Drive Up a Slope

How steep can you go?

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Formula Off Road is a competition in which drivers compete on extreme terrain, including steep hills. The competition was invented in Iceland to raise money and awareness for rescue teams, who must overcome extreme terrain in order to save lives.

Can you think of any situations in which being able to drive up a steep incline would be useful?

Here’s a challenge!

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Design, build and program a robot that can move up the steepest possible incline.

Think about how you can maximise its motor power.

Design, build and program your robot.

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Brainstorm ideas for solving the challenge, and work on your robot until you’re ready to test it.
You can split the main task into smaller subtasks, and brainstorm about questions like:

  • How can gears be used to increase motor power?
  • How will the requirement of having to move up an incline affect how you design your robot?

Test your robot.

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Record the trial number, incline angle, gear ratio and motor power in a testing table. Make sure you leave space for recording other observations.

Test to find the maximum incline that your robot can climb.

Summarise your results.

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Use your measurements to find the maximum incline that your robot was able to climb.

Which aspects of your robot’s design and program had the biggest impact on its ability to drive up a steep incline?

How did you do?

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What did you do well? Is there anything that you could have done better?

Brilliant! You’ve mastered the concepts of force and motion. It looks like you’re on top of things!