Challenge: Power-Assist Handcycle
Challenger: Adaptive Cycling Foundation
University Partner: University of Dayton
Student Team: Ali Aldhamer, Ben Berry, John Feldhausen and Jack McCormick
Faculty: David Dunn, BIll Kaval, Bradley Ratliff, and Eric Janz
QL+ Program Manager: Amber Humphrey
The purpose of the Power-Assist Handcycle project was to design and construct a removable apparatus to add to an existing handcycle that could propel a rider safely and effectively. Currently, upright riders use push bars to propel hand-cyclists uphill during group rides, however, this tactic is inherently dangerous for both riders. The solution developed by the University of Dayton senior design team adapted and installed a Grin Technology single side hub motor to fit the handcycle components and constraints.
The heart of the design includes a Grin All-Axle Hub Motor that will provide ample torque to drive a rider at least 20 mph up standard road inclines. The lithium-ion battery provides up to two hours of continuous power. Additionally, the regenerative braking portion of the design will further enhance the power output duration of the battery beyond the quoted two hours. The design also allows for users to monitor speed, time of ride, battery levels, and other features. Another important design criteria met was to ensure all components were completely removable and did not affect the integrity of the handycycle. Basic hand tools allow for complete disassembly of the power assist feature, allowing a basic pedal ride if desired.
Due to the unforeseen health circumstances of COVID-19, the project was unfortunately halted near the end of the assembly. Therefore, the device was not tested for use, but it is near complete and the design research promises strong and effective results. The power assist system allows for disabled riders to safely and effectively participate in group rides, as well as feel confident on solo rides. Thus, the therapeutic activity of biking is a hobby that hand-cyclists can enjoy to the fullest.