Mousetrap Powered Vehicles
I am a junior in high school, and I have to make a
vehicle for my physics class. The only catch is that it must be
powered by one standard Victor
mousetrap. Does anybody out there have any ideas?
Well, a mousetrap works based on a very strong spring
that pulls the trap closed after what is keeping it open
has been bumped slightly. I assume you can use the spring
force in a gradual manner, or you could just let
the trap snap quickly to give the vehicle an initial burst
of speed. Because you want your vehicle to move pretty
far there is going to have to be some kind of gear arrangement
to convert the motion of the mousetrap into motion of the vehicle.
For example, you could loop a thin piece of string around
a wheel axle with one end of the string firmly attached, and the
other end could be attached to the end of the mousetrap that moves.
Then when the mousetrap moves, the string is pulled and forces
the wheels to turn. You can probably come up with much better
arrangements, but that ought to work.
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Update: June 2012