Developing the final VIVA

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Tomorrow I have my final VIVA presentation and I have been developing and rehearsing the presentation as well as some extra design work to accompany it: Overall, I feel confident for my VIVA presentation, but not so much in the core design. I have been rehearsing the timing solidly and so I hope the presentation will go well, the only problem I foresee is the fact that some elements are missing form my designs…

Skeleton Suit VIVA Presentation

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Today, I had my VIVA presentation for the Skeleton Suit. Unfortunately, Bethan was too ill to attend and so only Richard was present to give feedback. Overall, I feel the presentation went well, though I believe Richard could spot the holes in the basis of the project and could seem the problems that I could see. He commended the presentation however, which I was really pleased about! I think now, I need to have a think about whether the skeleton suit was the right route to go down, or if I should instead work towards another one of my designs such as the laser idea…

Returning to the project with a new direction

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So today I have moved my attention back to my subject project, though I have been thinking considerably about the direction I was taking with the project before Christmas… I have been thinking about the skeleton suit as a product and I am not convinced that it is a really a viable product which could actually meet the brief and enter the market. This seems to be the view held by both Beth and Richard Morris… For this reason, I have decided to return to my laser bubble concept, which was in-fact my most popular design by far with both fellow designers and my market research group. I have been looking into the technologies available for the project¬†as well as assessing my previous research and I feel confident with my new direction for my subject project!

New, mini laser emitters & dual laser system

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Today I have received some miniature laser emitters that I ordered yesterday, which seem to be perfect for my project! The new lasers are so small that I can fit two in a space smaller than I could fit one of the previous laser pens! For this reason, I have decided to opt for a dual laser system which will produce a far more visible arc on the floor, which will hopefully ensure that drivers could still be able to see the arc in lighter conditions. My little test rig using a small motor and 2 AA batteries has been quite successful and so now, I need to work a way to mount this on the bike….

180 Light and Laser

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I have been working on a few ideas for the past day, which have mainly taken the form of combining the 180 degree light concept and a the laser bubble concept. My ideas mainly consist of mounting a a laser device in the centre of a semi circular light which could fit on to the rear of the bike… I feel that combining these concepts into one product might allow the rider to be as visible as possible, by creating a device which projects to the road, but also illuminates in the bike itself too! My next concern now is finding a way to mount the device to the bike, which I feel may be a more difficult task than I might anticipate….

Initial Prototype

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I have finally been able to complete a final prototype for my bike light come laser bubble projector! The prototype would attach to the seat stays, where it would be suspended above the rear wheel. Being in this position, it would be clearly visible to other road users as well as allowing the laser beam to project on to the road clearly! I have designed a lockable hinge to hold the arms at different angles. The user would move the device to the correct angle and then tighten the hinge with a simple thumb screw. The problems I have been identifying are mainly the problem of the hinges holding the arms have a tendency to slip and then the device falls onto the wheel, but this is something I hope could be fixed quite easily…

Adding lighting strips

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Today I have received my LED strips, which I will be applying to the outer edges of the design to provide a steady all round lighting source! I have found the strips to be relatively easy to solder, especially with my new gas powered soldering iron, which has been a real lifesaver! Fortunately, it seems these strip LEDs create a huge amount of light in comparison with the single LEDs I have been using previously. Annoyingly however they require a 12v power supply, which might make it difficult to create a portable lighting system to be mounted on a bike… All I need to do now is test my prototype in an outdoors environment!

Testing the lighting prototype

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A few evenings ago I was able to test my prototype on my street. Thankfully, my house mate was free to video my testing, which ended slightly poorly due to the prototype slipping and hitting my rear wheel, which left it slightly broken…. From this test, I have redesigned the light to have greater strength and an improved thumbscrew design for the locking hinge. After testing this new, stronger design, it has become evident that the shape and mounting system is flawed, as the prototype broke again, on the bike mountings this time…. The lighting however was very visible, but I am unsure quite where to go with this design if I am honest….

Interim viva

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Today, I gave a viva presentation to Beth for my project… Whilst Bethan was very complimentary on my presentation techniques, she agreed that the fragility of the design was indeed very problematic… Bethan maintained that simplicity was key and she advised that I considered cutting the bulk down to the bare minimum… I am now considering cutting the large size down by removing the lighting element and keeping the laser element, but using the lasers to provide a small amount of light… I feel this is a good decision as most of the cyclists in my target market would already own a set of cycle lights, and so the addition of extra lights might end up more of an inconvenience to them. Overall, I am really quite confident for my presentation. I feel at ease speaking about my project and with the notes I had displayed on my laptop screen, […]

A Simpler Approach

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From Bethan’s feedback on my project, I have decided to make some changes to my design, mainly in shrinking it’s size to decrease the bulk of the product. I have adapted the design to fit a laser bubble device on the chain-stays or seat-stays of the bike. The device is currently attached to the old design mount, which will need to be changed due to it’s lack of stability… To ensure the laser would project correctly, I used trigonometry to find the correct angle for the mirror. I have now made a part to hold the mirror in place, which can also easily fit onto the motor. Overall I am pretty happy with this new direction, though it is clear that the emitter device will need to be developed to include a better shell as well as a rechargeable battery system.