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Crazy Crane


By holding the balls attached to the 2 lengths of string, can you load the cargo on to the ship?

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The mobile crane is moved by strings which are pulled through the four corner posts. It is very difficult to use because each control handle is connected to two of the strings, in such a way that the movement of the handle does not produce a movement of the crane in the same direction. So you have to get used to the peculiar connection system before being able to pick up any of the cargo and load the ship.

Rational Controls

The control of machines is made as intuitive as possible, unlike the Crazy Crane! If you want something to go up, ideally you need to make an upward movement with the machine’s controls, etc. Usually it isn’t quite so rational, but there are particular conventions of controls which are common to a large number of machines and which people soon master and come to expect. Think of turning left and right in a car (steering the wheel goes anticlockwise and clockwise respectively); turning up the volume or increasing the brightness on your TV (clockwise turn produces an increase); light switches go down to switch things on, etc.

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Mirror Writting

A similar problem to Crazy Crane is “Mirror Writing”. Try to write something whilst you watch what you are doing in a mirror!

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Look Closer

Welcome to Look Closer, Techniquest's brand new digital tool. We're trialling Look Closer as a way of offering you a closer look at the science demonstrated by many of our exhibits. You'll find visitor sheets, videos, articles on contemporary science as well as fun trails to navigate your way around the exhibition space.

Speak to our Science Communicators to find out more.