Thursday, October 22, 2009

Moon Buggy Drivers

Based on biometrics, and a democratic vote, the moon buggy team has officially chosen the drivers for the vehicle. Eric Peloquin is the male driver and Cassie Maurer is the female driver. Matt Kihm and Krisa Ryan will be the back-up drivers.

Pictured above first four team members left to right: Krisa Ryan, Cassie Maurer, Eric Peloquin and Matt Kihm

Monday, October 19, 2009

First Presentation of the Semester!

Last Tuesday, the 13th was our first presentation of the semester. For us, it was a brief run-through of everything we had determined to that point. We had made some hard decisions by then, such as the main chassis frame and materials, the front and rear drive trains, all over suspension, the wheels and the seating ideas.
We had a great discussion with our guests critics, especially Jeremy from Cannondale. Lots of our concerns were addressed and we were able to set out on another adventure into the next round of design work for the vehicle. We decided to set some hard points for the seating position of the riders to help guide the design for the rest of the vehicle.
The mock-up group was able to build a sturdy design to allow the seating group to measure the angles of the seating in the chassis. They have done a great job, which is really informing every other group, chassis, drive train, and suspension.
Wish us luck! More photos to come!

Cradle of Aviation- Long Island, NY

To start off the semester, we went to the Cradle of Aviation in Long Island, NY to gain some inspiration for our project. We met some engineers from Apollo 11, and they gave us some pretty spectacular tours and showed us lots of small details that they designed into the Apollo 11. It was a great experience!

Monday, October 12, 2009

In Progress

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, October 13th: Our first guest critic will be coming from Cannondale to review our progress thus far.

Thursday, November 5th: We will be giving an in-progress presentation to the NASA Moon Buggy Race representatives.

Wednesday, December 16th: Final presentation!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Rules

Construction Requirements

Moonbuggy Teams- each moonbuggy must be the work of a student team of a high school or an accredited institution of higher learning. A group of high schools may also work in collaboration toward building a moonbuggy entry.

Propulsion System- human powered (one or both passengers); energy storage devices- such as springs, flywheels or others- are not allowed.

Collapsed Dimensions- prior to course testing, Assembly judging is conducted the morning of the race, prior to the first run. The collapsed vehicle must fit in a volume of maximum dimension 4'x 4'x 4'. Tape, strap, or other device can be used to hold the buggy together in the collapsed configuration; however, all such devices must be part of what is carried (see item 4 below) and any component not to be part of the buggy when racing the course must be left in the “tool area” following assembly timing A frame of this dimension will be placed over the collapsed moonbuggy for verification. No contact with the buggy by the team is permitted while being measured

Weight- the vehicle must be lifted and carried 20 feet by the two passengers, without aid of any sort (e.g., no wheels) in the unassembled 4'x 4'x 4' volume configuration.
Assembled Dimensions- the maximum width of the assembled vehicle, with riders onboard, is four (4) feet, including wheels. There are no constraints for height and length of the assembled vehicle.

Vehicles not constructed by the entering team are not acceptable. Vehicles that have been previously entered should contain major modifications that attempt to improve on design and performance. Students are expected to design, construct and test their own buggies, and the race drivers, chosen from each team, should also be involved in these activities.
No constraints are imposed in the means of contact between the buggy and the simulated lunar surface. We encourage creativity and participants are open to using wheels, belts, treads, etc.
All parts of the buggy, including the seat, steering controls, and peddles, with which the riders have normal contact must be designed such that their lowest surface must be at least 15” (38.1 cm) above the ground when the buggy is at rest on a level surface and with riders onboard. In the case of the peddles and steering controls, that measurement is to be made when that part is in the lowest position possible (not when the buggy is in the collapsed configuration).
The vehicle must have a turning radius of 15 feet or less.

For safety reasons, it is recommended that the center of gravity of the "vehicle plus passengers" be low enough to safely handle slopes of 30 degrees front-to-back and side-to-side. Any moonbuggy exhibiting handling characteristics or other vehicle dynamics that are deemed unsafe or unstable by the judges will be disqualified from the competition. This determination will be made by inspection of the assembled moonbuggies prior to course testing. Any moonbuggy that is judged to have become unsafe while racing or passengers who are found to be injured or bleeding can be disqualified from that race attempt and removed from the course.
Each vehicle must have seat restraints for each of the two passengers. The restraints must be worn during runs of the course.

All sharp edges and protrusions must be eliminated (i.e. padded) or guarded as necessary to the satisfaction of the judges.

The vehicle must be equipped with the following elements: simulated TV camera (approximately 2" x 3" x 6"), simulated high gain antenna (approximately diameter of reflector: 2'), two simulated batteries (each approximately 4"x 6"x 8"), moon dust abatement devices (aka fenders) over each wheel, simulated electronic controls- radio and display console (total combined approximate size 1 cubic foot) and national or institution flag. These items will be checked prior to, and after, each course run.

Backing up is not required, but may be useful.

Vehicles that do not satisfy the intent of the moonbuggy competition can be disqualified.
Only vehicles registered for the competition will be allowed in the pits area.
Brakes must be present to insure the ability to safely stop the vehicle.
Protective equipment and clothing are be required when engaged in a construction activity, like welding, that requires appropriate protective gear

Passenger Rules

Moonbuggy Passengers- two (2) student team members (one female and one male) must propel the moonbuggy over the course.

Eye protection (e.g. safety glasses, goggles, or face shield), head protection (a bicycle helmet), and appropriate clothing must be worn during operation of the moonbuggy. Shoes are required. Although at the discretion of adult riders, adult supervisors, and parents of minors, it is recommended that clothing providing some protection against cuts and abrasion be worn (e.g. long sleeved and long torso shirts, long pants, and socks).

No appendages such as stilts may be used on the feet of the moonbuggy passengers.
Pushing the moonbuggy with a pole or other implement is not allowed. A rider’s use of their hands on the wheels as with a wheelchair to rock or otherwise facilitate moving the moonbuggy is permitted.

The consumption of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances by any team member at any time during the event is strictly prohibited and is grounds for disqualification of the team.
Only clipless style peddles require compatible and interlocking cleat-style shoes. Standard size peddles that include cleat-style clips do not have to be matched with cleat-style shoes for running the race. The feet of both riders must be on the peddles at the end of the timed assembly, but do not need to be engaged with any included restraints. In addition, riders and buggies are expected to be fully ready to race on the course, including helmets, full fingered gloves, goggles, and attached seatbelts to complete the timed assembly exercise. Be careful in adjusting the chain while racing. Each team will be required to develop a “Signal System” between the two riders to ensure hands are clear of the chain. They will be asked to describe their communication plan to the Marshall Safety Action team (MSAT) member and/or the Starter prior to the race.

The Team

Front Row: Eric Peloquin, Fiona Rupert, Soomi Lee, Kyu Lee, Cassie Maurer
Middle Row: Professor Michael Beresford, Krisa Ryan, Mingzi Cui, Seungkyun Lee, Flo Delgado
Back Row: Matt Hall, Rachael Rudnik, Cliff Warren, Bryan Cloyd
Not Pictured: Yarrow Thorne, Matt Kihm

RISD Joins The Great Moon Buggy Race!!

Over 70 schools from across the world compete annually in Alabama at NASA's Great Moon Buggy Race. 09-10 will be the first year that RISD has entered NASA's Great Moon Buggy Race. 15 Industrial Design students under Professor Michael Beresford will design and fabricate a moon buggy to compete April 2-3, 2010. Over 70 schools from across the world compete annually in Alabama.