Dodgem Cars

Everyoneís picture of a Fairground Dodgem Car is usually an old style (60s?) car with a sort of space age look and lots of flashing lights!

old bumper car

But why canít a dodgem look like,,,

a giant penguin....


.....or a haunted house....


.....or even a comfy couch?


This project is about the complete re-design of the dodgem car.

The project involves:

Following instructions to make a basic motorized vehicle which canít be steered!

Studying the motion of the vehicle and then modifying it to make it go as fast as possible in circles so that it stays near the middle of an arena without touching the sides where it could get stuck.

Designing a new concept dodgem body which would attract customers to want a ride in it.

Introduce new features to make it more fun to ride.

Make sure that the design allows for at least two passengers to be seated safely and have access in and out of the vehicle.

Extension activities include:

Design a system to allow the dodgem to attach itself to another dodgem and capture it or follow it along.

Design a collision system which changes the direction of the dodgem after a crash so that it can get out of the way and not become caught up or put out of action.

This picture shows 4 dodgem arenas set up for a Technology Day at Saint Cuthbertís Grammar School in Newcastle.

Click the picture to see a video of some Dodgems on their first trial after the bodywork has been added. They will be evaluated then the bodies improved in the light of their performance in the arena.


The winner is the last one left moving! Any dodgems which break down or get stuck are removed from the arena.

The Crazy Dodgem Cars Project is great fun and students always think of additional design ideas to improve the dodgems or make them operate in a different way. The possibilities seem endless and it simply depends upon the imaginations of those taking part.

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