Bottle Blaster launches a wire-guided rocket skyward approximately 30’ using compressed air and water. The bottle can be filled to one of three different water levels; low, medium or high.
The “Pressurize and Launch” sequence visibly bubbles air into the rocket, the air pressure rises on the prominent gauge on the launch console. Once the bottle is fully pressurized, it is launched automatically by the micro controller that supervises the entire operation, helping to ensure that each launch is a successful one.
Air Chair demonstrates the power and pressure of the ambient air around us. A pair of buttons, controlled air pump configured to resemble an ordinary vacuum cleaner extracts air from above the clear piston. This reduction in air pressure above the piston causes the higher pressure of the ambient air to push the piston upward lifting the visitor. Upon release of the buttons controlling the fan the visitor is safely lowered back to the ground. The electronic controller for this exhibit incorporates several features designed to enhance both the safety and visitor throughput of this experience
The Hydrogen Ball Launcher demonstrates electrolysis in action. With the push of a button current flows through an electrolyte, breaking water into hydrogen and oxygen. Visitors can control the amount of gas produced, encouraging experimentation. The electrical energy used to break the water into H2 and O2 is released as chemical energy when the visitor pushes the “load and fire” button. This moves the gasses to the combustion chamber and ignites them. The resulting loud bang as the gases explode and recombine into water propels a ping pong ball, within a clear tube, high into the air.
This exhibit can be fitted with an additional LabView powered data acquisition system that gives the visitors real time feedback about the electrolysis process.
Click here for Hydrogen Ball Launcher prototyping.
Crush a Can illustrates the extreme force that can be generated by the power of mechanical advantage. By turning the crank and taking advantage of this 100,000:1 ratio visitors can crush a can while putting out very little physical effort. A dial indicator measures the “crush” of each rotation.
The Giant Lever engages visitors in a stacked game of tug of war. On one side of the lever the rope is located two feet from the fulcrum, on the other side the rope is located six feet from the fulcrum. Visitors on the two foot side soon realize the odds were against them as their mechanical disadvantage becomes apparent. The unexpected victories and defeats of this challenge inspires curiosity of the mechanisms at work in visitors of all ages.