Recently the Mechanical Engineering Capstone students were given a task. The task was to design, build and test a SHARK system capable of moving over land a distance of eight feet, and then enter a harbor. The SHARK must cover the eight feet as rapidly as possible. Upon entering the ‘harbor’ the SHARK must retrieve as much Klepp as possible within set time limits.
The design and construction of the SHARK were subject to the restrictions and conditions.
- The design must start and operate with one switch
- The design must be completely autonomous
- The design must be self-contained
- The total system weight (dry) should not exceed 5lbs
- The system at rest should fit in an imaginary cube
- 1 ft. X 1 ft. X 1 ft.
The performance of SHARK was tested in two areas:
- Land speed – this event measured the speed of the SHARK over a distance of eight feet. The course began at a start line eight feet away from the ‘harbor’ and finished in the ‘harbor.’ Timing began when the foremost part of the SHARK crossed the start line and ended when the SHARK entered the pool.
- Retrieval rate – this was a measure of how much Klepp the SHARK could retrieve. Upon entering the water, the SHARK had two minutes to retrieve as much Klepp as possible. In the test, Klepp was represented by Styrofoam packing ‘peanuts.’ The number of peanuts collected or retrieved by the SHARK in two minutes was counted and expressed as a rate: Klepp retrieval per minute.
Each group was allowed to put their SHARK through the test twice. Groups were allowed two minutes to set up for a test and one minute to remove their device from the testing area.
Scoring was completed for points of land speed and points for retrieval rate. The total points for a test was the sum of the land speed and retrieval rate minus deductions due to penalties, i.e. The final score for a group was the highest from the two tests. Lastly, the group with the most points was announced as winners of the competition. The winning team consisted of Jacob Pickle, Scott Maxwell, Brooke Hitt, Lars Glasemann, and Jackson Autrey. Congratulations!