Purdue News

April 26, 2005

Purdue seniors to present self-accelerating bicycle and other projects

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University School of Mechanical Engineering seniors on Thursday and Friday (April 28-29) will demonstrate several prototypes of projects and products, including a self-accelerating bicycle, lunar vehicle, catapulting arrows and ringing clocks.

The students worked in teams throughout the semester to design and develop the products that will be shown to the public at 2 p.m. Thursday (April 28) in the intramural fields by the Purdue Airport and at 9:30 a.m. Friday (April 29) in the Materials and Electrical Engineering Building atrium.

Projects on display Thursday include:

• Error recovery – devices that can recover an unmanned vehicle the size of an ATV that has been rendered immobile.

• Catapult – a model of a repeating catapult that uses a crossbow and torsion springs to launch an arrow. The project is based on a Greek text from around 300 B.C.

Projects on display Friday include:

• Regenerative braking bicycle – provides a system for assisted acceleration by storing energy in an extension spring through the rider's brakes. The stored energy is then utilized to help the bicycle accelerate.

• Lunar vehicle – automated deployable structure for eventual lunar and Mars missions that includes a solar charging station for four different rovers that will roll out of the structure.

• Clock – weight-operated bell ringing mechanism based on a 15th century sketch from the "Opusculum de Architectura" by famed painter and sculptor Francesco di Giorgio Martini.

Writer: Cynthia Sequin, (765) 494-4192, csequin@purdue.edu

Sources: Raymond Cipra, associate professor of mechanical engineering, (765) 494-5725, Raymond.j.cipra.1@purdue.edu

Kathryn Leahy, student coordinator, (765) 404-2695, kleahy@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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