Flight of the Furious (or, the Toy Formerly Known as CarBucket)

Chuck Li, Mariana Rodriguez, and Kofi Som-Pimpong

If you think this is a regular Hot Wheels game, think again! While Flight of the Furious uses the usual toy car launcher and plastic track of yore, its ramp moves up and down thanks to a motor. Kids ages 7 and up can adjust the ramp’s pitch with the potentiometer knob to aim at  a field of hoops and buckets. Whoever lands the car in the far bucket first, wins!

Learning Goals

For Kids

  1. Through a fun, hands-on game, kids will gain intuition on kinematics, especially projectile motion, launch angles, horizontal versus vertical velocity, etc.
  2. Kids can learn about how software and hardware work together to make electronic toys work. They’ll get a glimpse at Arduino code and how changing parameters changes motor speeds, etc.

For Adults

  1. See basic kinematic equations in action, and watch the parabola of the car’s flight trajectory.
  2. Troubleshoot the ramp’s and obstacles’ dimensions to optimize the launch path.
  3. Understand how kids learn by doing.

Operation Info

To use, simply:

  1. Set up the hoops and buckets at your desired distances. The bucket is the ultimate goal and should be the furthest from the ramp.
  2. Turn on the launcher; choose between High and Low speeds.
  3. Turn on the Arduino to turn on the Servo motor.
  4. Adjust to the desired ramp height by turning the potentiometer knob (gives a range between 0-90 degrees).
  5. Take aim, and launch!

Safety Notes

  1. As a precaution, make sure only one car launches at a time.
  2. Keep hands and loose clothing away from the launcher’s wheels.
  3. Play in an open, spacious area with no one standing in the launch direction.


Adjustable Ramp

  • Laser-cut acrylic
  • Modeled in SolidWorks
  • Joints are snug finger joints
  • File: Cuts

Starting Ramp

  • 3D-printed with the NVBot NVPro using PLA filament
  • Modeled in Solidworks
  • File: ramp2


  • Arduino Uno Elegoo connected to laptop with a USB cable
  • Servo motor
  • Potentiometer
  • Breadboard


  • Laser-cut acrylic
  • Modeled in Solidworks


  • 3D-printed with the NVBot NVPro using PLA filament
  • Modeled in Solidworks

Launcher & Cars

  • Pre-mades
  • Approximately $30 total


There are many more possibilities for the toy, including:

  • Designing and building a case with knobs that gives a child a user interface s/he can control
  • Hooking up Servo motors to the hoops so they can also move back and forth, providing a greater challenge
  • Opening up the hardware and software side of the toy so older kids (ages 10 and up) can code the ramp and/or hoops to move at different speeds and tempos
  • Make a split ramp with two “heads” that also move