CAPTAIN DESTRUCTOdoc - UTK EFD NewsAnnouncements

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					       The Captain Destructo has been specifically formulated and purpose-designed to

be the ultimate in convenient fruit destruction equipment. With advanced concrete-filled

boot technology, it has been able to achieve levels of destructive efficiency previously

thought impossible in the fruit destruction markets, while maintaining a low production

cost through the use of cheap materials, such as rotten wood, two-year-old physics

projects, duct tape, and rope. The boots themselves are a size twelve, low cut boot; this

makes them optimally designed for maximum concrete capacity, allowing the Destructo

Boots sufficient mass to crush even the most resilient cantaloupe, while making them

aerodynamically efficient and reliable. Activating Captain Destructo takes just as much

effort as turning on a lamp, and the super-efficient ultra-quiet fan provides more than

adequate thrust to propel the pointy boat to its destination, in turn popping the

balloon…and VOILA! Captain Destructo is activated!

       The brainstorm that brought about the first visions of the Destructo Boots began

with the obvious statement that a ridiculous device must include a boot, and of course the

most destructive type of boot is the concrete filled variety. Then it was necessary to

invent a way to impart sufficient energy into such a mass so that it would be able to

destroy an object. The simplest way to give energy to an object with relatively large

mass is to use the natural force provided by gravity, so we needed a way to suspend the

boots above the ground, and Curtis’s leftover trebuchet base seemed like the perfect, free

solution to such a problem. Following the use of the trebuchet base, we needed a way to

hold the trebuchet arm up that could be quickly released without human intervention. We

preferred to use a pirate ship as part of the release mechanism, and so linking the

trebuchet arm to a balloon trapped between two rails that could be popped by a pirate
ship with a needle on the end seemed an ideal solution, as little force would be required

to hold up a near vertical arm, and a balloon under the tension and stress of being held

underwater and holding back a force would require little force to pop. Some of the

design was improvised, such as the bar that the boots rested on, or the use clamps as the

balloon rails, and our heavy reliance on duct tape, particularly to repair the aquarium

when it cracked.

       The product of our brainstorming a duct tape encrusted contraption of rotten wood,

rubber, and glass. A fan rests on the clamps, and when it’s turned on, the force with

which it blows is sufficient to propel the boat across the length of the aquarium. Using

duct tape, the bottom of the boat is sealed with duct tape, and a sewing needle is duct

taped to the prow. The needle sticks out just far enough to contact an inflated balloon

held between the two clamps, popping it. A rope is tied to the end of the balloon,

providing the force to hold the trebuchet arm in a near vertical position, and when the

balloon pops, tension in the rope is released, allowing the arm to rotate with the falling

mass of the boots. The mass strikes an object at the bottom of its swing, utterly

destroying it.

       The materials used to construct the Destructo Boots were chosen for their easy

availability and low cost, and here is a complete list of the required items and their prices.
- Clip fan ($ 0)
- Two extra long wood clamps ($ 0)
- 10 gallon fish tank ($ 0)
- Tiny pirate ship ($ 5.46)
- Needle ($ .62)
- Party balloons ($ 2.48)
- Rope ($ 0)
- Rotted wood platform ($ 0)
- Craig’s boots ($ 0)
- ½” threaded rod as pivot axel ($ 3.72)
- 6 nuts ($ 1.68)
- 6 washers ($ .84)
- Quikcrete ($ 5.95)
- Duct tape ($ 3.27)
- Tomatoes ($ 2.06)
Total Cost: $ 26.08

       The calculations involved in predicting the results of the Destructo Boots were

relatively simple. The amount of tension in the rope is determined by the angle at which

the arm rests, assuming the rope is horizontal.

T = W * cos(theta)
W= ~ 24 lbs.
Theta = 89.5 degrees
T = (24lbs.) * cos(89.5)
T= .209lbs. of force in the rope

The speed with which the boots hit the tomato is calculated with simple conservation of

energy, as the gravitational potential energy of the is converted to kinetic energy through

its swing around the axis, and so it is dependant on the height of the boots, or the length

of the arm.

MGH = .5MV^2
(-32.2)(5 ft.) = .5 (V^2)
V= 17.9 ft/sec
       The Destructo boots were almost successful. In initial tests, we found that the

object either needed to be held in place or have sufficient mass to fragment before

moving. In our demonstration, a small design flaw in the Destructo Boots prevented

maximum destruction of the tomato. Because the boots were set side by side, there was a

gap between the toes, so the tomato only received the impact on one side, and the boot

only made contact with the top portion of the tomato, so the impact would have been

much more spectacular had the tomato been elevated slightly. Because of the simplicity

of our device, we used only our own supplies and knowledge of physics.

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