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JPL Annual Invention Challenge - ENTRY 31
a) What your team thought of the challenge (objective)?
We enjoyed this challenge more than the glider challenge. I think my brother in law enjoys the more mechanical challenging ones that require he go out an buy new tools! He was trying to convince us he needed a welder for this one!

b) What ideas your team considered?
Overall the concept was the same for all except for the release mechanism on the bottom to "gently" put the ball in the tin. It ranged from sacks, funnels, to the opening of our metal arms.

c) What was your final designs?
Metal Ramp with a wood stop that released our metal arms to open and deposit the ball into the tin.

d) What was your testing process and how did you improve?
We built up the GSE, and the metal frame. We then had to test different bungee configurations, different wood stops, and padding on the metal so we didn't damage your ball! We used a clay egg instead of a real one - didn't want a mess if things went crazy. That may have been our downfall - never really knew if we were close to damaging the egg.

e) What were your feelings or experiences at the JPL contest?
Overall good. We tend to take things less seriously than some of the others - we know timing will be off, but it's all for fun...people shouldn't take winning to challenging time scores. The kids are always great and enthusiastic!

f) How would your team improve your design?
Probably try it with a real egg. To heck with the mess!

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For a photo gallery of the 2004 event, click here.
For the event rules please click here.

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