Rory, Alan and Bill met to discuss next steps for Move With Freedom and the Morphing Handcycle and the Morphing Wheelchair. Alan brought along an important breakthrough: A low cost 1/8th scale model of the latest handcycle design. This working (it morphs!) model was made using a CNC router, cutting out thin plywood. Alan's friend did it for $100! Wow, that is amazing, and so useful. This model shows a new version of the design that includes automatic adjustment of the seat bottom and the seat back.
I'm holding up the single sheet of plywood that supplied all the parts for the model. It's really amazing that a fully working, accurate scale model can be made so quickly, easily, and cheaply.
This is what we're calling "Morph 2.5" Morph 2 weighed almost 60 pounds, while Morph 3 was about 40. But Morph 2 worked better, and had better steering. At the recent MassTLC Innovation 2000 unConference, Rory wanted to come with an improved vehicle. I a period of just a week, George Reynolds and Rory combined Morph 2 and Morph 3. They took the aluminum front end from Morph 3, and fixed the footrest design, and put that on Morph 2. Then George removed the vestigial angle adjust mechanism that didn't work out on Morph 2. That also removed one morphing joint. Voila. We cut some 13 pounds from the weight! (Background has been hastily Photoshopped to remove clutter.)
Here's Morph II as stood during our marathon measuring session last summer. Notice that the struts are gone, one morphing joint is gone, the steel footrests are gone, the steel front end is gone.
The main tube is crumpling. Oops. Too much force, all piling up in one spot. We'll have to fix that. Rory was noticing that the pedals seemed to be getting closer to him as he rode.
Closeup. The tube had too much force on its surface. Can't do that!
The steel "test rig" set up with a bungee lift system. No gas springs. Also note the seat has the self-adjusting mechanism. so when you morph, the seat automatically corrects for added tilt. It works so well you don't know its there.
Note the big black shock cord bundle. It's helping me morph up.
Now I'm morphed down. Note the path of the cord. It goes between the two steel members. The bungee lift system works better with a clear center span, and with flanking support members. This frame design can also accommodate a single gas spring.
This post shows the uncut video from our design session at Baron Engineering on Monday, August 17, with John Baron and Alan Ball. Bill Warner mans the camera.
This video tips the scales at a Titanic length of 8 minutes, which in the "dog minutes" of the Internet translates to a major time committment (is that 56 "Internet" minutes?)
But there's a lot of interesting stuff here, including how you can make a morphing handcycle using bungee cords. (no kidding. Shock cord works great)
This Powerpoint presentation reviews today's online design session with Alan Ball, Rory McCarthy, and Bill Warner. The goal is to nail down the geometry of the morphing mechanism in stick figure, and then proceed with some basic frame design.
Now that we've got two morphing vehicles on the road, the benefits of the Morph II design are easy to see. It has excellent steering geometry in low rider and high rider modes. Mainly, we need to fix the issue that we can't adjust the seat angle, and the struts provided on Morph II turned out to be an unworkable solution due to the high forces that travel through those struts while you are sitting, and even higher forces while you are riding.
This presentation compares Morph II, the Bobby Hall, and a proposed new design, which essentially keeps the Morph II morphing frame, but allows it to morph through its full travel. Next will the the challenge of designing a seat that allows the proper adjustments.