A team of UMR students designed and built an off-road and off-land vehicle for the Society of Automotive Engineers’ Baja East competition, held in Ocala, Fla., in April.
In addition to running their vehicles on a motocross track and through a mud bog, the baja teams were required to equip their “dune buggies” with amphibious properties.
UMR team members solved the floating problem by attaching insulation foam to the bottom of their vehicle. On land, the vehicle is capable of doing about 35 mph.
All of the teams in the competition started with a 10-horsepower engine and “four-wheeler” tires. The key was to design a frame and components that were both flexible enough and sturdy enough to handle an obstacle course with mud, dirt moguls and water hazards. While they didn’t place among the top teams in the overall competition, the UMR team did win the mud bog event.