Rubber band-car racing excites

Updated: 2015-08-07 11:39

By Lia Zhu in San Francisco(China Daily USA)

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Team Dream from Beijing Technology and Business University (BTBU) won the hill climb category in this year's rubber band Formula E car race on Thursday in Southern California.

Started as a 14 week-long design project by the Art Center College of Design in 2006, the annual race allows student teams to compete in a variety of events with their uniquely designed remote-controlled race vehicles propelled by energy stored in 16 feet of rubber band.

This year, four teams of 15 from China's Beijing Technology and Business University, Hubei University of Technology, and Shandong University of Art and Design competed against 14 teams from Art Center College of Design and Pasadena City College in the final race, which was held on the hillside campus of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

Most of the Chinese competitors have never been to the US before and this competition served as a platform for them to know about their counterparts in the US, according to Liang Xun, a mentor of Team Dream from BTBU.

"What differentiates this competition from others is you have to design and make the cars yourself. And most importantly, you'll have to make it run, too. So it takes much more than a quick wit to win," said Liang, also head of the design department of BTBU. "The result is not important. We hope to learn from our US counterparts," she added.

To Jeff Lin, a member of Team Linguine from Art Center's industrial design department, the most important thing was to be competitive and represent a team.

"The issue here is things always break and [you] always might be changing and tweaking small things," he said. "So it's learning how to make really good parts in a really short period of time."

Lin said he was impressed by the Chinese competitors. "They are very humble and gracious, and they have a really interesting take on how to design cars," he said.

Awards were given for best design, speed and overall performance, with a prize of $10,000.

 Rubber band-car racing excites

Team Dream members from Beijing Technology and Business University test their car before the final race in 2015 Formula elastic race competition final "Sculpture Garden Flats" at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California on Thursday. Provided to China Daily

(China Daily USA 08/07/2015 page2)