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Mechanical Transporter

Hosted by the Department of Mechanical Engineering

Maximum number of teams = 40 (8 per timeslot)

Note: The construction of the "Mechanical Transporter'' is to be completed BEFORE the day of the Olympics.


The competition involves the design and construction of a device that will transport a standard golf ball from the top of a wooden ramp to a target location. Devices must NOT be entered in more than one Olympics (at the risk of disqualification).

The winning team will be the one with a device that achieves the lowest competition score as defined by:

Score = Distance (in cm) + sqrt|Mass (in g) - 200|

The mass of the device will be measured prior to the trials and will not include mass of the golf ball. No changes in mass will be allowed after the official weight has been recorded. The distance will be determined as the horizontal distance from the centre of the ball to the centre of the target. Each team will be given three trials and the average distance will be determined and then used in calculating the score.

The ramp is sketched below (not to scale):

The ramp

The ramp will be 25 cm wide and will not have raised edges. The target will consist of a dot on the horizontal surface and will be positioned on a straight line that will run down the centre of the ramp.

The following rules apply to the competition:

  1. Each team is made up of 2 to 4 students.
  2. Upon registration, teams will be given a time to report for their trials. Teams who miss their scheduled trials will be disqualified.
  3. The device must be reusable and must not require new materials to be added between trials.
  4. From the instant that the golf ball is supplied to each team, the team will be given 60 seconds to load the golf ball into the device and prepare for the trial. The golf ball may not be altered by the team.
  5. When placed in the device, the bottom of the golf ball must be at least 2 cm from the surface under the device and the top of the ball must not extend more than 15 cm above the surface at any time during the trial.
  6. The device cannot extend onto the horizontal surface prior to its release.
  7. The ball must be visible from above by direct line of sight at all times.
  8. Prior to its release, the device must be positioned so that its rear is vertically aligned with the top of the ramp.
  9. Prior to the device release, no objects may be placed on the horizontal portion of the track. Objects that are not part of the device must not interfere with the progress of the device after its release.
  10. No part of the device may remain attached to the ramp after the device enters the horizontal portion of the track.
  11. The only allowed source of kinetic energy will be gravity.
  12. No remote control devices are permitted.
  13. In any dispute about eligibility or interpretation of rules, the decision of the head judge will be final.

Competitions (2016):

Note: Click on an event names
for more info

- Biotech to the Rescue!
- Chemical Forensics
- Civil Canada Arm
- Egg High Drop
- Global Water Challenge
- L.E.A.P.'s Keep it Hot
- Mechanical Transporter
- Mental Gymnastics
- Mini-Car Jump
- Oodles of Noodles
- Photonic Puzzles
- Physics Paper Triathlon
- Pictorial Essay
- Software Challenge
- Teachers Challenge
- The Speeding Brain
- Twists and Turns