Peak performance

Design and develop a car that is capable of traveling across flat surfaces quickly, but can also negotiate a steep ramp.

Note: The WeDo version of the car remains tethered to the computer via the USB cable and therefore cannot travel very far.

PeakP  288PeakPerformance RCX

Tip 1: What gear train yields the best compromise between rotational speed and torque?

  • Gearing down will slow down your car but will supply more power for climbing.
  • Gearing up will speed up your car but will supply less power for climbing.

This lesson is one in a series of introductory lessons that is applicable to all types of robotics kits. The lessons are geared to students in early primary to middle school (depending on the lesson). Additional material, specific to certain kits, is available as attachments.


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The Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) in Boston, Massachusetts, is dedicated to improving engineering education in the classroom, from Kindergarten to college. The Center houses faculty, staff, and graduate students from engineering disciplines and the education department.

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