If you have any question or would like to get involved in the 2021 Design Challenge, please contact us.

Please scroll down this page to see our FAQs.

Email: designchallenge@imeche.org

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7304 6867

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FAQs

  • Project Specification

    • Is there a limit to the size of battery used?

      No. But the battery must be fused in accordance with the Technical Regulations as shown in the relevant Project Specification for your year.

    • Can a stepper motor be used?

      Stepper motors cannot be used for the 1st Year competition, because they are normally associated with a micro controller. However, they are perfectly legal for the 2nd Year competition where control systems are allowed.

    • Can a detector device be used to identify the bulls-eye?

      Detectors cannot be used for the 1st Year competition, because the means of determining distance must be mechanical. However, they are perfectly legal for the 2nd Year competition where control systems are allowed.

    • If a walking device is designed, can an electronic controller be used to control the walking sequence?

      This is only permissible for the 2nd Year competition, because the same controller could be used to determine distance.

    • If the device jumps, can an electronic controller be used to control the jumping sequence?

      This is only permissible for the 2nd Year competition, because the same controller could be used to determine distance.

    • Can a wheeled frame be used from a proprietary device?

      No, because part of the challenge is for the students to learn about the importance of alignment.

    • Can a track laying vehicle be used?

      No. See the Technical Regulations as shown in the relevant Project Specification for your year for further details.

    • Can a clockwork device be used?

      Yes.

    • Can a proximity switch be used to reverse the direction of travel?

      Yes, providing some part of the device is in physical contact with the wall before reversing.

    • Can lasers be used?

      Lasers are of little use for the 1st Year competition, because they are normally associated with a micro controller. However, they are perfectly legal for the 2nd Year competition where control systems are allowed.

  • General Specification

    • Can a Meccano parts be used?

      Yes, but only to build the frame of the device.

    • Can a proprietary motor gearbox unit be used?

      Yes.

    • Can Lego parts or similar be used?

      Yes, but only to build the frame.

    • Can a booster battery charger be used between heats?

      Yes, a charger can be used and the cost of the charger will be considered to be generic, so will not be part of the cost limit. The amount of charge that could be applied between heats is very limited, so be aware that the cost of rechargeable batteries is greater than that of conventional batteries.

    • Can compressed air be used for the propulsion?

      Yes, providing it is made safe. Please see the Competition Rules in the General Specification for further details.

    • Why do replacement batteries have to be within the cost limit?

      If you swap batteries for any reason during the competition, whatever chemistry, they must be included in the cost limit for the device. This is to avoid teams gaining an unfair advantage.

    • Can Co2 gas be used for propulsion?

      Yes, providing it is made safe. Please see the Competition Rules in the General Specification for further details.

    • Can hydraulics be used for propulsion?

      Yes, but due consideration should be given to sealing the hydraulic circuit.

    • Is there a weight limit for the device?

      No, within reason.

    • Can capacitors be used instead of batteries?

      Yes, but they must be part of the total cost limit.

    • Can an air cylinder be replenished between heats?

      Yes, because the equipment would be considered to be generic.