For a mechatronics elective course we were asked to design a single person vehicle. The design was expected to be embodied in a working prototype. We chose to base our vehicle on existing electric longboards. We found out that these were generally controlled with handheld remote controls, which users thought were counter-intuitive and inconvenient. In our design, the need for a remote control was eliminated by a cruise control button on the board. For this project I mainly focussed on programming and hardware design.
The need for a handheld remote control was eliminated by placing the controls on the board. The user can use his or her feet to control the longboard with one intuitive button.
The user starts to build up speed by stepping, similar to a regular longboard. When the desired speed is reached, the user automatically shifts his or her front foot so it presses the cruise control button. When the user wants to stop or speed up the user simply has to alter his or her stance and the foot will shift from the button without thinking, deactivating the cruise control.
I learned several technical design skills such as electrical engineering, writing software and designing hardware. Practicing these skills was especially interesting because these were integrated in a properly functioning prototype with real potential.