There are a nearly infinite number of different designs and approaches you can take to building an egg landing vehicle -- that's the whole point of this experiment after all!

Here's one approach that works very well -- a partial egg carton pod protected on all sides by impact absorbing balloons.

Power Pack

Place three AAA batteries into the battery holder and then screw the lid shut with the supplied screw.

Plug the JST cable into the CLUE.

Use double stick foam tape or poster putty to secure the CLUE to the battery holder.

Use the battery holder's integrated on/off switch to power the CLUE.

Balloon Lander

Blow up and knot the ends of six balloons to about 50% full size. We want there to be a nice amount of give so that the balloons deform on impact -- this will increase the amount of time it takes for the CLUE (and later the egg!) to stop moving, thus dissipating much of the kinetic energy.

Use zip ties or rubber bands to connect three of the balloons as shown. Repeat this step for the other balloons so you have two separate sets of three.

We want to be able to nestle our CLUE or egg in between the two sets of balloons.

Wrap rubber bands around the balloons so they are loosely hanging from the intersection points, then wrap them over the other set to join them with a flexible coupling.

Next, we'll build a pod for the CLUE that will be secured in this space between.

Carton Pod

To begin, cut off a four-egg end of a common egg carton.

An egg can sit perfectly in one of the egg holder spots, but the CLUE and battery pack will need to be strapped down with a rubber band to make sure they stay put.

To make it easier to view the impact data on the CLUE's screen, mark and cut a small window in the lid. This will also allow you to access the A button on the CLUE.

Place the carton pod into the flexible rubber-band coupled space between the two balloon sets as shown here. Use the rubber bands to make sure everything is secure.

Drop Testing

I conducted a low-height drop to see how much impact force would be generated on the CLUE. (Note, this test was done before adding the carton pod.)

From this low height, with the balloons absorbing much of the impact, a 2.5 G force impact was recorded.

By comparison, with no balloons in place the impact from this height exceeds 10.5 Gs!

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Full Test

For the full test, I moved to the second story balcony. This time, the balloon landing vehicle containing the CLUE would be dropped from a height of 16 feet onto concrete!

 

Success!

Our CLUE survived the landing with an 8.0g impact!

Let's put our money where our mouths are and drop a real egg.

New Cargo

Swap in an actual egg for the CLUE, then place the carton pod back into the balloon space.

Repeat the drop...

...it...

...impacts...

...and...

..survives!

What new vehicle types will you construct? Try using a cardboard box, such as a black Adafruit box, and some popcorn. Does that dampen the impact enough? Remember, we're shooting for less than a 9.0g impact.

This guide was first published on Mar 11, 2020. It was last updated on Mar 11, 2020.
This page (Build an Egg Landing Vehicle for Testing) was last updated on Apr 01, 2020.