A group of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology is travelling 2,000 miles to race aerodynamically fitted recumbent bicycles. The Human Powered Vehicle Team will enter its vehicle, named “Colossus,” in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 2013 Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC) West Coast Competition.
The competition will be held Friday, April 12, through Sunday, April 14, at San Joe State University and the Hellyer County Park Velodrome in San Jose, Calif. Missouri S&T’s Human Powered Vehicle Team will compete against teams from universities from around the nation to design, build and operate a human-powered vehicle for practical urban use.
The competition is divided into three main events. The first component is an innovation event, where the team will present their vehicle to a panel of judges and explain how it was conceptualized and fabricated; the team will also hand in a design report. The second component is a speed competition that demonstrates how fast the vehicle can go on an Olympic-style velodrome track. Teams field both male and female riders and are given a rolling start.
The final component of the event is the endurance race. This event will place the team’s vehicle in an urban environment where they will have to maneuver through various road obstacles, such as hairpin turns, water hazards and speed bumps. The team will earn points in each category, which will then be totaled as part of its overall standings.
This year’s vehicle features a carbon fiber fairing or aerodynamic shell, and an electrically based landing gear, which makes the craft capable of staying upright when stopped. The team implemented additional, including headlights, taillights, brake lights and blinkers. The vehicle also features adjustable frame geometry that accommodates riders of varying heights and capabilities and makes the vehicle potentially usable by a larger segment of the population.
Dr. Daniel Stutts, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at S&T, is the Human Powered Vehicle Team faculty advisor. Dashiell Moore, a senior in engineering management from Rolla, Mo., is the team leader for 2013.
For more information on the competition visit the 2013 Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC) West Coast Competition website at http://www.asme.org/events/competitions/human-powered-vehicle-challenge-(hpvc).
The following students are part of the 2013 Human Powered Vehicle Team: