Whether it’s throwing clay pigeons into the sky or designing a water pail that generates electricity, University of Utah mechanical engineering students showed off a number of inventive projects during their twice-a-year Design Day event, held at the A. Ray Olpin Union Thursday, Dec. 3.

Four senior design capstone projects and four more projects to help patients and the disabled were on display at Design Day, which allows the public to see the progress made by mechanical engineering students. The senior design capstone projects included:

An automated clay pigeon thrower that dispenses the discs at different speeds and over a 180-degree arc. The device is also inexpensive to produce, according to the students.

A football tracking system that is able to track the position of the ball using GPS and an inertial measurement unit without changing the ball itself. With this system, referees can determine with greater accuracy where the ball landed on the field.

A new ultralight pack-cat/backpack system for outdoor recreationalists who can backpack and also float down a river in an inflatable boat.

A pail that is rigged to an electrical generation system for use in remote areas. If the pail is used with a flowing water source, it can produce hydroelectric power.

Several competitions also were held during Design Day, including a “battleship” contest in which students build and program ping-pong launchers, and another where teams must build robots that climb a chain-link fence.

Design Day is held in both the fall and spring.