Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Poucha Poucha

Poucha, poucha, poucha. That's the sound (sorta) that any kind of pneumatic machine makes when operating. I've had very few exhilarating experiences more memorable than when Trevor's Odyssey of the Mind team (Arroyo Grande High School, California about 1993) turned on their pneumatic car at one of the competitions. Off it went, poucha, poucha, poucha. The spectators erupted! The team had chosen the most difficult approach to solving the car problem, and the darn thing actually worked. They didn't get to World that year as the car did have issues, but they did win an OMER award. (Quite a few years ago, California shifted from Odyssey of the Mind to Destination Imagination. The two are very similar.)

So you'll have to pardon another "post from the archives" as I've been through five more boxes, still not finding what I'm looking for, but oh my goodness, the things I have found. I'm sure they'll dribble out over time.

Charles Lang (teammate, at left on the car) added on FB: Holy cow this is a photo of me back in the early ‘90s on a pneumatic car (actually capable of fully electric or fully pneumatic modes) we built for Odyssey of the Mind competition. We used a cylinder arm attached to a rotating component together with a system of valves, much like a steam engine. Despite months of work, it was only on competition day when we finally got it to function. The innovation was to attach weights to the rotating component, thus allowing for momentum like with a flywheel. We were better than World that thing should have gone straight into the Smithsonian! LOL.

It was a spaghetti of tubes and erector-set-like parts.

The Team

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