to try and make one of your very own. Perhaps you will come up with an entirely different kind altogether!



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Mechatronics Obstacle Course

Mechatronics Android® app

You can download the original version of the Mechatronics app for Android® devices as a ZIP file from here plus find some other useful resources.