College Exhibition: LTU 2009Tue, 26 May 2009 00:00:00 -0700
Lawrence Technological University (LTU) celebrated its second annual Transportation Design Show earlier this month. The second year (Sophomore) and first year (Freshmen) classes both presented projects at the degree show. The Sophomore project brief was to create a concept vehicle that reinforced the Jeep brand while capturing new customers in a niche market. The Freshmen were tasked to develop a Ford sustainable vehicle catering to a developing country in Africa. As an added challenge, Adidas requested the creation of an interface between the driver and vehicle to enhance the driver experience. Here are some of their projects:
Gregor Duler (Freshman)
The Roon was designed to cater to Egyptians with sustainability as the main product attribute. Inspired by the aesthetics of a muscular horse and sleek design, the Roon is consists of a light weight aluminum body structure and recyclable plastic panels. As Egypt enjoys 300 days of sunshine per year, the vehicle is propelled by a solar-powered engine that harnesses energy from fiber optics located in the upper (white) body panels. It also contains a battery pack for night and cloudy day drives. Due to extreme temperature fluctuations, the vehicle has specially designed airless wheels that act as a suspension system and, when stuck in the sand, the tire segments act as ‘shovels' utilizing centrifugal force.
The Adidas Adisphere shoe was designed to be integrated with the Ford Roon's movable floor mat, which contains the gas and brake pedal functions. The control mat is connected to the vehicle through ‘bluetooth' software. The purpose for the movable floor mat is to provide the user flexibility in finding their optimal body position. Aimed at travel agents who drive clients through the city pointing out different locations, the Adisphere integrates an interface within the control mat via concave forms in the shoe which make contact with the gas and brake pedal.
Jeep Urban War-Machine
Christopher Nichols (Sophomore)
To protect soldiers from the unfortunate threats of modern combat, the Jeep Urban War Machine (UWM) absorbs and dissipates a blast by allowing its three-piece body to flex upward when triggered by an in-ground explosion. The UWM takes functional inspiration from the head, thorax and abdomen of an ant, by utilizing an independently rotating nose, cab, and tail sections. The geodesic forms throughout the body structure aid in neutralizing the effect of roadside bombs. The rear section of the UWM is designed so that soldiers have exterior standing room, to facilitate immediate evacuation in dire situations.
The Adidas Reflex takes the concept of reflexology and creates a new integrated driver experience with the vehicle and its passengers. The sole is designed with specially designed circuits to stimulate specific parts of the foot. These points directly affect the function and comfort of the human organs. This concept creates a driver experience by having calmer soldiers upon exiting the vehicle. Less tense, more focused passengers allow the driver more focus and decision making ability.