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Students create innovative hand-clutch brake

June 27, 2016

Four MET students running for innovation award at SAIT

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.

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