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Title: Developing a Consumer Product that Mechanically Shields a Bicycle Seat from Rain and Snow
Authors: Dale, Sam
Advisors: Nosenchuck, Daniel
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Certificate Program: Robotics & Intelligent Systems Program
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: A wet seat is the bane of the bicycle commuter's daily trek. Commonly, bike owners wrap a plastic bag around the seat when they park or they use one of the shower-cap-like covers that are already available in bike shops and online. But both options leave the rider toting around a drenched sheet of plastic from location to location. Setting out to develop a novel solution to this problem, a new bicycle seat cover was designed that mechanically shields the bicycle seat from the elements while also eliminating the aforementioned storage issues. This seat cover is attached directly to the seat post so that it can be deployed immediately, retracted into a fixed location (eliminating the need to carry a wet casing), and will not be easily forgotten or lost. To achieve this, a pivot mechanism with support ribbing was developed and refined. When fully deployed, the ribbing holds the protective fabric taut in a non-form-fitting manner (similarly to the sun visor on a baby stroller). The design was started as an MAE 340D: Independent Work with Design project, and the thesis work centered around refining the design, adding an automated deployment component, making the design mass producible, and building a rigorous testing apparatus. However, a large portion of this work was affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic. The two key and novel traits of this design (the pivot mechanism and the non-form-fitting nature of the deployed cover) will be defined in a provisional patent application and if (after further refinements) the product is determined to be commercially viable, a full patent application will be filed and the product will be brought to market. Before that point, however, numerous design improvements and additional, rigorous tests are planned.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 1924-2020

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