Subject:  Some mechanism studies
 Date: December 31, 2006 11:56:02 AM EST

Hi Graham and Bill,

To understand the geometric constraints on the morphing handcycle a bit better, I made a very simple mechanism that can be dragged around to see the behavior of the morph. I matched the dimensions to a set of Photoshop concept images that Rory had created, and it seems like a promising evolution of the handcycle design. It uses a 26" rear wheel and a 16" front wheel, similar to the existing prototype, and has trail characteristics reasonably similar to the Hall cycle in the lowered position (4-5" of trail.)

I understand that the existing prototype has similar trail characteristiscs, so it would be great to compare a side view and see what we can learn from the existing model. Graham, could you take a screencap of the existing Solidworks model in low view and Photoshop it over the bikematch.png image? I just put the image on a new layer and set the opacity to 40% or so.

I found Rory a Solidworks 2003 mechanism tutorial, so it should be possible to replicate this mechanism in Solidworks, enabling easy project data flow. The design seems to have room in the upright position to place the feet behind the wheel, so it should be possible to steer in tight quarters. Rory is doing a Photoshop rendering of a proposed transforming footrest system; I'll add it to the existing mechanism to see if the math is viable.

So far, so good. The Torchmate people have confirmed that they can cut the DXF files, and we're awaiting a picture of the test cut tube end to go forward with that part, so things look very promising.


Eliot did just a few hours of work here, but it was a crucial contribution. He proved that Rory’s side view model in Photoshop could work in a real mechanism. He modeled it in Pro-E, and this model was translated into Solidworks. This then became the mechanism basis for the Morph 2 design.

Here Eliot overlays in yellow the mechanism design. Note that it lines up perfectly with Rory’s side view, in both high rider and low rider modes


Note: The approach of stating design goals as “intentions”, and of giving “intention names” to key parts of the system is a technique that Bill Warner, co-founder of Move with Freedom, is working on in his up-coming book “Intention and Invention”

These notes served as the input to the mechanical design work done by Graham Butler on the Morph 2 prototype that is on the road now.


First meeting: October 24, 2006, second meeting October 25, 2006

Meeting with Rory McCarthy, Graham Butler, Bill Warner, in Bill's office

Meeting began with 3 minute overview from each person.

After some discussion, moved into exercise: Intentions of the Invention for the Morphing Handcycle.

Intention name:

    added mobility
    gained freedom
    move with freedom
    move to freedom

    Regain Freedom   Intention name for the Morphing Handcycle

Morphing handcycle has four intention modes, that have these names:

    Low Rider - intends to provide the joys of long distance handcyling

        Low Rider intends to morph effortlessly into High Rider mode.

        Low Rider intends to lock securely into Low Rider mode using Fast Lock

            Fast Lock intends to secure the low rider upon reaching full low rider position.

            Fast Lock intends to allow fast unlock and morph up. A natural, fluid motion.

    High Rider - intends to provide indoor freedom crutches used to provide (and wheelchair now provides? More than that?)

        High Rider intends to permit you freedom to interact with people indoors.

        High Rider intends to provide an easy way for the rider to get on and off.

        High Rider intends to provide high maneuverability indoors.

        Rory, I added these from discussion, not notes. You may need to edit:

            High Rider intends to be a stable upright handcycle for outdoor and indoor use.

            High Rider intends to morph effortlessly into Low Rider.

            High Rider intends to lock securily in high rider mode

            High Rider itends to jump curbs

            High Rider intends to handle a couple steps. (More access than a wheelchair!)


Proposal for revised Morphing Handcycle work arrangements

The following document outlines suggested changes in responsibilities and working relationships related to the Morphing handcycle.

History and Current Status
PPD has assisted Move With Freedom in the realization and design process for the morphing handcycle.  Under an initial arrangement, PPD was to assist with design and also fabricate a first prototype of the morphing handcycle.  PPD offered to work at a significantly reduced rate in order to be able to get as much done as possible on limited funds.  PPD did this because of the social value of the project and the passion of the people involved.  Due to the great complexity of the project, the initial budget was used up during the ideation and design phase.  PPD further reduced its rate to accommodate additional design work and changes in project scope.  Bill Warner has suggested some changes in working relationships in order to move forward most effectively.

Graham Butler (currently a PPD & morphing Handcycle team member) has decided to strike out on his own and start a company to manufacture adaptive equipment.  Move with Freedom wishes to empower him by shifting the roles and responsibilities in the project.  Compensation is to be revised accordingly.  Compensation arrangements will also reflect the changing scope of the project.

Graham’s revised role
Graham is now taking on a role as leader of the current fabrication effort.  Graham and Bill Warner will work out a compensation arrangement for this task.  Graham and Bill will also work out arrangements as necessary for future phases of the project (additional prototyping, production and distribution etc)

Revised PPD role and responsibilities
PPD is very proud to have helped get the project to the point of realization.  PPD will invoice for the remainder of the initial budget, though it will no longer directly lead the prototype effort.  PPD will do the following as a good faith effort to see the project through (because we want the morphing handcycle to be built!):
Provide full access to our office, computers, fabrication shop and tools for as long as is required to create the first working prototype
Continue to play an assistive role for Graham with the current fabrication efforts
oProvide a place to stay for Graham
oReview design changes
oSuggest fabrication techniques
oHelp make parts
oHelp procure parts (to be reimbursed)
oHelp assemble
oHelp debug
oHelp TEST!
oFacilitate getting the team together
Participate in future design reviews to improve the handcycle (up to 16 hours are included without additional budget requirements)
Be available for future work – to be negotiated as needed.  We’re excited about the project and we would like to be involved.


(Editor’s Note:)

 Subject:  [MorphingHandcycle] Meeting notes and Challenge description
 Date: December 2, 2005 5:29:18 PM EST


We had a great meeting yesterday at Bill's office.  Bill, Rory, Jamie
and Graham attended.  We accomplished the main goal of creating a
draft definition of the problem (in the form of a challenge
description).  We also began the brainstorming which gives us a jump
on the feasibility analysis (Phase II).

The initial draft of the challenge statement is posted in the files
section of the group.  Bill has additional information from the
meeting in the form of an audio recording and pictures of sketches and
people etc.  Bill, please let us know if you can post those on the
yahoo group.

The next steps of the process will be to take some time (approximately
2 weeks) for everyone in the group to check the challenge statement:
make sure that it makes sense and see if we have left anything out. 
Jamie will go over it with Matt and Mike and PPD will do more
brainstorming on vehicles that could accomplish all the important
tasks identified so far.  Bill and Rory, please continue your
brainstorming also.  

I would suggest that we check in (possibly conference call) in a week
or so to review the challenge statement and brainstorming progress. As
you brainstorm, please record results in a format that can be posted
on the group.

As brainstorming progresses, we will keep track of the ideas generated
and then at some point have a session to initially choose which ones
get taken to the next level (computer models, small scale rough
physical models, research into mechanisms etc).

Comments / suggestions welcome


Here is the Design Challenge Document:

Problem Specification: Definition of the challenge
We feel that the following set of tasks cannot currently be adequately addressed by any single assistive device.  The lives of many people with disabilities can be greatly improved if a device can be created that can allow the user to perform all of these tasks with relative ease and is otherwise pleasing to the user.  The winning solution will be able to complete these tasks in the least time, though other factors such as comfort, ease of use, overall versatility and “I want that!” will also be taken into strong consideration. The tasks below are presented as part of a typical day.

Essential elements of the vehicle not explicitly described in the challenge tasks:
Must have the “magic / I want that” factor in hand cycle mode;  People should want to use it because it’s a good handcycle that happens to be able to also bring them into tight indoor spaces such as restaurants and bathrooms.
Suggested vehicle weight: 30-40 lbs;  less is better if other requirements can be met.
Must be able to carry crutches in all modes.