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Design, Build, and Installation of an Automated Bike Rental System as a Part of Capstone Design

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Scott F. Kiefer York College of Pennsylvania

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Scott Kiefer has spent the past fifteen years teaching mechanical engineering at four institutions. As an exemplary teaching specialist in mechanical engineering at Michigan State University, Scott received the Withrow Award for Teaching Excellence, given to one faculty member in the College in Engineering for outstanding instructional performance. Scott specializes in machine design, vibrations and controls, and mechatronics. He started his career at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez in the traditional role of teaching and administering a modest research program. At Trine University, a small private school in Angola, Indiana, Scott taught ten different courses from introductory freshman courses to senior design, while serving as advisor to many undergraduate research projects. For the last four years, Scott has been at York College of Pennsylvania where his concentration is on undergraduate education in mechanical engineering.

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Tristan M. Ericson York College of Pennsylvania

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Dr. Tristan Ericson is an assistant professor at York College of Pennsylvania. Prior to this appointment, he was a visiting professor at Bucknell University and received his PhD from Ohio State University in 2012. His research interests are vibrations of mechanical systems and planetary gear dynamics.

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Kala Meah York College of Pennsylvania

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Kala Meah received the B.Sc. degree from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 1998, the M.Sc. degree from South Dakota State University in 2003, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Wyoming in 2007, all in Electrical Engineering. From 1998 to 2000, he worked for several power companies in Bangladesh. Currently, Dr. Meah is an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering program, Department of Engineering and Computer Science, York College of Pennsylvania, York, PA, USA. His research interest includes electrical power, HVDC transmission, renewable energy, energy conversion, and engineering education.

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James Moscola York College of Pennsylvania

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James Moscola is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Computer Engineering at York College of Pennsylvania. He received a B.S. in Physical Science from Muhlenberg College in 2000, a B.S. in Computer Engineering, a M.S. in Computer Science, and a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 2001, 2003, and 2008 respectively. His interests include reconfigurable architectures and embedded systems.

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The Mechanical, Electrical, and Computer Engineering Programs at York College of Pennsylvania have mandatory co-op programs in which each student receives three semesters of engineering work experience. Our senior design courses further develop our students’ design and project development skills by intentionally targeting projects that emphasize working within a larger team. For example, we have built autonomous robots for the International Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) and formula style race cars for the Society of Automotive Engineering Formula Student Design Competition (FSAE). While successfully developing our students’ project development and group communication skills, these projects lacked the personal interaction with a customer with well (or sometimes poorly) defined specifications and constraints. To fill this need, and to help build community relationships, one of this past year’s senior design projects sought to design and build a bike rental system. The product will connect the college campus to the downtown York business district. Two representatives from companies in the business district were the customers who helped the students develop specifications, participated in planning meetings, and attended design reviews of the bike rental system. We and our business partners hope that the bike rental system will increase the number of students frequenting downtown York and its businesses.

In the first stage of this project, in the 2014-15 academic year, two teams of engineering students developed their own independent designs. Each team had about ten mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering students. Faculty advisors from all three disciplines advised on the projects. The initial phase of the project was conducted over two semesters. The design work was completed in the first semester (summer 2014), and the construction and testing of two prototypes was completed in the second semester (spring 2015). After prototype completion, both designs were presented to the company representatives to solicit their feedback. This concluded the first phase of the project.

After receiving feedback from the customers, the second phase of the project, spanning the 2015-16 academic year, began with a new group of students. These students further developed the mechanical, electrical, and computer designs this past summer (2015), combining the best aspects of the two prototype designs. These students will construct two bike racks (spring 2016) for implementation. We intend to place one bike rack on campus and the other in downtown York when they are complete.

Kiefer, S. F., & Ericson, T. M., & Meah, K., & Moscola, J. (2016, June), Design, Build, and Installation of an Automated Bike Rental System as a Part of Capstone Design Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26686

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