Right Angler


To build a motorized device that will make a right angle turn (to the right).

Permitted Materials
  1. A single electric motor powered by one or two AA cells.
  2. Parts may be used from commercial objects (toys, models, etc.) but the frame holding the device together must be home made, not purchased whole or part of a kit.
  3. There are no limitations on the types of materials used in the construction of the device but it must be entirely self-contained.
Other Constraints
  1. No energy sources (elastic, chemical, etc.) other than the AA batteries may be used for any part of this competition. Springs or other elastic materials may be stretched once the device is put in motion, as long as the work is done by the motor.
  2. No remote control devices of any kind, including strings or lines which extend beyond the testing area or sounds used for control are allowed. Strings may trail behind the device as long as they are moving and not attached to a stationary weight.
  3. Contestants may not reach into the testing area once the device has started to move until it stops moving.
  4. No reflectors or other objects detected by sensors may be placed inside, along or outside of the testing area.
  5. The device must fit completely in a box 30 cm. X 30 cm. X 30 cm.
  6. A portion of the device must extend at least 4 inches above the floor to trigger the photogates.
Testing Procedure – (3 m. X .5 m. and 2 m. X 1m testing area)
  1. A testing area will be marked on a hard surface floor with tape lines. The area will be “L” shaped with the first (starting) leg of the “L” three meters long and the second (finishing) leg two meters long. The starting leg will be fifty centimeters wide and the finishing leg will be one meter wide.
  2. The device will be started by one of the contestants in the first fifty centimeters of the starting leg.
  3. The device (including strings or lines) must not pass out of the testing area until it reaches the farthest end of the “L”.
  4. Each contestant will be given three attempts. The three attempts will be scheduled consecutively; however, contestants may opt to delay the third attempt to make minor repairs or adjustments.
  5. Batteries must be provided by the contestants and may be replaced between tests.
  6. The best score (shortest time to reach the finish line) of the three will be used as the final score. Timing will be accomplished using photogates.
  7. In the event of a tie, the second best of the three attempts will be the tie breaker. If none of the entries complete the course without some type of disqualification, judges will choose the winners and explain the reasons for their choices.
  8. Practice runs in the testing area, prior to the actual competition, will not be allowed.
Testing Equipment – Timer

College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Jim Crumley
Chair, Physics Department
SJU PEngl 107
Physics Department