Monday, July 26, 2010

Rubber Band Powered Toy Boat

As our first project will make rubber band powered toy boat. This boat is very simple one, but you can learn basic theory on how boats are moving on the water. There are lot of different types of boats, ships...etc people had made. Basic theories behind those ships are most of the time common and some are based on the advance theories. Anyway it is very important to understand the basics and move forward. This project will great fun to kids and I encourage them to construct this boat on their own with the help of parents.

First will understand how boats are working. Any boat should float on the water. The shape of the boat, materials used to make the boat, size of the boat are major factors to float a boat on the water. For example if you try to make small toy boat using iron or heavy metal that small boat will sink immediately. But if you consider large ships, those are made with heavy metal or iron and those large ships are floating on the water. How this happens? The fact is size and shape of the ship. To float anything on the water, there should have some upward pressure from water on the ship. We can control this pressure by changing the size and shape of the boat. When the size of the ship is very large, this pressure is also high. So that it can float very large weight and that is why large ship can be built using metal but they are floating well. But this ship got some damage on its body again this will sink. Why? We said that if the size of the boat is large there is very high upward pressure but when some damage happened it can flow water into the boat and change the overall weight. This make instability of the boat and boat get sink.

You should have some idea about how to design body of the boat. Now will move into actual work. To make this toy boat you need following parts:

1. Wood or plastic plate (about 20 cm * 10 cm)
2. Rubber band
3. Small plastic propeller (this can be found from any old toy boat or you can make a one)

First you need to make body of the boat. You need to cut your wood or plastic plate as shown in figure 1.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Then as show in figure 2 fix the rubber band and propeller. Now boat is complete. Go to some water where you can try your boat. Wind the propeller of your boat, while keeping the propeller steady place your boat on the water and release the propeller. Now you can see that your boat is moving forward. If your boat moving backward that mean you have wind your rubber band backward. Wind the propeller again to opposite direction ,put your boat to water and see your boat move forward.

But this boat can move only forward or backward. How boats are turning? Will talk about on that in next article. Until that try this simple boat and have a fun.

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