The Warman Design and Build Competition challenges students to push the boundaries of Mechanical Engineering by developing practical solutions to theoretical problems.

The 35th Warman Design and Build competition will be held virtually on 8 and 9 October 2022. 15 teams from participating universities will compete in the International Finals from their college campuses. The event will be live streamed and winners will be announced on 9 October.

Treasured by universities and students alike since its inception in 1988, the Warman Design and Build competition has allowed leading Universities to take engineering out of the classroom and into practice, allowing bright-minded students to create unique engineering solutions to help save the fictional planet of Gondwana.

The Competition is sponsored by Weir Minerals Australia Ltd (formerly known as Warman International) and is coordinated by the National Committee on Engineering Design (NCED) of Engineers Australia, affiliated with the Mechanical College.

The Mission: Project Renew

The people of Gondwana need an innovative engineering solution.

For the past 35 years the people of Gondwana, a small planet orbiting a sun on the outer fringes of our galaxy, have triumphed over their new planet’s harsh environment. They have overcome complex problems using only the resources they have at hand and assistance from the brilliant minds of engineers from Earth.

These engineers have traversed impossible ravines with limited resources, contained dangerous nuclear contaminations and solved engineering feats that have made people’s lives easier and safer.

Once again the people of Gondwana are faced with uncertainty… and once again student engineers from Earth are here to help.

Context

Gondwana is a small planet orbiting a star on the outer fringes of the Milky Way. Rich in natural resources, the Gondwanans have mined and distributed precious metals throughout the Galaxy. The first stage of the extraction of the metals from the mined ore is using a metallurgical concentrator. This
involves grinding the ore to a fineness which allows the metal bearing particles to be separated from the valueless material or gangue. Water laden with gangue is then pumped to large tailings dams, where the solids settle and the recovered water is returned to the concentrator for reuse. In one application, the gangue has to be pumped across a 2km wide chasm. The pipe is supported by a wire rope spanning the chasm.

Planned maintenance of the slurry pump requires a new impellor to be transported across the chasm. But a recent storm washed out the only bridge, preventing delivery of the urgently needed part. The only way to transport the impellor is by using the wire rope spanning the chasm. An intergalactic transporter has delivered an impellor to a nearby warehouse but the design of a system to collect, transport and deliver the part using the wire rope has stumped the Gondwanan engineers. Young engineers from Earth have once again been asked to assist by designing a system and proving the concept
using a scaled down version.

Over the last 34 years, engineering students have rendered invaluable assistance with such engineering problems, and on this thirty-fifth occasion, the Gondwanans again seek help from a new team of budding engineers to demonstrate a solution.

Challenge

Prototype a reduced scale proof of concept transporter system, later referred to as the “system”, which will precisely deliver a scale representation of the impellor, later referred to as the “package,” from the warehouse to the pump location. Referring to Figure 1, the team will position the package at your chosen location within the warehouse boundaries and the team will install the system within the boundaries of the Start Zone. When activated, the system will autonomously collect the package and deliver it to the defined location D. The system shall then return to finish its run on the right hand side of the Start Zone – Chasm vertical boundary. The maximum time for collection, delivery and return is 120 seconds. No part of the system or package shall touch the horizontal surface marked as “Chasm Zone,” at any time during the run.

Objective

The objective is to design, build and demonstrate a proof of concept scaled prototype transporter system in a laboratory environment. Prior to starting, the package shall be located by the team anywhere within the warehouse boundaries and the system shall be assembled within the boundaries of the Start Zone. The system may contact any surfaces within the boundaries of the Start Zone, including the rope. You will earn points when your autonomous system completes the staged tasks of collecting the package, depositing it within the Deposit Zone and the system returning to the Start Zone. A tether cord may be used to retract the system. These tasks include: the system moving the package to within the vertical boundaries of the Start Zone; fully supporting the package above the Start Zone horizontal plane surface; the system and package moving to the left side of the Chasm Boundary; placing the package anywhere in A or B of the Deposit Zone, or on surface C, or into the target recess D; and finally the entire system returning to the right hand side of the Chasm Boundary, Figure 1. Penalties shall be applied for contacting the horizontal Chasm Zone plane and/or the package falling off the track. For maximum points, the system shall deposit the package in recess D and return to the right hand side of the Chasm Boundary, within 120 seconds of the start command. For deposit and return points to be awarded, the entire system, with the exception of the tether, and package shall travel to the left hand side of the imaginary Chasm Boundary during the run.