All timeline stories.


Gondwana’s is in the midst of the worst drought in history and irrigation has dried up aquifers normally abundant with fresh water. Three water bores, each having a powerpack and pumping station, have been sucked dry but by using new satellite and geotechnical technology, the Gondwanans have located a plentiful aquifer. High flow pumps have been installed in the pump bunker but its powerpack was overloaded and it exploded. If they can move a powerpack from a dry well to the new aquifer a famine could be averted. Situated on a plateau, a bunker has been made above the new aquifer and ONE of three powerpacks needs to be collected off a nearby well tower and placed in the bunker. Unfortunately, the largest powerpack that will drive the biggest pumps is in the most difficult location for collection and will also be the most difficult to place in the bunker. A garage providing protection near the location can be used as a workshop from which to deploy a system that will collect, transport and place the powerpack into the bunker.


In the “ACME Pinnacle Laboratory”, the Gondwanan Mining Agency (GMA) is currently examining the logistics of collecting and depositing the mined ore and waste. A concept for a new autonomous system to collect, sort and deliver the ore and waste is being investigated. The “run of mine” material is typically stored near the mine site in bins and must be delivered to waste and ore receival bins nearby. The GMA is struggling with the development of a system to efficiently and reliably collect and deliver the ore and waste in a timely manner. The challenge is to design, build and prove a “proof of concept” collection and delivery system in a laboratory environment that simulates conditions on the Gondwana mine site.


Low-tech Invention Foiling Tryops”

Design and build a device to lift and control a payload 5m up a rope in the shortest time. The payload comprised of a plastic saucer and an unsecured table tennis ball. The winning device achieved the task in 1.2 seconds and was powered by steel torsion springs, decelerating about 2m from the top as the springs unwound.




Carry Alric’s Restorative Tinnie’s”

Design and build a mechanically powered device to transport six 375ml cans of “restorative fluid” along a 10m track. The fluid, if delivered to Alric, will help the great Gondwannan leader regain his superpowers, and escape from those holding him captive.



Potential Energy Propulsion”

There is a social event on Gondwana and the humorous East Gondwannans want to surprise the Presiding Engineer by delivering liquid refreshment to him by devices released from the air vents above.  Design and construct a device which is released through an aperture at a height of 3m above the floor and delivers a 375ml can of drink to a target 7.5m from the aperture.


Swiftly Lower Alric’s Moderator Down to the Unstable Nuclear Kiln”

Port Dwana on Gondwana, the only shuttle station on the planet, is in dire straits. It has already been evacuated and it’s imminent destruction by an unstable nuclear reactor threatens to disrupt the economically crucial tourist industry. Design and construct a mechanical device which will convey a golf ball from within the starting envelope on the horizontal track, and drop the ball down the vertical tube.



Evenly Lift the Explosive Vessel And Transport it Over the Reactor”

This year, the problem on Gondwana was terrorists. A small bomb had been placed next to the core of a reactor. If the bomb could be placed over the reactor, all would be well. Design and build a mechanical device which will transport an open can of water from the floor up onto a table and as far as possible from the front edge of the table.


System to Help Overcome Workers Exposure to Radiation”

Gondwannan nuclear plant operators were suffering from radiation exposure. They needed a device to raise their radiation neutralising agent as high as possible  to provide a shower of detoxifying ions. Design and build a mechanical device which will elevate a sealed can with a total mass of 1kg  as high as possible from a rest position prior to triggering, to a rest position at the completion of the stroke.


To Remove All Nuclear Spent Fuel Efficiently from the Reactor”

The Gondwannans had another nuclear reactor problem, this time with removing spent nuclear fuel rods. Design and build a device of no more than 8kg which suspends a mass representing spent fuel rods and transfers that mass laterally as far as possible.


Collect Lightly and Efficiently All Nuclear Unapproachable Pellets”

The Gondwannans have been lax in handling nuclear material and have spilled a small quantity of radioactive pellets.  Design and build a self contained device to pick up pellets (split peas) and deposit them to another location.