A team of QL+ engineering students from Cal Poly was tasked with the Challenge of designing and building a Curb Navigation Device for Air Force Veteran, Velette Britt. Velette is an Air Force Veteran who served from 2007 to 2016. In August of 2015, she was riding her mountain bike in Colorado. She attempted to ride down a very technical, sandy, and steep descent and fell almost 60 feet. As a result of this crash, she suffered from a spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. She is now in a wheelchair and paralyzed from the waist down.
Velette asked QL+ students to create a device that would allow her to traverse curbs safely and easily and without the assistance of others. The device needs to be manual, long-lasting, lightweight, weather-resistant, easy to attach, quick to deploy, traverse a range of curb heights, inexpensive, and support up to 220 pounds.
The team discovered that adapting and optimizing an anti-tipper design may be the best way to solve the proposed Challenge. The students decided that this is the best design to adapt because it follows all of their specifications. It is easy to attach and use and offers the best opportunity for solving the challenge. A linear actuator is the best option to provide momentum for the climb. A linear actuator made by Progressive Automations was chosen. The actuator offers 6 inches of stroke and can support up to a 600-lb load. The prototype was manufactured, assembled, and tested. The prototype successfully climbed 3-inch curbs.
We are proud of their hard work!