Mousetrap Kinetic Sculpture at DaVinci Days 2010

Click on a thumbnail sketch to see the full size picture.

I loved the simplicity of the idea. But I felt we needed a marathon racer to pilot it. There was nobody like that on my team. Then I thought the pilot could wear roller blades and not have to be such a good racer. I bladed around the regular course (first day only) in less than an hour. That convinced me the idea could work. But I was blading without the vehicle, since I hadn't built it yet. But with this proof of concept I began design and construction.

Alas, I failed to recognize how much friction the vehicle would provide. It's slow! We didn't make it across the finish line before the race closed. But it's still inspiring, so it's not a complete loss.

DaVinci Days 2010 Road and Sand Race

Anna Anna Lynn putting on her mouse whiskers Anna Lynn driving Mousetrap Mousetrap Visualize Visualize Whirled Peas
Whale Killer Whale [left]

Thunder Bolt Grease Slapper [right]
Thunder Kosmik Kaddie Kosmik Kaddie [left]

Local Lunar Lander [right]
Claire Claire [left] is a former member of my race team. It was good to see her.

Black Tie Affair on sand [right]
Black Tie Beach Party Beach Party Buggy on sand [left]

Space Cow Bus [right]
Space Cow Bus
Tomato Tomato [left]

Kosmic Karavan [right]
Kosmic Karavan Blue Moon Blue Moon [left]

Mad Catter [right]
Mad Catter
It was slow going. Mousetrap crossed the finish line about an hour too late. Mousetrap Mousetrap I like to let people ride the Spinner whenever possible. Spinner Spinner

DaVinci Days 2010 Mud and River Race

Mousetrap did very well in the mud. She didn't get bogged down at all. Instead she floated over the top. I think Mousetrap is the only vehicle that floats on the mud. Mousetrap Before we entered the mud we put oil on the 'race' to keep the mud from sticking. Don't worry. It was olive oil, so there should be no environmental harm. Mousetrap Well the mud stuck anyway. Later we ran experiments to see what would work better... Mousetrap
Lobster Lobster [left]

Zorba the Zuke [right]
Zorba Secret Racing Clan Secret Racing Clan [left]

Blue Fuchsia Giraffe [right]
Mousetrap Mousetrap is not very effective in water. Oh, its safe. There's plenty of flotation and stability. But there is no effective propulsion. Mousetrap On the other hand, Mousetrap is very good at getting out. She just walks it out of the water. Most race teams struggle to get out cleanly. Mousetrap Mousetrap
Klown and Beach Party Buggy in river Klown and Beach Party I don't know the name of this vehicle, but that's Jerri in front. [right] Jerri child in Beach Party It's good to inspire the next generation. Here a child is sitting in Beach Party Buggy.

After the Race

After the race I went to a party. Several of the people there rode the Spinner. Spinner Spinner Spinner Spinner Spinner
A few days later Anna Lynn and I ran some tests with the race fabric in the mud. We coated it with several materials to see which would repel the mud the best. Anna Much to my surprise the best thing was water. Oil was not that good. Of course we should have done this test before the race. But there just wasn't enough time. We'll do better next year!

Mousetrap won several awards at DaVinci Days. This despite the fact that we didn't get a Leo because we didn't cross the finish line before the race closed on the first day.

No mice were harmed making this Kinetic Sculpture Racer.

Unless otherwise noted, all pictures above were taken by Allen Brown.

Copyright 2011 C. Allen Brown

Last modified 2 Aug 2011