The 2014 Challenge
This year's Challenge is entitled "D.R.I.V.E. 2014 Developing Revolutionary Ideas for Vehicular Energy". Teams will be required to design and construct a "green" device that can transport Mr. George Oliver Green to and from work with his carpool companions. The device must use alternative energy to power itself through his typical workday commute.
Teams will be required to design and construct a device that is able to use an energy source other than a traditional motor and battery to power the device through the driving landscape and must perform tasks along the way.
•Paying a toll -The device must be able to deposit a marble into a designated toll area.
•Traveling across a bridge -The device must be able to travel up an incline, across a grated surface, and down a decline.
•Navigating through a busy intersection -The device must be able to successfully steer around a bend, avoiding pedestrians who are near the crosswalk.
•Dropping off carpool members -The device must be able to come to a complete stop in the designated area.
•Pass through a construction zone -The device must be able to steer through construction obstacles including puddles and a filled pothole, then cross over a small gap in the pavement, ruts in the road and speed bumps.
•Opening the garage door -The device must be able to flip a switch to open the garage door.
•Parking at home -The device must be able to turn into and stop in either a parking garage (enclosed space) or a parking spot.
Since Mr. G.O. Green is very eco-conscious, he intends to commute in a state of the art "green" vehicle that uses very minimal battery power. Therefore, you must use an alternative form of energy to power your device forward.
Going Green - The History and The Future
It is a common occurrence to hear about people or companies "going green" today. The phrase is used to describe the process of changing one's lifestyle for the safety and benefit of the environment. With the spread of global warming and the emission of green house gases into the atmosphere (predominantly due to human actions), many people and businesses are making a conscious effort to become more aware of their personal impact on the environment and to make changes to their lifestyles.
The topic of global warming is one that is both disconcerting and thought provoking. It has led to the development of a variety of advances in technology: solar panels, cars that use a hybrid form of energy, machines that are harvesting the power of wind and water. Initiatives are in place to entice businesses and homeowners to "go green" in an effort to preserve the planet for future generations. Efforts to curb the carbon output of major companies and residencies include taping into alternative energy sources as a means of weaning the population off pollution emitting energies like gasoline and oil.
In Japan, Panasonic has teamed with 8 other companies to develop Fujisawa, a town that will be powered only by alternative energy such as solar panels and electric cars. Network sensors all over town will control public lighting, reducing the energy loss. The village will be built from scratch with modern green technologies. Panasonic wants to use the village as a template for other cities in Japan and elsewhere, hopefully across the globe.
On the domestic front, Panasonic is continuing its push toward becoming the "number 1 green innovation company in the electronics industry by 2018", the company's centennial year. Panasonic is in the process of building its new office in Newark, which is LEED certified and promotes cleaner business and personal practices. Check out some tips that you can use to go green! (http://www.panasonic.com/business-solutions/green-eco-friendly-tips.asp)
Going green on both the personal and corporate level can be accomplished in many ways, big and small. Society can look to conserve energy and water by simply turning off lights and closing leaky faucet valves. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, leaking faucets in a house can cost the household the equivalent of 10,000 gallons of water which is enough to fill a swimming pool! Recycling, using alternative sources of energy, and planting trees can offset the carbon footprint of the population.