USC students design ‘weapons’ for mock attack
19 Oct 2021
USC Mechanical Design students are about to engage in mock medieval warfare – armed with little more than their wits and lightweight wood – in a quest for glory and top assessment marks.
The Sir Robin and the Knights of the Round Catapult Competition at USC’s Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay campuses this week challenges the students to build a catapult with balsa wood, glue, string and other low-cost materials.
The catapults must throw ‘rocks’ (table-tennis balls) over a 600mm-high wall at targets placed at varying distances. But they must do it without explosives, combustible fuels or pressurised fluids.
Teams will be scored on how their machine performs in battle and also on its design, weight, safety, maximum range, quality of construction and ease of operation.
Course Coordinator Associate Professor Selvan Pather said the students had come up with some innovative designs so far but were battling to achieve the accuracy needed to score maximum points.
Dr Pather said the biggest challenge was to be able to adjust the catapult to fire varying distances and get consistent results.
Members of the public are welcome to watch the catapults in action inside the Visualisation Studio at the Sunshine Coast campus from 12.30-2pm on Wednesday 20 October and at USC Moreton Bay from 12.30-1.15pm on Friday 22 October.
The competition will be followed by a display of students’ work including mechanical automata (non-motorised machines), polyhedral shapes and perspective drawings of buildings.
Mechanical Design is offered as part of USC’s Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) program at the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay campuses.
New details about JFK assassination in academic’s book22 Nov
Machiavellian treachery on Australia’s doorstep played a key role in the assassination of a US president, according to a new book by historian Dr Greg Poulgrain.
Noisy miner takes the prize in photography contest11 Nov
From a noisy miner to a water dragon to a soaring osprey – the winning entries of an annual University of the Sunshine Coast photographic competition have highlighted its students’ fascination with wildlife on campus.
‘Judges Hotseat’ to address domestic violence11 Nov
Two esteemed former presidents of the Queensland Court of Appeal and the Children’s Court of Queensland will present a public talk at USC on the crucial topics of domestic violence, coercive control and juvenile justice.