June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Design in Engineering Education
24.631.1 - 24.631.17
From Idea to Prototyping A hands-on engaging undergraduate design experience This paper describes an undergraduate-level problem-based design project that relates toeasing a real annoying experience for most drivers: the speed bump. It focuses on an engaging,mentoring-based learning process from inception to prototyping, while bearing in mind aspectsof commercialization. The process starts with observation – an essential first step in problem solving – of whatwe take for granted, in this case, the solid, static, annoying speed bump. The next step isdiscussing and thinking critically, identifying pros and cons of existing solutions. It is followedby a more broad definition of the problem as a “vehicular speed reducer” instead of “speedbump,” focusing on the real problem. This is followed by a re-representation of the problem,performing inquiry-based focused research, thinking divergently to generate multiplealternatives, experimenting, testing, and evaluating multiple relevant solutions. In addition, non-technical aspects of the project were considered such as sustainability, commercialization, aswell as political and environmental friendliness. The problem with existing speed bumps is multi-faceted: they cause vehicle damage,driver discomfort, and interfere with emergency response vehicles just to name a few. Mostimportantly, the design of the speed bump has remained unchanged for over half a century, andfor the most part it is an ad-hoc design. Redefining the problem allows for innovative ideas toflow, taking off from the current inside-the-box thinking. Students who have been involved inthis on-going project have gained experience in multiple non-technical soft skills such ascommunication, time management, problem-solving, and the ability to benefit from constructivecriticism. The status of the project sits in the middle of testing our latest prototype which utilizessprings as a mechanism to make the speed bump more dynamic. The idea is to have themechanism impact fast vehicles while having no impact on vehicles abiding by the speed limit.
Raviv, D., & Radzins, A. (2014, June), From Idea to Prototyping A Hands-on, Engaging Undergraduate Design Experience Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/20522
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