Seniors begin building foldable-bike

February 9, 2017 — by Daniel Bessonov and Jingyi Wang

In the Silicon Valley, urban transportation has always been an immense pain — regardless of whether people drive a car, use public transit or own a bike, all three traditional methods have negatives that can outweigh their positives.

Realizing this, seniors Daniel Luo, Rachel Won and Brite Wang are seeking to create a means of transportation that would be both cost-effective and time-efficient: a foldable bike.

The project is part of the student’s Engineering Design and Development senior project, a class taught by teacher Audrey Warmuth.

The reason for invention, Wang said, is to enable commuters to more easily carry their bikes while taking public transportation or driving.

Although Wang said that there are already foldable bike prototypes being developed, he and his team are creating a model that they think is more cost-effective and portable in an urban setting. The bike would also be less prone to theft because it can be taken anywhere and never left unattended.

With a limited budget of $100, the seniors realized that they would need more money to make the prototype a reality. Thus, Won decided to reach out to the Saratoga community through principal Paul Robinson’s “Week at a Glance” email to all parents and staff.

Those donations resulted in money from four sources, something that Won said “really saved us.”

Having now completed the intricate 3D models and sketches needed to actually assemble the prototype, the team’s next challenge is to create a real-life model of the bike for testing.

“So now that we are quite a way through designing the bike, our next goal is to get some prototypes out into the community,” Wang said.

As for the future and marketing, the seniors are not necessarily sure as to what is in store for the bike; however, they said that they will be sure to keep an open mind to the product’s success in the future.

“Although it seems like really far away right now, I would definitely not rule out marketing and continuing to work on the bike after the year is done,” Wang said.

 

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