Students create innovative hand-clutch brakeJune 27, 2016
The online Student Project Showcase is in full swing! Meet one of the student teams in the running for the Student Innovation Award — Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) students Trayce Freund, Travis Leung, Yash Modi and Jason Rodrigues.
Q: Can you provide a general description of your project?
A: The project is a clutch brake for a hand cycle designed for paraplegic cyclists (although anyone can ride one). The project included redesigning a brake mechanism that provided a safe and reliable way to stop without removing the rider's hand from the handles. Project criteria also stated that the use of fingers was not permitted.
Q: What problem did you help solve with your project?
A: The project helps paraplegic athletes ride these cycles with a safe alternative for braking. This brake can be used by anyone that desires to ride a hand cycle. The mechanism itself is not limited to a hand cycle but our project iterations were for this application.
Q: What was the biggest challenge of your project?
A: Designing the clutch mechanism was very challenging. The clutch was needed to allow the rider to free coast and brake when pedalling backwards at a moment's notice while keeping their hands on the handles. The team verbally and visually understood the theory of how we wanted the brake to be engaged, but designing it for real-world applications was very tedious. Hundreds of design iterations and alterations brought us to this design. Once it was feasible, we 3D printed the design as a "proof-of-concept," knowing with more time it could be simplified.