Great Egg Race projects 2015

A ‘great egg race’ style student project.

The task was to build a device that would lift an egg, move it one metre vertically and one metre horizontally, then put it back down – without breaking it!

A challenging task, especially considering that these are mechanical type students with no or little knowledge of electrics. Also for many this was the first time they’d ever been given a project of this type. Previously, such as at school, they’d at least been given the mechanical bits with which to construct the project and / or some design plans and ideas to work with.

However in this case they were given the outline of what was required as a final outcome – lift, move, put down an egg – and the proverbial blank sheet of paper with which to put some ideas on and start a design. It was entirely up to them organise their group (usually of 5), consider how they were going to do the task, design their assembly, figure out how they were going to construct it, and under a tight budget order up the components and then get on and do it!

A video of the general construction phase.


A variety of different ‘grasping’ systems used. Scoops, jaws, vacuum systems… Likewise for achieving the 1 metre height difference various arms, scissor, screw thread systems, with some going for a fully mobile system (wheels or tracks) while others rotating on the spot. One group attempted a fully autonomous system which would automatically detect the initial location of the egg and carry out the task without ‘user input’ other than just switching it on.


Three egg moving devices, iris, jaws, suction.



Two machines, one using jaws, the other designed as a fully autonomous device using a scoop.



Three examples, one scoop, one vacuum (sucking air out of a bag full of coffee), one jaws.



Two machines, one jaws, one sucking air out of a bag of coffee.

For those not familiar with The Great Egg Race; a BBC television series where the original concept was to construct an elastic band powered device to carry eggs the furthest distance. Check this BBC web site for more information.

No chickens were harmed in the making of these machines (can’t say that about the eggs!).