The Meccano Society of Scotland

Walking Machine

Menstrie Challenge 2011


The challenge this year is to build a walking vehicle powered by a Meccano M0 electric Motor (modern French electric motor).

The sprint competition will determine whose model can cover the distance between two parallel lines on the smooth wooden floor of the Menstrie Scout Hall in the shortest time.


  1. The vehicle should use a walking motion. "Walking" is interpreted as meaning that the primary method of locomotion makes use of intermittent contact with the surface over which the vehicle is traversing. Methods of locomotion employing a reciprocating, dragging or shuffling motion are also permitted. A tumbling motion is not allowed however.
  2. Axial rotation of parts (i.e. rotation about the boss) in contact with the floor is not permitted. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes caterpillar tracks and the like. Circular parts such as tyres may be employed providing that their principal purpose is to increase the level of friction between the vehicle and the floor.
  3. The distance between the parallel lines will be 18 feet.
  4. The power source will be one Meccano M0 motor (modern French electric motor) running from either 3V or 6V (2 or 4 batteries). The infra-red remote control M0 motor may be used. The nominal cell voltage in the battery pack should be 1.5V. Rechargeable battery packs and cells are not allowed. The battery pack should be carried on the vehicle. Batteries may be changed between heats.
  5. Additional energy delivery mechanisms employed to start the vehicle in motion, e.g. gravity, elastic, springs, compressed air, flywheels etc. are not permitted. The use of pneumatics, elastic, springs, flywheels etc. to store energy between "steps" is allowed.
  6. The vehicle should be assembled from Meccano or Meccano compatible parts.
  7. To assist course marshals, commentators, scorers and reporters writing up the event, the entrant's name must be prominently displayed and be visible from above (e.g. a sticky label).
  8. Practice sessions using the course will be allowed until the Secretary announces the challenge has commenced.
  9. Completion of the course requires that the foremost part of the vehicle crossing the first line must also cross the second line. Erratic vehicles which cross the start line more than once or finish the course backwards will not be penalized.
  10. At the start of each race the challengers will hold their vehicles stationary with the motor engaged until the starting gun goes off. In the case of remotely controlled vehicles they should be activated after the starting gun.
  11. Vehicles will have to run reasonably straight to avoid colliding with each other. There shall be no contact with the vehicle after it has started. Vehicles which hinder the progress of others will be disqualified.
  12. With the exception of a few nuts, bolts, washers, grub screws and set screws, the vehicle should finish the course with the same number of parts that it started with.
  13. The contest will use the league system with competitors racing against each other in pairs. In the event of a large number of entrants, heats may be held in groups of three.
  14. An individual heat has a maximum duration of 2 minutes; thereafter the vehicle(s) still on the course will be deemed not to have completed the course.
  15. Entrants may enter more than one vehicle.
  16. Proxy entrants are welcome.
  17. In the event of a dispute the Secretary will arbitrate.