Last week, Western Washington University business students presented their finding of a market research project. Their findings were the trike has numerous potential target audiences. For example, physical therapy office as a leaning stationary device, as a device for mobility assistance for physically handicapped personnel and as a recreational vehicle. They felt the first two areas held the greatest potential for marketability success. Dave Weidkamp also displayed the trike at the Washington State ITEA conference in Wenatchee. We talked to a number of composite and design engineers and were able to increase our networking as well as some more weight reduction ideas.
We reduced the weight of the trike by more than 24 pounds.
New light weight A-Arm assembly featuring ¾ Chromalloy alloy A-Arms.
Smaller lighter weight Hydraulic cylinders.
We are using a new kingpin system which eliminated the fixed axle and used a flat kingpin with BMX wheels with 14 mm axles This design allows us to use off the shelf materials thus reducing the cost and a gives us a weight savings as well. The down side is the loss of the ability to use disk brakes.
Increased lean capabilities with new kingpin modified nut assembly.
New improved steering system. We changed the steering design from an under seat steer system to an over seat steering system. This will allow easier access for riders to enter and exit the trike.
We eliminated the freewheeling rear wheel with a coaster style rear wheel with reverse braking.
This will make it easier for the rider to control and brake the trike. We felt the hydraulic bakes and the gear shifting on the handle bars may be confusing if she were involved in a situation where she needed to react quickly. By simplifying the system we felt it will be safer.
An improved seat mounting system which allows for a more secure seat attachment mount.
An improved chain guide system.
The Cascade is definitely on its way to success! We are fixing any flaws in our trike and constantly finding new aspects of the trike to improve upon and enhance.
The trike was featured at the Washington State Association of Career and Technical Education conference in October 2012. This was a very exciting moment for our team because we are proud to represent the Cascade.
For a updated recap of our InvenTeam's recumbent trike project, we will be presenting at Bellingham AutoCAD Users Group presentation February 2013. This will be on this Wednesday!
Greetings everyone! It has been way too long since any additional updates.
As of right now, the team has filed a provisional patent on the self balancing recumbent tricycle that we have created with the Lemelson MIT grand funding. Dwayne Rogge, a patent attorney with Schacht Law Office volunteered his time to make this happen. Also, Dennis Williams, a local attorney with Barron Smith Law assisted the InvenTeam with the formation of the LLC required to manage the team's group ownership of the potential patent. And Diane Kamionka of the NW Innovation Resource Center was the key to getting us the help we needed to get this all done. I would also like to point out that Diane has been with us every step of the way for more than a year now. Isn't that incredible? We think so.
A huge thank you to all these community members who have helped us this sufficiently!
I literally can't believe that we're leaving Boston. It's making me feel so depressed. I grew to love it here, even without our non air conditioned dorms in 104 degrees weather with 97 percent humidity. I grew accustomed to it and I know for a fact that me and the rest of my team are going to miss Boston incredibly. Along with that all of us met new friends. I don't know specifics for my other team members but I myself met a few friends. Shoutout to Robert who was on my team and we made crazy awesome capes haha. Anyways, I mean sure we have New York ahead but all I know is that Boston was one of a kind. Atleast for me it was the perfect atmosphere for daily life and I now fully understand how a day of a college student here looks like. And I love it! I am convinced that I want to visit here again, whether that be for school or just a vacation in general. All I know is, Harmeen will be back for you Boston. Just you wait and see! This whole experience was a crazy ride and for the longest time it seemed incredibly surreal. It was insane. From Tuesday to Saturday, everything that occurred was a hybrid between insane and surreal and today our adventures in Boston are finally coming to an end. We have New York to look forward to now and I'm sure that will be amazing but just to let you all know, Boston is not something that will ever be forgotten. Right now, we're all packed and everything and about to catch Peter Pan to the train station where we will be taking a train all the way to New York. I know a lot of people including myself, have never ridden a train before. We're excited for this different experience. It will take about 4 to 4 1/2 hours to get to New York but it's all worth it. We should be there later this evening!
It's Saturday! This morning started off with us heading to the museum of science here in Boston. We got a little bit of time to ourselves to explore the museum and to learn more about our surroundings. Then began the fun part. Another competition with new teams that were assigned at random. There were about 30 separate teams. We competed to design, build and test a wind-powered device that was capable of lifting a metal trash can three stories above us. We got a few hours to accomplish this task and during this time we got to connect with new people and exchange contact information. Since we were divided into random teams, none of us on our Lynden InvenTeam were together. In a way, this almost forced each of us to open up and meet new people and I myself enjoyed that a lot! The competition was timed on who could raise the trash can in the least amount of time possible. After this long battle, a final symbolic treat was set up for everyone to enjoy. It all ended with a "big bang". And I literally mean it when I say "big bang", since 30 different trash cans were filled with balloons and then raised with rope three stories high. Then the rope was let loose and all the trash cans with the balloons plummeted to the ground floor ending with one loud boom. This was our last day at MIT and we all enjoyed it a bunch!
Another great day at EurekaFest today! We started off the day with a 3 hour seminar in a MIT classroom. Getting to sit in that type of atmosphere was amazing. During the end of the seminar, we broke into teams and had a competition. We had to invent something that would allow two ping pong balls to travel without having the ping pong balls touch the ground and at the same time only using a wind powered energy. That was a lot of fun because we were extremely collaborative with our ideas. After the seminar finished, all of the inventeams participating in EurekaFest then got invited to take a huge group picture in front of the MIT dome. After this, we got a couple of hours for free time. During this time, our team grabbed lunch and then walked more of the freedom trail. We also visited Bunker hill. Unfortunately, due to the extreme heat, we were not allowed inside because apparently people passed out in this kind of heat. Hopefully, we can revisit tomorrow. We then went to go inside the USS Constitution and we saw the Destroyer. After this, we were all out of freetime so we headed back to the Stata Center to set up our booths for another showcase. The showcase was entertaing in my opinion because we got to talk to all sorts of people. We also met representatives from the Lemelsom Foundation and a lot of other interesting people. A huge shoutout to Jake Warren, our multimedia director for catching all the awesome video footage on camera and taking great pictures! He also wrote yesterday's blog post and did a great job with that! Thank you for all your hard work and helping run our booth. We appreciate it a lot!
Today was an incredibly busy day, truly a drinking from the fire hose experience. Our day went for 12 hours, and we started it off with some workshops & seminars- then it was right into the big theater for our Presentation. The powerpoint was superb, and everyone hit their parts spot on. The audience really enjoyed listening to our talk, and our theme of Dream Big tied right into the introductory talks. There weren't too many questions during the Q&A, but a lot of audience members dropped by our booth to comment on how they enjoyed our presentation and were eager to learn more about our trike. The trike is definitely a head turner in the hallways, and everyone is interested in exactly how a computer controlled leaning system works.
Two of our team members had the opportunity to give their elevator speeches in a different language; Juan in Spanish, and Harmeen in Punjabi.
After 2 hours at the booth we packed up and headed back to our dorms in preparation for another busy day tomorrow!
We started off the day with a great tour at the MIT media center. We had the opportunity to see numerous cool things that the average person does not get to see in their lives. We also did a lot of walking in order to explore the area. Part of the team went to go see Harvard University! One thing that we are all having a hard time adjusting to is the weather. I can't even explain in words how humid it is here. Its definitely takes getting used to. We also had a presentation practice on the stage to prepare us for tomorrow's big reveal! We are currently resting for a little bit and will later head out to the MIT BBQ.
Great news guys! We have finally reached the MIT campus and got settled into our dorms. This was such a long flight. We had to switch planes when we landed in Chicago but turns out the plane we were supposed to get on got a hydraulic leak and ended up taking 3 1/2 hours to fix. Regardless, after all this time we are finally here and its so exciting! It feels surreal to be at MIT and staying at the campus.
So we are leaving tomorrow for Boston. I cannot explain the excitement our whole team is feeling while we are preparing and packing for our trip. I remember when we were counting down from 120 days. I even have a countdown widget on my phone for the amount of days left. All I can say is Boston here we come!
Our InvenTeam has been given the opportunity to be on a local Seattle talk show called "New Day." They saw us on King 5 news and contacted us. We will now be visiting them on Monday! Our entire team is looking forward to this.
Today, we had our open house! It was a nice celebration with a lot of guests! We had attendees from as far away as Granite Falls. Lots of our sponsors were also present. In total, we had over 150 guests! Our InvenTeam gave another great and informative presentation and then we called up Kalyz and presented the Cascade trike to her. This event was covered by King 5 News! On top of this, we were informed that King 5 will be running a segment on the Lynden InvenTeam on Tuesday, January 5 at 10 P.M & 11 P.M news.
Just a quick update to let you all know that we named our trike, "Cascade". We named our trike "Cascade" after the mountain range in our back yard, because this experience has been like climbing a mountain...step after step after step...sometimes exciting, often difficult and tedious, but in the end extremely rewarding and exhilarating. Also, the Cascade Mountain Range was the first thing discovered in Washington. Just like this is our first leaning recumbent trike.
We are very honored to be one of the four chosen teams to present at EurekaFest! We are currently holding practices so that we can fairly determine who will be the speakers for the presentation. Currently, a few community members are reaching out to us and helping us prepare and we really appreicate that. A huge thank you to everyone!
We have two sets of A-Arms one of aluminum and one of Chromalloy steel. One offers a ridged support with spring shocks and the other is an independent suspension.
Programming of the Arduino by Lynden Students is progressing.
But the main accomplishment is the infusing of the final frame and assembly of the two halves of the monocoqueframe. It turned out better than we thought it would. The basic shell is less than 6 pounds! We may be able to reach our goal of a trike that is less than 35 pounds.
Today we had a field trip to the Boeing Plant in Everett! Engineer Scott Shields arranged for us to have a VIP tour, which put us right down on the work floor. It is the largest building by volume in the world! To give you an idea of how large, you could fit an entire Disneyland and still have 12 acres left over! It was like a whole city in that building. They even had their own crosswalks, coffee shops, bank, massage place, and pigeons. Amazing, I know. It was such a great tour, we've learned to much. We even found out that the 787 is being built out of carbon fiber, just like our trike.
This last week it was Spring Vacation for our school. We all came back to school to work on the trike. What's more impressive is all the hours that we have put in together as a team. A total of 136 hours this break. Woah. If this isn't team commitment then I don't know what is. And you would think that we as students would hate to give up our spring break. To tell you the truth it was a tad disappointing. However, as soon as we realized that we would be spending more time as a team, it was all worth it. We all get along so well. I mean we do have our ups and downs but in the end we all figure things out. People on our team actually consider each other as family and I couldn't agree with them more. Look at me just rambling right now. I could talk all day if I could. I was just going to do a quick update for our hours. So yeah. 136 hours. That's impressive if you ask me.
Today Jake Warren filmed our inventeam's 5 minute presentation for Lemelson/MIT. We all had certain parts to say that would tie into a great presentation video. A huge thanks to Jake for filming us and having the patience. Can't wait to see how it all works out!
Today, Gary Graham came to visit us and gave us input for our own trike invention. We would all like to say thanks to Gary for putting in the time to come see our invention and being so friendly and open to questions.
Janicki Industries donated 8 pound per sq ft Construction Foam. We then used the foam to cut out the shape of the trike. Then, using Gorilla Glue, we glued the pieces together. Now, we will send this foam to Janicki and they will use the pieces to mill out the frame. We're also making a mock up of our steering system. We have also figured out that our current a-arms are too long, hence we are trying to find an alternative solution.
Lemelson MIT representative Jusin Lai came for a site visit today. We showed him around our school, including the spirit rock, woodshop, metal shop, and the Rhino Lab. We did a presentation for him as well as the school adminstration and staff. We were asked a lot of good questions and people were really getting into it. Elli Shook, from our inventeam, says that this has been our best presentation yet.
Today our InvenTeam hosted an open house for the Greater Puget Sound MIT Alumni Association as well as other guests. Our parents were also invited. The fact that our parents were invited was really special because we finally got to show them what we were spending our time on. The look on their faces as we did our presentation was very heartwarming.
It's a Saturday and we're logging a lot of hours into the trike to try and get this prototype as complete as possible before the event with the MIT Alumni tomorrow afternoon. We would also like to thank Scott Shields, a Boeing engineer, for coming down to our shop today.
Today the inventeam took a tour of Alcoa/Intalco in Ferndale. Joining us on the tour was the Whatcom County council members. The tour was very informative and we had the opportunity to see and follow the entire process of aluminum production.
We were also given the opportunity to give our presentation.
I can't explain the excitement that our whole inventeam faced today. We finished up on our prototype and the trike actually rolled! It feels so good to finally get something to work after months and months of preparation.
Today we came so close! We aimed to take our trike and have it roll in the gym, unfortunately that did not happen. However, we did come pretty darn close. Things are starting to look up now as we can already see all the parts coming together. Today we mounted the a-arms, kingpins, and hub. We also molded a seat mount!
I would just like to say that today we took one of the most epic pictures in my life. Through the entire picture, I was very confident that I would be the one to fall off. Thankfully, no one fell off as our team huddled together like penguins to keep us all on our Lynden Spirit Rock. I would also like to add that I think this is the most people that we have been able to fit on our spirit rock as of now. As terrifying as it was, I am so glad that we took it. I got to say, suprisingly we do look pretty calm in this picture.
Our student leader, Jordan has made the A-Arms out of carbon fiber. We have also made some parts out of fiberglass mold we fabricated. Monocoque rear fender assembly : conjoin the two halves of the fenders together. Carbon Fiber A-Arms Vacuum Infused with the foam core and the couplers on the ends so we can put in our Hyme Joints. We have tested these A-Arms and they hold over 500 lbs. The wheel hub mold was also remanufactured. We have joined the frame and the monocoque rear fender together so they will pivot for a different ride height.
Kalyz's mom is seriously the sweetest lady ever. She made us all a thank you bouquet of candy and chocolate. It looked so pretty and we are all thankful to get it. It was a lot of candy and sugar. Clearly, the boys had no problem with that. The bouquet was attacked and scarfed down rather quickly. Rest assure, the vase as well as the other decorations are still safe. Kalyz's mom also informed us that Kalyz raised $120 on her own by selling valentine candy roses. Wow. I'd just like to say thank you to both Kalyz and her mom! They did an awesome job!
If you would like to contact Mrs. Lara (Kalyz's mom) to purchase a single long stem candy rose for $1, you can contact her at 360-354-1271. All money raised will go towards the LyndenInvenTeam travel expenses.
We had a video conference call with Justin Lai from MIT today. Justin checked up on us to see how we were doing and we let him know everything that is going on. He provided us with awesome tips on a couple of different things. Justin also shared some personal things with us. One of the things that really stuck out to me was when he said, "When you try something for the first time, it will take 3 times as longer as you think." Other then that, it was really exciting to meet Justin. None of us from the team had actually talked to him one on one and this was a first. We also did a mini presentation with him. He was really easy to talk to and our team can't wait until he comes down to visit us next month!
We have Whatcom Manufacturing making our Kingpins. Our equipment at school was not sufficient to cut the parts accurately. It took them about 7 hours of machine time to accurately accomplish this task for us. 7 hours. Wow.
We have vacuum infused a frame, four fenders, and a wheel hub. We learned that we need to put down a layer of spray adhesive in order to get a good enought seal for the vacuum bag while infusing a part. We found out we did not have enough relief so the part would not come out of the mold. We then redesigned the mold and hopefully we will be able to make another wheel hum part next week.
Just to clarify BAUG stands for Bellingham AutoCad User Group. But that's too long to mention which is why it goes by BAUG. I think that's a cute nickname. Anyways, the BAUG meeting was scheduled for our InvenTeam to show everyone our presentation and prototype. It went great. We had more then 2 hours for our presentation time. Yeah. 2 hours. This was easily one of the longest presentations that we have ever given as an InvenTeam. I know every one of our team members could feel the pressure but we all stuck together and pulled it all off! Our team looked snazzy with our outfits and our professional attitude. I think we did a great job covering the technical details during the question and answer part from the community members. We learned a lot of things during our presentation. We learned about communication skills and how to handle questions effectively. I would also like to add that Elli and I also learned a lot about wearing heels for two hours. If it ain't hurting, it ain't helping. So yeah. Presentation was successful and I'm pretty sure we impressed quite a few people!
This month we asked, "do we use hyraulics or linear activators or pneumatics?". We have decided we need to use hydraulics. We would like to spend more time picking apart the advantages of each but we need to move forward. We will test alternatives once we have a working prototype.
We have continued to contact local businesses for support. We have done presentations for Conoco Phillips, Intalco and B.A.U.G. WE have ongoing contact from these corporatioons and are waiting to hear what level of support they can offer us. We have to date reaised $4500.00 in support and pledges.
We redesigned the kingpin and steering components as a result of our conversation with Bob Mighill of Tilting Motor Works. He has spent several years studying leaning motorcycles. He does not have to worry about weight but many of the concepts follow through. We were right on with several ideas. These are improvements he is looking into incorporating into his next designs. Lean on the traverse of a hill – the trike should lean to be plumb not perpendicular to the surface under the trike. King pins need to center on the tire patch not angle as the traditional trike designs. When you add leaning this makes the geometry extremely difficult and the steering unpredictable. We think this will be a huge benefit to our design. BJ fiberglass has agreed to spray the gel-coat as we do not have any spray equipment.
Why yes, we sure are a dedicated team because we held work days over Christmas break. There were 6 trike work days over Christmas break, with a combined total of 85 hours spent building the trike! Jordan Kooi was the student leader and showed real work initiative.
We CNC machined foundation foam for plugs to develop molds for the carbon fiber parts. We then covered the foam with fiberglass and epoxy resign. Next, we covered the epoxy with the vinyl ester resign. Now we sand and cover the materials with gel-coat and fiberglass to make the actual mold.
We CNC foam and wrapped our trike A-Arm with carbon fiber and vacuumed the resin through it. WE tested our new A-ARm design with over 500 pounds and it held. I think we can make the part lighter by maybe not using so many layers of carbon fiber and possibly changing the type of foam used in the part.
We have been working on answer questions – unfortunately each question brings up more questions than answers. Do we use Linear Activators, Hydraulics, Pneumatics, to control the lean? Several iteration of pros / cons with little or no distinct winner. We will need to test each to see. Perhaps a hybrid of two?
You do not have to know how to do everything but you do need to have the confidence to ask questions and to find the people that do know how answer the questions. So often the hardest part is asking the right question(s) so you get the answers you need.
Today, Lynden InvenTeam visits Tilting Motor Works in Marysville, WA. Bob Mighell gave us a tour of his shop. Thanks to Rob Takamura from NWIRC for joining us on our tour and for introducing us to Bob. Bob pointed out the fine intricacies and history of hyme joints. Bob also showed our team the leaning capabilities of an early prototype. This visit was truly eye opening for our team. We asked a lot of questions and got really great answers! It was also nice to have Bob Mighell put some of his input into our design!
Popular Science featured an article on Lynden InvenTeam 2012 on December 13th 2011. This is great news because word has been getting out. Lemelson MIT has been trying for years to get an article to Popular Science and its great to know that our invention made it to that level!
The Lynden InvenTeam did our phone blitz today and it was really a rush of excitement as we called in for potential sponsers. Our guests at this meeting were Diane Kamionka and Robert Takemura from the NW Innovation Resource Center who came to mentor and guide us through the donation process. Many thanks to them for taking time out of their day to help us out! Also, we were awarded with really delicious cookies made by Gay Weidkamp. Can someone say scrumptious?
Today we were invited to the school board meeting to do a presentation about our invention and explain to them what our invention was and how we were partnering up with local buisnesses to achieve our goal. Staff and School board members really got involved and asked us a lot of questions and I could tell that they were excited about our project. I can honestly say that when each of our team members spoke, we all sounded confident and sure about our invention. The whole experience wasn't as nerve racking as I would have thought. And most important, we got to show our prototype to the audience and that was very neat. Not only were they friendly, they also took real interest in what we were saying. Just seeing their facial expressions when they saw the prototype was encouraging in a way. If this is how they reactcted with our prototype then it will be very exciting to see their reactions to a more avanced model.
Our InvenTeam went over to Janicki Industries today! To start off, I can easily say that say that this experience was in fact very neat. Not only did we get to see spectacular equipment and projects but throughout our whole visit, we really got insight on our invention. I'm sure I speak for the whole team when I say that the more we interacted with people from Janicki Industries, the simpler it was to combine our ideas together. We also got to play around with certain various components that we could possibly see going into our invention. "I learned that multiple ideas lead into creative inventing", Tack Dallas says. After a long day at Janicki, we finally returned back to Lynden High School where we then held a meeting and had a pizza celebration in the Rhino Lab!
The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Initiative celebrates outstanding innovators and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. InvenTeams are groups of high school students, teachers, and mentors working together to create technological solutions to real-world problems.
Our Lynden InvenTeam has been awarded $9,885 in grant funding to pursue our yearlong invention project of designing and building a three wheeled recumbent trike with a composite frame. The ‘trike’ would allow a rider to set a speed at which the hydraulic system would give the rider the ability to use their body to lean & turn. As the trike slows below the pre-set speed it becomes a safe, more stable & rigid platform. This invention awards persons with balance limitations the opportunity to experience the joy of bicycle riding while reaping the benefits of core body strengthening.
Lynden’s invention has been praised as having some of the highest commercial potential of this year’s entrants. Therefore, we would love to have you follow us through our journey. Stay posted for more updates.