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expand 1. Will teams start with the marble that is to be deposited into the designated toll area?

2. Are we required to use an alternative form of energy to power our device? If so, are we still allowed to use the traditional motors and batteries that are supplied to us? If not, then what will the kits contain?

3. Will the devices be starting on the flat surface that is shown in the course video?


expand Would it be okay if our team used a motor to wind up a rubber band which will then power our device? If so, would we be allowed to rewind the rubber band in the middle of the course?


expand We need clarification on who signs the logbook pages specifically the "disclosed to and understood by" and the "witness" sections.


expand I was wondering if the students were supposed to get any DPDT switches or any other types of switches.


expand I have a logbook logistics question. I did not realize until yesterday that only one team from each school may advance beyond the preliminary challenge. How are we to handle the official logbook? In past years, the teams attending the preliminary challenge were required to bring the official logbook with them to the event. This year we are being provided two unofficial logbooks and one official logbook. At what point is the advancing team expected to transcribe the contents of the unofficial logbook into the official logbook? This cannot be done prior to the preliminary challenge because the advancing team may not be known until after performing.


expand Are spiral springs allowed? Such as these:


expand I have two questions regarding this year's Panasonic Creative Design Challenge. Solenoids are not explicitly stated under the approved or not approved materials sections. Are we allowed to use solenoids on our robot? If so, can we use the solenoids to power the movement of the device? The rules explicitly state that electric power motors can not be used to power the device; however, we were unsure if we could use other methods of electrical power to move the device. Thank you very much for your time.


expand Will all posted questions be on the FAQ tab in a specific 2014 section? Currently there are postings but I believe they were for last year. When will the outstanding questions raised in the workshop be determined and posted?


expand Can we use a 3d printer to create parts?


expand Can we create our own gears from wood or other materials or are we restricted to the Lego gears provided?


expand Can we use compressed air motors in addition to the allowed motors?


expand Can we use electric motors we make ourselves, if we can; will that count as one of the three motors allowed?


expand Can electricity be used in non-motor propulsion applications?


expand Can we use wind power with an external fan?


expand Can we use Styrofoam?


expand Can we bring a fan to competition and blow on the vehicle from the outside? How about a hand-cranked fan?


expand Is compressed air allowed? If so, do we have to bottle the air ourselves and create our own containers? Or can we use store-bought canisters?


expand Would it be possible to use living creatures in our vehicle? We were thinking small hamsters or rats and mice to power our vehicles or steer them. It does seem very farfetched, but the rulebook did not explicitly state anything about animals in the materials section.


expand 1. What is the determination for the recharging of the vehicle? May the students use two or three types of mechanical propulsion systems – one for the flat part of the course and then recharge the vehicle by switching to another type of geared down propulsion system for the ramps?

2. Can they use a balloon filled with air (not He or H) as well for a propulsion system? Bring an air pump with them? 3. Is foam core an allowable material?

4. Dr. Carpinelli said at our meeting last week that if a group would like to pass on a portion of the course they may do so but lose those points – I just want to know if this is possible.

5. My students have come up with an idea for powering their vehicle using a fruit type of juice – is this within the boundaries of the materials and the usable substances for the competition?


expand 1. Can we use compressed air on the vehicle and if so can it be refilled with a bike pump or air compressor?

2. Is the reset of the device timed or does time stop?

3. If the vehicle falls over can a reset be used to right it?

4. How is the vehicle started?


expand 1a) The first one has two parts and has to do with starting volume. As is usually the case, the project is allowed to exceed the volume once it is activated. However, the project will most likely begin to move and expand upon release this year. When the volume is inspected, will the 'reset' or loaded volume be the dimensions that are checked?

1b) The second part of the volume issue ties in with the propulsion. Suppose a team is going to propel the project with a pulley and weight system. However, the project incorporates a spring-loaded telescoping mast that will fit within the legal volume while held in place. Upon release, it will rise and allow for an even greater vertical displacement for the weight. This seems like a legal design idea but John suggested it get approved first.

2) Another question relates to the remote. As we were doing a braking activity with Lavelle, Greg and I both thought of similar design ideas. Typically, the remote is used exclusively for electrical control. This year, however, the theme is alternative energies and, as a result, alternative designs.

Did anyone consider allowing the remote to function as more than a switch panel? By this I mean a mechanical braking system could be designed to operate remotely. This would allow for increased design ideas and easily increase shared responsibilities of operating the remotes as a team. Just in case you don't have any ideas as to how this could be accomplished, here is a couple.

• One design could be comparable to a bicycle brake cable. When a cable is pulled (by pressing a lever) it will cause calipers to squeeze against a wheel or axle. • Another design could utilize a water bottle and a tube. When the water bottle is squeezed, a piston or pistons at the end of the tube will press against opposite sides of a wheel once again acting as a braking mechanism. Of course, in either case, the tethered braking mechanisms may only be used in the manner described. It would not be acceptable to literally pull on the tube or cable to stop the vehicle (as is the case with the electrical remote control).


expand Would a syringe, as the one in the attached link, be considered as a permissible material?


expand My team would like to know if they can use a single motor as a lift system for a hover craft?


expand Can we use the following creation ( See attached) to power our bot?
Picture of our electric motor by Andrew J. Spero


expand It says we can use plastic tubing, so the girls are looking at a pneumatic/hydraulic drive design. Are there any restrictions on what fluid can be in the tubing? We're presuming water and air are permitted.


expand My Robotics club is meeting now and we are confused what is going to control our robots. Will we be using our own Lego nxt brick controllers and program them with software?


expand Are we permitted to use a bicycle brake cable as discussed during the Professional Development conference?


expand Can we switch between black and blue ink in the Log Book?


expand In the log book, do we need the "Project Number" as identified in the top right of each page?