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13 Mechatronics – The Road to EVolocity Regional Success

The mechatronics programmes were developed to provide a project based, practical subject that uses an Engineering context to inspire and challenge our up and coming engineers. The 2022 cohort took on the challenge of designing, prototyping and building electric vehicles to compete against other schools across a variety of challenges, including a drag race, gymkhana and economy challenge.

To provide an even playing field, each school was supplied with the same 12V batteries and 350W motor. Innovative design and clever construction was the best way to obtain an advantage.
Nicholas Huang, Murilo Goterra Dirk, Joshua Walton and Jack Lucas were up for the challenge and collaborated excellently to develop, build and test their kart. Such was their drive to produce a top-quality vehicle; we were still testing and modifying parts on the Friday afternoon before race day.

The Auckland Regional race day was Sunday 6th September at Whenuapai Airbase. The weather was sunny, with a cool breeze. Our Kart – nicknamed ‘Robert’ cruised through scrutineering, then lined up against the other school karts for the drag race. Nicholas drove 5 good runs, and at the completion we sat second in our class. The Gymkhana provided a different set of challenges, with manoeuvrability, acceleration and control being key attributes. Again, Nicholas drove superbly and ‘Robert’ won this event.

The Economy run was the last event of the day. Unfortunately our batteries died after 4 of 6 laps, but we had proven Robert could compete across all three challenges. Such was the performance over these events, our team were judged as Overall Class winners for the Auckland Region! The fantastic result and award were testament to the hard work, good team spirit and effective troubleshooting that this team has displayed throughout the year. It has been a pleasure working alongside these amazing and dedicated young engineers.

Many thanks to the support we received from our community, including, Oliver Bonner-Hutton– Rutherford Alumni and Engineering mentor, Dean Osborne – Expert welding tutor and Mark Thompson – all round good guy.


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