Mechanical Interactive – The Tank Museum

‘The Tank Museum’ in Dorset houses the largest collection of tanks and second largest collection of armoured vehicles in the world. Amongst the collection is the only working example of a German Tiger I tank along with a British Mark I, the oldest surviving battle tank in existence. Recently The Tank Museum has launched a massive new exhibition called ‘Warhorse to Horsepower’, which as the name suggests looks at the role of horses in the British Army before, during and after World War I.

The exhibition has been in the making for 2 years, led by an in house design team working with Far Post Design who then came to us for a bespoke mechanical item that was to be installed within the exhibition centrepiece, a replica Mark IV tank.

Tank Ignition Game – Mechanical Interactive

Mechanical Interactive at The Tank Museum

The replica Mark IV creates a focal point for the entire exhibition, on one side visitors are able to enter the tank where they can play with a number of mechanical items and games. As part of this installation the museum wanted to give children the opportunity to ‘start’ the tank through a process of pulling and turning levers. We were asked to design and build this mechanical interactive, which consists of several levers connected to a solid state audio player, vibration device and speaker.

When moved in the correct sequence the tank will sputter to life, an audio track of the engine turning over begins and the ‘thumper’device vibrates the drivers area. If the levers are not operated in the correct sequence then the tank will stall with the appropriate audio being played.

Directional Speakers

Around the exhibition are a number of impressive horse sculptures. The exhibition designers wanted to bring some of these to life through the use of audio, however audio bleed was preferably avoided. With this in mind we supplied three of our directional speakers, designed specifically to fire audio in a thin beam, ensuring that anybody outside of the beam can barely hear anything whilst those standing within can hear crystal clear audio.

The exhibition has so far proven a big hit since being officially opened by Dan Snow in April.

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