December 2, 2005: Design Meeting with Page Product Design- Creation of Design Challenge Document

(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.
Must be able to change a flat tire w/o assistance.
Should be easy to maintain (for example by using traditional bike components wherever possible)
Should be easily loaded into and out of a car (i.e. can be done by a person with a disability without assistance)
Must transition from one phase to another with “reasonable” effort and no assistance.  Morphing should take less than 2 minutes in either direction.
Must accommodate an “easy access” bag large enough for everyday items – similar to a bag that can carry a laptop computer.  Bag placement should not unduly impede other vehicle operations.

The Challenge:
Transfer from a regular wheelchair into the Morph inside a house.
Open the door.
Leave the house (fit through the doorway 26 inches wide).
Load morph into the back of a minivan.  This may involve the use of crutches so the user can get then into the driver’s seat of the car.  Drive to nice cycling location.
Unload the Morph from the car and transfer into the Morph.  Stow crutches.
Climb and descend a10% grade grass hill 100 feet long.  (for example to get from a parking lot to watch a game at a soccer field)
Back up in handcycle mode to maneuver.
Cycle on roads for approximately 6mi.  Roads will be hilly, windy, rough and include stop signs. Rider should be able to achieve up to 30 mph.
Get to the post office: Open door, go inside.  Back up and turn 180 degrees in a 4 ft radius.  It is allowable to back up a maximum of 3 times to execute the turn.
Get keys & mail out of bag and back into bag.
Reach up to unlock mail box and check the mail.  Reach up to a height of 58 inches.
Pay cashier, (counter 38 inches high).
Go down the sidewalk and into the bank.
Go up a 6 inch curb and down an 8 inch curb.
Go into the grocery store & maneuver to any part of the store.
Use an ADA bathroom efficiently including handwashing.
Shop for 2 bags of groceries, reaching up to shelves 65 inches tall.
Transfer 10-12 items from shelf into basket.
Unload basket and Check out.
Transfer bags from checkout into basket.
Cycle back to car, Go 6 miles up to 30 mph with groceries on the vehicle.
Repeat car load/unload procedure and drive back to house.
Proceed through the door and into the house. 
Transfer back to regular wheelchair.