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MAE494:

Design Project Final Report

DESIGN OF MODULAR RAMP FOR WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBILITY


Group 7: Daniel Lawrence Matt Schwenzfeier

Alexander Grenning Robert Crabtree Matt Schwartz

Table of Contents
1. Problem Description.3 1.1 Problem Statement.4 2. Customer Requirements5 2.1 List of Customer Requirements.5 2.2 Discussion of Most Critical Requirements.6 3. Engineering Specifications7 3.1 List of Engineering Specifications....7 3.2 Discussion of Critical Engineering Specifications..8 4. Conceptual Design.9 4.1 Concept Generation (Divergence)..9 4.2 Concept Selection (Convergence).10 4.3 Discussion of Conceptual Design10 5. Embodiment Design.....11 5.1 Description of Major Subsystems/Components....11 5.2 Critical Technical Challenges to be solved in Detailed Design.....12 6. Detailed Design....16 6.1 Product Functionality.18 6.2 Design of Track Sections..18 6.3 Design of Folding Platform.19 6.4 Performance Analysis...20 6.5 Cost Analysis.22 6.6 Safety Analysis.23 6.7 Discussion of Final Design..23 7. Testing and Refinement.24 7.1 Test Approach and Findings for Functionality and Feasibility..26 7.2 Test Approach and Findings for Tolerancing and Machinability.27 7.3 Test Approach and Findings of Assembly28 7.4 Impact of Prototyping Findings on our Design.28 8. Production........29 8.1 Production of the Platform29 8.2 Production of the Track Sections..29 8.3 Production of the Track Connections29 8.4 Assembly30 9. Conclusion..30 9.1 Assessment of Success.30 9.2 Opportunities for Future Development..31 10. References33

2 Appendix....34 A.1 Customer Requirements ......34 A.2 Engineering Specifications......35 A.3 House of Quality........38 A.4 Concept Generations........39 A.5 Concept Selection........41 A.6 Evolved Architecture......42 A.7 Larger CAD Models......43 A.8 Analysis Documents........45

1. Problem Description
Handicapped persons are faced with the problem of mobility on a daily basis. An every day trip to the store or night out to a favorite restaurant is not so every day for a handicapped person. Stairways and walkways have been predominantly designed for those of us who have the ability to freely walk around and use our legs; not for those required to use a wheel chair or other mobility aiding device. Handicapped persons are required to adapt and change their way of life due to their disability and inability to easily move from place to place. The most common problem faced by those who are required to use mobility equipment is getting up and down stairs/angled planes. Homes, buildings, and everyday pathways are common places that limit a handicapped persons capabilities due to the frequent use of stairs in those locations. Some numbers on handicapped persons according to the data collected in the 2010 U.S. Census (http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf) are as follows: 56.7 million people have some type of disability in the U.S. which equates to about 18.7% of the population or one in every five people. That number is extremely close to the estimated value discussed about provided by the University at Buffalo. 30.55 million people ages 15 and older have a disability that gives them trouble walking or using stairs. Specifically, 22.262 million people have trouble using stairs. As you can see, the number of people that are disabled in our country is significant. These numbers prove that there exists a large population of people that have to deal with mobility issues on a daily basis. Figure 1 below shows the distribution of those who use accessibility aids currently on the market.


Figure 1 Distribution of those who use accessibility aids throughout their home. http://dsc.ucsf.edu/pub_listing.php?pub_type=Report Report #14

As shown above, those who are physically disabled are currently forced to live in homes and places that can accommodate their needs. This can become a struggle as most people who suffer from immobilizing disabilities are not born with the issue. Those who are not born with the disability may be forced to move homes and or restructure their home. These restrictions force people to change the way they have been living their life simply because there is no way for them to get up and down stairs, or around society. There are currently many different types of ramps and lifts on the market but there is yet to exist a portable and versatile ramp that can be used with ease. The portable ramps cost around $1000 but can only cover a small amount of stairs because they take a slight angle to increase the user comfort when going up the ramp which

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restricts the height covered due to force issues. They are easily portable but cannot be used in large stair situations due to the angle restrictions. Also, a person must physically must the handicapped person up the ramp. The other group is elevators which cost around $5000 but need to be attached to the stairs and are not portable. They automatically carry someone up the stairs but can only be used on one set of stairs. Creating a system that is both portable, but versatile and covers all stair heights while maintain a low cost is essential.

1.1 Problem Statement


The information previously discussed leads to the introduction of our problem statement:

Address the need to make the physically disabled an active part of society by creating a lightweight, versatile,
ramping solution for everyday use. The design must be portable, easy to set up, and reliable. Objectives for Problem: Design a solution to aid those who use a wheelchair or power chair Design must be able to handle most stair heights with one collective system Maintain a low cost for the system between cost of portable ramp and elevator systems System must be portable and easy to transport (as lightweight as possible) Design must be user friendly (easy to assemble) and comfortable for the user/operator Solution must be safe, strong, and reliable

Constraints for Problem: # of persons required for set-up Balance between weight and strength of materials Use secure/reliable design components while maintaining low cost Variations between stairs and sizes

To determine the success of our project, a number of factors will be considered and measured through both prototype testing and analytical models. These measures include: Prototyping critical sections of our design to prove functionality as well as integrity we will prototype our most critical section (track connections) to prove we can hold tolerances and easily assemble them together. We will build a scale model of the ramp and tracks out of wood to prove functionality. Measuring ease of assembly allowing friends and unbiased persons to test our equipment will tell us how easy our tracks connect together and function. Measuring Versatility we will measure how many stairs the design can confine to by combining certain tracks and analyzing lengths and configurations. Measuring Proof of Concept using the model of the ramp and track, we will be able to convey our idea to those who require the use of a system like this as well as those who would need to help operate. This will provide necessary feedback on the overall concept.

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FEA analysis perform testing on the strength of track sections to ensure they will be able to withstand the forces that will be generated as well as allow us to determine if material choices will be sufficient. The remainder of this report will outline our design process used to develop a solution to the problem discussed above. We will discuss sections such as customer requirements, engineering specifications, concept generation, detailed design, prototyping and testing, etc. These sections will provide an overview to the steps we took to design our solution and ways in which we refined our design.

2. Customer Requirements
To represent critical end-users and others affected during the lifecycle of our system, we considered the following groups to develop customer requirements: Consumers - People with Disabilities (C) Families of those with Disabilities (F) Insurance Companies (I) National Government (G) Environmental Protection Agency (E) Businesses and Municipal Buildings (B)
(The letter in parenthesis correspond to the customer requirements they belong to in Table 1 and Appendix A.1)

We interviewed actual handicapped persons and those who use the current devices to better understand problems they have will current systems as well as changes they would like to see made. The emphasis of these customer groups is on the individual consumers since so many people in the United States require the use of mobility devices. Consumers are the ones who actually purchase the system and use the design.

2.1 List of Customer Requirements


We were able to come up with a list of customer requirements, shown in Table 1, we thought to be important through the information gained by interviews and research. The table has each customer requirement along with its corresponding importance. A full explanation of each customer requirement can be found in Appendix A.1. Customer Requirement Reliable (C, F, I, B) Safe (C, F, I, G, B) Easy to set up (C, F, B) User Friendly (C, F) Versatile (C, F, B) Meets Regulations (C, F, G) Importance 9.5 9.5 8.8 8.5 7.8 7.5

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Cost Effective (C, F, I, B) Efficient (C, F, B) Weather Resistant (C, F) Safe Power Source (C, F, E, B) Environmentally Friendly (G, E) 6.0 5.0 4.0 3.8 3.5

Table 1 - Customer requirement criteria and respective rank in decreasing importance

2.2 Discussion of Most Critical Requirements


Though there are multiple customer requirements, we focused primarily on 6 of them because they Reliable (C, F, I, B) The design must be reliable because the user is going to want the solution to work with ease when needed. There should not be issues with the design not cooperating when the user(s) are ready to operate. A reliable design equates to a high quality system which in turn creates a successful solution. Safe (C, F, I, G, B) The design must be safe because the user is going to want to use a product that with safely get them from point A to point B. Safety is of the utmost importance because a solution that lacks safety will not sell and will carry along a bad rep. A design that is not safe could result in further injury and harm which is the opposite of what our problem solution is. Easy to set up (C, F, B) The design must be easy to set up because the person that is setting the system up will not want to spend a lot of time configuring and connecting many pieces that require intricate connections. Simpler is better and makes the design more appealing by requiring less work and time to set up. User Friendly (C, F) The design has to be user friendly because the user will want something that is intuitive and easy to understand. A complex system with complex directions will require more time and work to operate which will not be appealing. Versatile (C, F, B) The design must be versatile as that is one our main selling points. The versatility of our design will allow us to show the many situations in which this system is superior to others. The users will prefer a system that possesses the ability to be used in most situations. Cost Effective (C, F, I, B) The design must be cost effective as a consumer will not want to spend a ton of money that they may not have on a product when there are others in the market with semi-similar functions. Money is always a driving point of any product and solution and the smaller the cost, the more appealing the system. Customer requirements are a major driving factor in the design process. Our solution is designed for the customers and the needs they require. Next, another major design process factor will be discussed; engineering specifications. seemed to be the most important and significant factors in designing a successful solution.

3. Engineering Specifications
To develop our engineering specifications, we used the list of customer requirements in Table 1 and identified 20 engineering specifications. Using the House of Quality, Appendix A.3, relationships to customer requirements were identified to support calculation of the relative importance of each engineering specification.

3.1 List of Engineering Specifications


Table 2 shows the list of engineering specifications along with the relative importance of each specification. These importances are derived from the House of Quality shown Appendix A.3. Engineering Specifications Number of Steps to Assemble (~5) Range of Elevation Change (~10-12 Stairs) Time to Assemble (~5 Minutes) Reliability (~0 Failures per Year) Number of Steps to Operate (~2) Weight Capacity (~650 lbs.) Weight of System (~100 lbs.) Price of System (~$2,500) Number of Stair Rise Configurations (~Maximize Unable to Pinpoint Value) Material Strength (~60 MPa) Force Required to Operate (~0 lbs.) Number of Safety Features (~Maximize Unable to Pinpoint Value) Number of Codes Followed (~Maximize Unable to Pinpoint Value) Power Used (<5 Amph per use) Number of Water Proof Parts (~All Parts) Amount of Maintenance Required (~0 hrs.) Size of Product when Storing (~3 ft^3) Number of Rust Resistant Part (~All Parts) Number of Recyclable Parts (~33% of Parts)
Table 2 Engineering specifications and their respective importance (The number in parenthesis is the target value for the specification)

Importance (1-10) 8 8 8 7 7 7 6 6 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 3

3.2 Discussion of Critical Engineering Specifications


Based on relative weights, there are 7 engineering specifications that we will focus on due to their relationship to the problem and importance based on the intent of the design. Number of Steps to Assemble For obvious reasons, the number of steps to assemble directly influences the ease of set up requirement. The number of steps required for any product to be ready to use should be minimized to ease the burden on the customer, or operator. Range of Elevation Change In order to better accommodate as many handicap conditions, and environmental settings as possible, the maximization of elevation change would be necessary. Not only do we want to be able to cover as many stairs as possible, but in addition we want to be able to adjust for any number of stairs. For example, our goal could be to ascend at. Time to Assemble The direct correlation between number of steps to assemble and time to assemble is also intuitive. It is possible that the number of steps to assemble can remain low, while the time to assemble is high, therefore it was necessary to implement the duration of assembly as well. Reliability From a safety, cost, and reliability perspective; the number of failures which this product exhibits should of course be minimized. Being that the product is intended to be mobile and not fixed in one location makes design for reliability a difficult task. We will aim for six sigma reliability as a failure in this system could be deadly for the user. Weight Capacity More often than not the weight of someone with limited mobility will be greater than someone who can conveniently move around and burn calories. It is for this reason that weight capacity will be taken seriously, with the appropriate factor of safety in mind. We have estimated a using the weight of a heavy motorized wheel chair as well as a heavy user that the weight capacity will need to be around 600 pounds before a factor of safety is considered. Weight of System Again, for portability, the unit will have to weigh as little as possible. The person will be able to roll the system when in transport however the system will have to be lifted into a vehicle for long distance traveling. We do not want weight to be a factor that limits our customer range. Price of System Even though insurance companies will be covering a large part of this device, for people with disabilities and their families, the burden of paying for the device should be as cost effective as possible. The difficulty presented in this estimation is the lack of direct competition our product has. We are creating a product with no similar competitors on which to base a price.
(A complete description and list of all engineering specifications can be found in Appendix A.2)


From the roof of the house of quality, we found that there were many correlations between the engineering specifications. We found there to be very strong correlations between material strength and weight capacity, number of steps to assemble and assembly time, number of safety features and number of codes followed, reliability and maintenance time required, reliability and number of rust resistant parts, and lastly

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number of steps to operate along with time required to operate. It was also found that the specifications of material strength as well as reliability generally had a lot of positive correlations to other specifications, while characteristics such as range of elevation and number of stair rise configurations had an extremely large number of negative correlations with respect to other engineering specs. These correlations played an important role in deciding what we need to maximize, minimize, and how much will that affect other characteristics related to its field. Engineering specifications put a value to our customer requirements and make them easier to

understand. The specifications are the specific values in which we will aim to try and hit as far as characteristic values. Next, we began generating concepts and possible solutions to the problem stated above.

4. Conceptual Design
The conceptual design phase involved both identification of potential concepts and selection of a single concept to focus on for the semester. Each aspect is detailed here. A complete list of all concepts can be found in Appendix A.4.

4.1 Concept Generation (Divergence)


To develop concepts, our group used the gallery method. This stage was done as a group over a 2 hour period. We were able to generate 38 concepts. Several of those concepts are shown in Figures 2-6. Larger images of some concepts along with their description can be found in Appendix A.4.

Figure 2 Pulley/Cable Ramp System Figure 3 Extendable Ramp Figure 4 Lego Ramp Design


Figure 5 Tanks Tracks on Bottom of Wheelchair Figure 6 Adaptable Wheels

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4.2 Concept Selection (Convergence)


To select a single concept our group followed a 4 stage process based on feasibility, voting, and a formal decision matrix.

4.2.1 Feasibility Analysis


We began to narrow our concepts down by performing feasibility analysis as a group where we look at how feasible each alternative actually was. This allowed us to get the number of concepts down to 24 concepts.

4.2.2 Voting Process


Next we collectively voted on the remaining 24 concepts. Each group member was given 15 votes in round one to distribute on the concepts. A maximum of 5 votes per idea was established. Allowing more than one vote per idea allowed for some members to show more support for ideas they thought were better. We followed that up with a second round of voting where each group member was given 9 votes and could place a maximum of 3 votes per idea. These two rounds of voting helped us narrow the field down to our top five ideas.

4.2.3 Decision Matrix


Lastly, we took these five concepts and placed them into a decision matrix. This matrix can be found in Appendix A.5. We used our top eight engineering specifications from the House of Quality to better rank the top five. We chose the top eight because they were the ones that most applied to our intended design. The decision matrix resulted in the top choice being the Lego ramp design, closely followed by the extendable ramp and tank tracks. The results were very close from the matrix and we were not sure if we were set on one concept. We decided that we would move forward by combining different aspects of each concept to design the best solution. Combining aspects we liked from each concept allowed us to take the advantages from each idea and combine them together. We had decided on a hybrid concept that would later be called the Modular Ramp System.

4.3 Discussion of Conceptual Design


Through our concept generating process, we were able to successfully generate many different ideas. From these ideas, we were able to use various tools to narrow the concepts down to a number in which we could use a decision matrix on. These concepts all seemed to solve the problem we intended on solving because they are, in theory, would get the handicapped person from A (one side of stairs) to B (other side of stairs). We were able to decide on designing a folding ramp system that was portable with connecting tracks of different lengths and mechanically powered. This design combined aspects of a few of our concepts which gave us a better overall design concept. The design will allow us to build a lightweight, cost-effective, and effective system to help the physically disabled get up and down stairs.

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5. Embodiment Design
Before developing a detailed design, we establish a preliminary system layout which in Figure 7. An exploded view of our system is shown in Figure 8.


Figure 7 - Preliminary system layout Figure 8 Exploded view of system layout

5.1 Description of Major Subsystems/Components


We began our initial modeling back in MAE 451. We were able to make substantial improvements from our design throughout this semester. When we began to put thought into loading and functionality, we realized our design needed to improve. First, the tracks changed from a U-Shape to a roller coaster type design in which we used track rollers to ensure the ramp could not fall backwards, went up straight, and did not slide off. The track connections changed as well. We made the track available in different lengths so that multiple sections can be combined to accommodate different stair heights. The tracks are now connected using a male and female part connected with a pin to provide an easy method of set up. Also, we brought the concept of a platform into the design. The platform adds several advantages to the design. First, the platform allows the system to operate with all types of wheel chair designs, regardless of track width between the tires. Also, the platform folds up at the bottom of the ramp to allow the wheel chair to load at very low angle. The platform then is pulled into horizontal position at which the user can be pulled up the staircase. The winch is now connected to the top of the platform to remove the need for a pulley and also free up some space so that we do not have to worry about the cable getting in the way on the bottom. This reduces cost, complexity, and set up time. The winch is now contained on the bottom of the platform in a hub to allow for easy operation and storage which also contains the rechargeable batteries. This makes it easier to turn the winch on and off as well as removes the need for additional parts on the bottom console. The top and bottom consoles are now designed so that the platform never actually comes out of the track. This

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provides easy packing and helps the ramp fold up. Lastly, we added what we refer to as landing gear, or a damper. This is a rack and pinion system will help the ramp on the way down while collapsing and provide a back force that will absorb some of the force while the ramp collapses.

5.2 Critical Technical Challenges to be Solved in Detailed Design


5.2.1 Design for Assembly


The assembly design phase for the development of the modular ramp system was critical to the success of this project. The ability to be assembled and disassembled quickly and efficiently for the operational assembly was the foremost concern. Preliminary assembly of various components by the manufacturer would of course be important, but time would not be as high of an importance.

Operational Assembly
Track Assembly Assembly of the individual track sections which are to be available in varying lengths will be accomplished through the interfacing of two large connecting pieces with male and female sides. These connection points were placed on the outer side of each track section in order to lower the risk of interfering with stair geometry and or platform movement. Upon sliding this connection together a pin can be inserted vertically into the male part extruding just beyond the limit of the female connector (see Figure 9). Tolerances for these parts should be accurate to about +/- 0.005 which we believe will allow for a tight enough fit to prevent flexing of the connections, but will still be easy to slide together in an efficient manner.
Figure 9 Track Connection Point; Assembled View

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Platform Assembly The proposed design for the platform which will hold both the mobility device and the disabled person contains several components. The top platform component is attached to the vertical, lower support by a stationary pin hinge which will not be removed by the operator. Configured to the underside of the platform is a winch and battery combination which will also not be removed by the operator. The only assembly required for the platform is for the front and back rollers to be inserted into the track sections previously configured, in addition to connecting the winch cable to the top module, which will be discussed below. See Figure 10 below; which gives a visual representation of the platform assembly as a whole.

Figure 10 Platform assembly: assembled view of both the horizontal and vertical support, placed in the tracks.

Wheelchair Interface Assembly After the mobility device has been loaded onto the platform it will strapped onto the platform by ratchet straps. Once the winch has pulled the platform to the top of the staircase it can be unloaded by disconnecting these tethers, effectively creating a simple, efficient means of interfacing the user to the product. Top & Bottom Console Assembly Connecting the top and bottom consoles to the individual track sections is nearly the same as connecting the individual track segments together. In the same manner, this assembly will require the insertion of a locking pin following the mating of the two segments.

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Platform The winch and battery setups will have to be attached to the platform during manufacturing. The flap on the leading edge of the platform to aid in the loading of the wheelchair will also have to be attached prior to shipment to the end user. Connecting the horizontal and vertical supports together with a steel bearing pin will be the final assembly process required for the platform. Track Connection The track assembly will be manufactured after the interface between the male and female connectors has been established. Prior to this, the track components are identical, and a male and a female piece must be attached using eight screws apiece to ensure a secure fit between the track and the male/female parts. After all the screws have been threaded, a locking pin will be used to secure the connection between the male and female component. The locking pin freedom will also provide variability in the male/female section lengths depending on the users needs. Top & Bottom Console The top and bottom console will be attached in a similar manner to the track connections. These components will use eight screws apiece to thread and establish the male and female parts, then a locking pin will be placed in to hold these components in place. The only difference is that instead of having freedom where each track connecting pin is placed, these modules must be placed in a fashion so that the bottom console is connected to the first piece of track, and the top console is attached after the last piece of track.

5.2.2 Design for Variability


Ramp assembly method- uses sections numbered 1-4(corresponding to number of stairs) o o o Pieces can attach in any order Can be used for 1-10 stairs in the regular package Higher capacity with special order

Upper and Lower console allow for variation in stair angle o Our product is designed to follow building codes for the steepest allowable stairs Decreasing the angle of the stairs will simply lean the user forward slightly, maintaining comfort and safety Flexible angle of console allows for some variation in stair dimensions

Product design for worst case scenario o Product dimensions, weight capacity, and strength designed for the heaviest, largest wheel chairs

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o Factory of safety of 2 ensures that our product will not only meet the 99% percentile but extend to even the worst case scenarios Width and shape of wheel chair nonfactor o o Platform design allows for wheelchair of any width as opposed to set width tracks All types of wheelchairs will be safe and secure Winch is connected to platform, not to the wheel chair frame Safety straps have ratchet design to secure to anywhere on the frame

5.2.3 Design for Manufacturing


The ability to manufacture the product and its parts is an essential part of design. If you are not physically able to produce the parts needed, you are unable to continue on with the design process. The ability to keep costs down when manufacturing the product can increase profits tremendously. The winch, battery, pulley, pins, etc. are all outsourced and not separately manufactured in-house. By outsourcing certain components, we are able to cut down on our cost, time, and effort spent on additional designs, specifically for the winch, battery, pulley system, pins, and other parts. While engineering specific parts such as the winch and battery to be ideal for our design would be rational, these outsourced parts will be more than sufficient for our prototype needs. Although a fair number of parts are being outsourced, there is still a large need for in house

manufacturing, specialized for the design of the top module, bottom module, and ramp sections. Stock parts will be used to help cut costs and minimize the number of parts manufactured in-house. The ramp will be injection molded out of HDPE allowing for high strength and versatility as stock pre drilled holes make it easy for attachment. The HDPE will give us a lightweight advantage with the ramp. The top and bottom modules will be made out of aluminum stock and will also require a milled hole on one face, so that the platform can easily slide from bottom to top. Our manufacturing process is kept very simple as all bolts and pins are the same, making every hole placement uniform to minimize errors.

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6. Detailed Design

Figure 11 Overall Assembly; Numbers Correspond to BOM Figure 12 Wheel in Track

Figure 13 Lower Section Figure 14 Track Connection


**Pictures of our design evolution may be found in appendix section A.6 with more design photos in A.7**

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Console Tracks Console Platform Powertrain Misc.

Part # 1.01 1.02 1.03 2.01 2.02 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04

Description in. Aluminum Hollow Bar Stock 2x2x24 Track Roller Aluminum Flat Bar Stock 1x2x8 3/4in Aluminum Hollow Tube Stock 6 1/4in. Aluminum Hollow Bar Stock 2x2x6 HDPE Base 1/8 in. Aluminum Hollow Bar Stock 1x1x10 Ratchet Strap Steel Diameter Solid Round Stock 4ft. Winch (2000lb Capacity) 12V Battery (30Ah) 2.5 33Amp 14AWG Wire Locking Pins, 10 total: 6 for tracks, 2 per console 1/4 Diameter, 1.8 Usable Long Bolts, 80 total needed: 64 for tracks, 16 for console 8-32, 1.125 long Short Bolts, 80 total needed: 64 for tracks, 16 for console 8-32, 1.5 usable U-Bolt, 3 total needed: 1 for powertrain cage, 1 for top console, 1 for front edge of platform
Table 3 Bill of Materials

Quantity 1 4 1 1 1 1 1 4 1 1 2 1 10

Total Price 204.00 107.44 95.12 11.16 56.68 56.60 25.70 62.88 5.72 69.99 201.49 0.93 19.50

Location Metals Depot: T3214 McMaster: 6461K19 Metals Depot: F412 McMaster: 1658T51 Metals Depot: T3214 Metals Depot: T3118 McMaster: 29925T23 Metals Depot: R112 Northern Tool: 14190 AtBatt: 24379 McMaster: 7587K973 McMaster: 98404A138 McMaster: 92196A200 McMaster: 92196A194 McMaster: 3035T11

4.01 4.02 4.03 M.01

M.02 M.03 M.04

2 1 3

11.86 4.51 7.62

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6.1 Product Functionality


RAMP ASSEMBLY
Track sections must first be connected to a predetermined length depending on the staircase height Track sections are connected via quick connect pin through male/female parts attached to the track sections

PLATFORM CONNECTION/LOADING
Platform rollers slide into the track sections and platform folds to allow for easy loading Platform locks in an ascending position which provides the rider with a level platform surface to prevent sliding/rolling off

ASCENDING THE STAIRCASE


Upon command from the winch remote, the winch pulls the platform up the staircase and results in the above described folding of the platform using a series of safety locks to prevent the platform from unfolding during operation

UNLOADING
After the platform has been raised to the top of the staircase, unloading is as simple as disconnecting any restraints, and rolling the rider off

DISASSEMBLY
Platform returned to loading position, removed from tracks Tracks disassembled and stored

6.2 Design of Track Sections


The following factors were considered in the design of the track sections: Weight Strength Ease of Assembly Dimensions Cost Manufacturability

19 Material Selection In order to optimize the influential factors above with regards to material selection the proposed material for the track sections was aluminum. Aluminum is commonly available, easy to machine, and lightweight. With a yield strength of about 55 MPa aluminums strength, if designed efficiently will provide excellent material properties for the track sections. Weight Of Part Density (wolframalpha.com): 0.09754lb/in3 Volume (typical staircase: 13in. length section): 19.5in3 Single Track Section Weight: 1.90lb or 0.17lb/in. Weight of Assembled Track (staircase height @ 8ft. requires 160 linear in.): 27.20lb

6.3 Design of Folding Platform


Figure 15 Transparent platform structure shown in the folded loading position

The platform design is critical to the operation of the modular ramp system. The following are the main design attributes considered in the design of the platform.

20 The platform should fold up to allow the handicapped person to easily roll up onto the horizontal support As the platform raises, the handicapped person should be in a level position to prevent any feeling of tipping backwards/forwards During operation, when the track components are all assembled, the platform should remain held into the tracks to allow the unit to fold up correctly, and so that it may re-ascend the stairs if necessary Material Selection As with the track sections described above, weight should be minimized for the folding platform, while maintaining strength, functionality, and durability. HDPE was selected for the platform since its strength to weight ratio is excellent with a yield strength of 20-25 MPa and a density of 0.0344in3 (wolframalpha.com). HDPE is often used in the packaging industry, and has been a proven load bearing material used in the manufacture of pallets for shipping/transport of products. Approximate volume required for injection molded HDPE platform: 0.920ft3

6.4 Performance Analysis


Track Connection FEA - Displacement& Stress Analysis To determine whether our track profile design, and material selection was exceedingly adequate for the application we performed several simulations on the solid model of the track section. Note that the supports in the actual application will be spaced apart by the hypotenuse of the stair rise/run which is typically about 13 in. Displacement Analysis Parameters Weight of Occupant & Mobility Device: 650lb Weight on each wheel: 163lb Factor of Safety: 2 Load: 325lb Yield Stress: 55MPa Displacement Result:0.17mm Stress Result: 38MPa

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Figure 16 Stress simulation on single track section supported at stair contact points.

Figure 17 Displacement simulation on single track section supported at stair contact points.

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Winch From a performance view, the winch will need to have the following capacities (see appendix A.8 for electro- mechanical power calculations): Lift the platform and load to a desired height, up to 12 feet Perform the lifting operation within a desired time constraint, less than 4 minutes Withstand several operations following one charge cycle

6.5 Cost Analysis


During the design phase, one topic that continued to come up as important was the overall cost of the unit we were creating. There are other systems like ours, however none are as versatile, and cost upwards of $5,000. Our goal was to create a better product for substantially less, to make it commercially viable. This was achieved through a couple of clever ideas. Common Parts By implementing common parts, there is not only a significant cost savings advantage due to bulk purchasing, but production is made much easier through the use of common tools, and manufacturing steps. Connecting Pins There will typically be 8-10 pins used to connect together the modular ramp system prior to operation. The same diameter and length pins will be used to connect the track sections together in addition to the top and bottom modules. Socket Head Cap Screws The socket head cap screws which hold the male/female components to the track sections are socket

head cap screws. Even though the dimensions of the male and female parts are unique, the fasteners will be the same length and size. Allowing for easier assembly, and lower purchase cost. Powertrain The winch we decided upon (http://imgur.com/IyRlsI3) took some time to find. This one was chosen because of its very low cost, and low amperage demand on the batteries (30 amps for an average load). This meant that instead of 3 batteries, we are saving $100 by using two, which still give 10-12 uses per charge (50 min. of charge time)

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6.6 Safety Analysis


Product safety was considered for the entire system, but was stressed in the following subsystems: Track Sections/Consoles The placement of the tracks follows the contour of stairs to avoid flexure The thickness of the aluminum tracks is more than strong enough to support the maximum load of the passenger and wheelchair The track geometry prevents the platform from overturning The track sections and consoles are lined with galvanized rubber for increased grip

Platform The platform collapses down to a small angle of 9 degrees for when they mount and dismount at the bottom The platform starts at an angle of 9 degrees, and has a gradual and smooth transition to reach the horizontal position Winch The winch has a performance load of 2000lbs The integrity of the connection to the platform is adequate The platform will lock and keep the passenger on a level surface until they can dismount at the top.

6.7 Discussion of Final Design


The outcome of the entire design process has produced a concise and effective solution to the problem statement. The entire system has been functionally outlined above, with certain critical components being defined in a more detailed manner. After finalizing the design for the modular ramp system, several components were determined to be most important to prototype and test. Prototyping & Testing A representation of the platform/tracks should be developed to prove the essential functionality of the system (i.e. Make a prototype which folds and can be raised on track sections with the top of the platform being level to the ground). An assembly of the track connections themselves should be made to prove the performance of not only the predefined tolerances, but also the functionality, ease of assembly, and strength.

7. Testing and Refinement

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In order to explore several key critical issues in our design, we prototyped our two major subsystems. Our

approach to prototyping for each subsystem was decided upon based on the key concerns for that subsystem itself. We decided on prototyping the two major subsystems based on the ability of those subsystems, when tested and proven individually, to collectively prove both the feasibility as well as the integrity of our design. The first subsystem we prototyped is the largest and most visible portion of our design, and arguably the most important. In our design of the platform, we originally used aluminum framing with a steel sheet metal covering to keep the materials in the design simple. Late in the design process, when revisiting our goal to make this system as portable as possible, our group decided to change the platform material to high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Since this process requires a tremendous upfront cost in the design and production of a mold for the platform, we opted to design this portion of the product out of wood. Building the platform out of wood allowed us a couple of key advantages: Full scale model Maintains accurate assessment of functionality Exact dimensions allow for more realistic interpretation of the process itself Reduces prototype cost by thousands of dollars Gives customer groups the ability to view the entire process for approval/recommendations


Figure 18 Platform prototype in testing

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Our second subsystem that we prototyped is not necessarily the most noticeable part of the project,

however to our group this part is the key to our whole design. The track connections are the key to making our product the compact, portable design we set out to design. By successfully proving our track connections are simple, easy to operate, and safe, we are able to prove the major concept of our design. As a result of the decision to make the platform out of reduced cost materials, it no longer made sense to prototype the tracks in their entirety. We instead chose to manufacture a track connection with small portions of track. Our track and connection pieces were to be prototyped to exact dimensions using the exact materials we chose in our design process. This allowed us the advantages to view: Ability to machine to our desired tolerances Simplicity of the design Strength of the design Functionality of the connections Manufacturability of the materials we selected


Figure 19 3-D model (left) and actual prototype (right) with exact materials and dimensioning

Using the combination of these two prototypes, we were able to test several aspects of our design. This

includes the functionality, tolerancing and machinability, ease of assembly, and feasibility.

7.1 Test Approach and Findings for Functionality and Feasibility


The test approach for functionality and feasibility included both prototypes as well as some reliance on FEA analysis. I am including the proof of integrity of the track design in functionality as the design was proven though the use of FEA analysis. In further testing, strength tests would have been performed on the track sections as well as the connections, however this is destructive testing and would ruin our ability to display the prototype. Platform prototype

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Track section prototype FEA analysis The FEA analysis used a factor of safety and a worst case scenario to prove our track sections will be more than strong enough Combines the strength and deflection analysis with the proof of feasibility from the track sections to show effectiveness Proving that our varying length track section design will fit together flawlessly By proving that the sections fit together we remove any doubt of functionality of the track sections Proving our unique folding platform design is effective and very useful Showing that our design size and stair angle is effective for home use Showing that by adding minor components (winch, landing gear, ext) little physical effort is required


Figure 20 Strength test on track section at an estimated 1400 pounds, four times the maximum load from platform with factor of safety with no failure

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7.2 Test Approach and Findings for Tolerancing and Machinability


The test approach for tolerancing and machinability again includes the partial use of both prototypes. The platform prototype is limited in so far as the materials are not what are used in our design, however we were still able to achieve some valuable takeaways as far as dimensioning is concerned. Platform prototype Even with less accurate dimensioning, materials, and machining processes, the platform prototype remained functional Machinability of our platform is purely reliant on the ability to create an accurate mold

Track section prototype Tolerances remained effective even when machining is done with lower tolerance machines Machining would have been preferred on the CNC for highest accuracy Still able to machine accurately but in much larger timetable

7.3 Test Approach and Findings for Ease of Assembly


The test for ease of assembly is very simple for our prototyping. Almost the entirety of the assembly process occurs in the setting up of the tracks. The platform design comes in once piece as is and becomes portable by folding up, so the bulk of assembly occurs in the track set up. Track section prototype Connection prototype proves the ease of use of this design All pin connectors are identical to avoid part confusion Simple process o o o o Count number of stairs Select correct combination of track sections to ascend stairs Connect track pieces from bottom of staircase working towards top Secure track sections with spring loaded pins

7.4 Impact of Prototyping Findings on our Design


Validation for our design was provided based on our findings from prototyping. While the great majority of our design process was a success, there are certainly some specific places we would like to improve. Track section prototype Redesign would include slimming of profile to reduce weight o Due to FEA strength and deflection analysis proving current design provides more strength than needed

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o Reducing the weight not only lessens material cost but also makes the system even more portable- a major customer requirement Platform prototype Redesign would include hydraulic, regulating legs o o o Hydraulic legs would be included to keep the platform horizontal at all times Current design is effective but introduces some platform angles that we would like to alleviate After loading at small angle we would prefer to maintain horizontal platform orientation

Emergency shutoff addition o o o In testing found that the force of the platform being pulled up stairs would be very great Foreign objects, children, or pets could get in path of platform Emergency shutoff upon contact with foreign object would add safety for those around the product as well as the handicapped individual

Redesign would include the ability of the platform to maneuver around corners in staircases o o o Current design only goes up straight stair cases due to design time constraints Would require disassembling and reassembling on the next set of stairs Incorporations of hydraulic legs could allow for simple transitioning around corners

8. Production
From the information gathered throughout the detailed design and prototyping processes, we believe the best method of production would be to have most of the manufacturing outsourced with pieces such as the metal stock and the socket cap screws to be brought in from a supplier. The assembly would be done in house as well as the molding of the HDPE platform. Obviously the scope of economics would apply to the production, however this system is for a smaller percentage of the population so large scale production is not necessary. The subsections listed below describe the method of production for critical components of the design.

8.1 Production of the Platform


The platform is made of HDPE and manufactured by injection molding and therefore has a large initial cost due to the cost of the mold and tooling. Estimated cost of the mold would be in the vicinity of $100,000, however the expected life of the SPI Class 103 mold is over 200,000 cycles and once paid for would drastically increase the profit margin of production.

8.2 Production of the Track Sections


The tracks are made from 6061 aluminum hollow bar stock, and by use of a CNC are cut into the proper shape as well as given a finished edge. There would be two cuts down the length of the stock and a chamfer to

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finish the end. There would be a total of 160 holes drilled and tapped to 8-32 for the track connections. Finally the sections would be cut to the proper lengths and shipped to our assembly facility. The two 12 foot sections would take less than 2 hours to complete and would cost approximately $100 depending on the local shop prices and contract negotiation.

8.3 Production of the Track Connections



The track connections would be made using a CNC machine similar to that of the track sections. These pieces are much simpler however and would take less than an hour to complete the 10 connections per unit. The sections begin as a 1x2 solid 6061 aluminum bar stock and are cut down the length of the stock to achieve the final shape. There would be a total of 160 holes drilled, but not tapped to allow for the socket head screws to connect the tracks with the track connections. The expected cost is $50, consisting of 10 pieces per unit. In the future if it is economically viable, a purchase of a CNC machine to do the manufacturing of the tracks and connections would be considered.

8.4 Assembly

The system consists of numerous components that must be assembled, and this is the most time consuming portion of production. Due to the high cost, an automated process to attach the connections to the tracks was unable to be utilized, however, an alternative and less expensive method of quickly fastening the two pieces must be developed. A possible solution has been established and would consist of a modified flooring screwdriver that utilizes an auto feed system. This would drastically reduce the time required to assemble and therefore reduce the cost of assembly. The unit would be shipped in its portable state but would require some assembly before it is ready to ship to the customer. The majority of production is outsourced, but as the assembly would be done in house the assembly process is well defined. Below are the required steps to prepare the Modular Ramp System for shipment: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Mount the track connections to the track sections and upper and lower console Connect lateral support to legs of platform Connect track rollers to legs and platform Connect legs to platform Mount tie down straps to top of platform Mount eye hook to underside of platform Wire batteries in series and connect to winch Mount powertrain in housing Mount eye hook to powertrain housing

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10. Mount powertrain housing to bottom of platform The assembly process would require two trained individuals and time of assembly would be in the neighborhood of 1.5 hours. This is an initial estimate and with practice and modification to the assembly process could be streamlined. Upon completion of these steps, the production is completed and is ready to be distributed to the consumer.

9. Conclusion
From our effort this semester, we were able to develop a solution making the physically disabled a more active part of society. The remainder of this section assesses the level of success and opportunities for future work.

9.1 Assessment of Success


This semester, we were able to address the need to make the physically disabled a more active part of society, by developing a modular ramp system. The design is safe, efficient, and has its own unique advantages to the current market. If produced on the full scale, our design would be a lightweight, versatile, ramping system for everyday use by a handicapped person. Our overall assessment of success can be measured by the criteria of our final designs: ease of use, versatility, proof of concept, and finite element analysis. We were unable to construct a full prototype of exact materials as it was estimated to cost an upwards of $2,500. Therefore, a prototype made out of wood was created to show full functionality of the design, and a track section made from proper materials was created to prove ease of assembly, and calculations for support. With the prototype, we were able to test our assembly of the track connections with multiple people who had no previous knowledge of the projects scope. Our assembly was easy and intuitive enough that any person would be able to put it together, and acclaimed to be a simple and effective solution to our given problem. Optimal ease of assembly and implementation is critical, as it will effectively increase the potential customer base. Versatility was also an important factor in the overall design, and was shown in the prototype by proving the functionality of the track connections. With the different track connections, a wide range of varying stair case heights is achievable. By using a 1-2-3-4 system of track connections, where each length of track is equal to a specific number of stair lengths (each number defined as a multiple of the hypotenuse to cover one step) any configuration of up to ten stairs is obtainable. Our design was also successful through our proof of concept. One of our initial goals was to be able to convey our idea in a simplistic and visual manner, which can be measured by the acceptance of the design by the handicapped individuals and their assistant. Our design must be something that these individuals feel comfortable using, and trust enough to place themselves on and to use. After all of the individuals our design was shown to, and with the feedback we received from the poster session presentation, as a whole our design was very well

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received. Even though our initial prototype was made of low tolerancing materials, and manufactured in a wood shop, the functionality of the design was conveyed as a trustworthy solution to the problem statement thus protecting the integrity of our concept. With a fully functioning model using the proper materials pertaining to our design, this level of trust would increase significantly.

9.2 Opportunities for Future Development


There are a few issues we ran into that we would fix if this project were to pan out. The finite element analysis was performed on the track sections to determine their strength, and if the amount and type of material would be a feasible amount for adequate support. FEA analysis was only performed on the track sections as they were determined to be the point at which the design would be most likely to break or buckle to the load of weight from the platform plus handicap person and wheelchair. With this analysis it was calculated that even with a factor of safety of 2 for our given load, the strength of the sections was well below the yield strength of the material. This analysis shows that there is even room to remove some of the track length material cross section, to make it more lightweight, and still be strong enough to function sufficiently under the yield strength. All of these criteria for success were conveyed as an obtainable measurement when the design began, and all of these metrics were met through the prototype. With this said, we consider the project as a whole to be a great success through its demonstration, but as with any engineering design, there is always room for improvement. As previously discussed, there are multiple opportunities for improvement in our design, if we were to continue into the future and develop it further. Firstly, to further protect the integrity of our design, we would like to adjust portions of the ramp itself. When video footage of the ramp in action was taken traversing a stairwell, it was seen that there was a large forward leaning angle in the platform in its transition stage from loading to becoming a horizontal platform. For future development we would like to prevent this with the addition of hydraulic telescoping legs, to adjust this angle, and ensure that the user is always brought to a comfortable horizontal angle, and avoid the danger of sitting at a forward angle. Another improvement we would like to make would be to adjust our design to be able to traverse stair wells that rise, turn, a certain direction, and then rise again. As setting up the ramp and its entirety twice to traverse a stairwell would be a nuisance, we would like to develop a way to change the top modules, to account for specific types of stairs. In this manner the user can set up the tracks to turn at a certain median, and continue upwards in one smooth and fluid motion. One concept that is lacking in our design is a safety shutoff mechanism built in to the system. Our current winch has no way of telling if the force it is applying is a dangerous amount, and in the event that something was caught within the track length, the winch would continue to pull upwards, making certain scenarios extremely hazardous. We would like the winch system to shut off once a specifically high amount of force, so that in the event something gets stuck in the tracks and is interfering with the systems movement, the winch will stop pulling to ensure the safety of the user.

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Another added feature to our design would include a damper system housed on the bottom of the platform, for the sole purpose of a smoother transition, and less oscillation felt by the user whilst on the platform. Also with only our prototype, there was no real testing performed on our design. With a means of creating our full model we would perform three point bending tests, destructive tests, and many other tests to be able to analyze our design and refine it accordingly. Lastly, we would like our design to be efficiently compactable, and as portable as possible. Conceivably we would like the design to transform into a suitcase type device, where the ramps wheels will be used to drag the system around, the platform would collapse into the body of the suitcase, and all needed track length sections could be held underneath the platform. This would make it extremely easy to move around, as the system as a whole will be fairly heavy, and arduous to carry by hand. Continuing with these developments for our design would yield a safe and successfully designed product. With the completion of a method of manufacturing efficiently, this design could conceivably be market ready within a year. This time measurement is assuming this product is being sold from an established business entity, which has already provided a means of investors and has accommodated all other business arrangements.

10. References
UCSF Disability Statistics Center Publication Listing. 11 Oct. 2012. Disability Statistics Center. 24 Feb. 2013 <http://dsc.ucsf.edu/pub_listing.php?pub_type=Report>. Americans with Disabilities: 2010 p70-131.pdf. 15 July 2012. Americans With Disabilities: 2010. 28 Jan. 2013 <http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf>. Access Lists & Ramps/Home Elevators/Stairlifts/Wheelchair Lifts. 19 Mar. 2013. Access Lifts & Ramps Inc. Home Elevators. 3 Feb. 2013 <http://www.accessliftsandramps.com/>. Power wheelchair range testing and energy consumption during fatigue testing cooper. 3 Oct. 1995. Department of Veteran Affairs. 5 Feb. 2013 <http://www.rehab.research.va.gov/jour/95/32/3/pdf/cooper.pdf>. WolframlAlpha: Computational Knowledge Engine. 29 Mar. 2013. Wolfram Alpha. 7 Mar. 2013 <http://www.wolframalpha.com/>. McMaster-Carr. 11 Feb. 2013. McMaster-Carr. 19 Mar. 2013 <http://www.mcmaster.com/#>. Portable Generators, Pressure Washers, Power Tools, Welders l Northern Tool + Equipment. 13 Dec. 2012. Northern Tool + Equipment. 18 Mar. 2013 <http://www.northerntool.com/>.

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Metals Depot Buy Metal Online! Steel, Aluminum, Stainless, Brass. 9 Aug. 2012. Metals Depot. 17 Mar. 2013 <http://www.metalsdepot.com/>. Batteries, Battery Charger, Power Supplies l AtBatt.com. 19 Nov. 2012. Atbatt.com. 18 Mar. 2013 <http://www.atbatt.com/>.

A.1 Customer Requirements


List of Customer Requirements: 1. Efficient (C, F, B) a. 2. The product should be efficient, meaning it should use minimal power/effort to achieve a large goal. Easy to set up (C,F, B) a. The product created must be quick and simple to set up. As time is a very important factor of this customer requirement, consideration of the number of steps and tools required to set it up must be weighed. 3. Versatile (C, F, B) a. As the product will be used on a variety of stairs, it needs to be able to accommodate at least the most popular styles, but also account for different surfaces (carpet/wood/cement), heights and individual stair sizes. 4. Safe (C, F, I, G, B) a. Customers who will be using this product will require it to be safe for operation. The customer could be of any age and weight, and the chair they use could be up to several hundred pounds. The product needs to safely transport the operator and chair a multitude of times. 5. Cost Effective (C, F, I, B)

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a. Whether it is a private customer, a hospital or an insurance company paying for the product, it needs to be reasonably priced in order to be viable for a widespread number of consumer groups. 6. Reliable (C, F, I, B) a. A product, which is not reliable, is not a good product. By smart design, we can create a product with minimal maintenance and with six sigma standards of operation; we can guarantee a good reliable product. 7. Weather Resistant (C, F) a. As the product will be used in a variety of conditions both indoors and outdoors as well as on a variety of surfaces, the product must be able to withstand a large temperature range, have little or no rust spots or other failure points due to weather. Consideration should also be made for waterproofing electronic motors and batteries (if applicable). 8. User Friendly (C, F) a. Operation shouldnt be overly complicated or confusing. It should be easy to learn and remember how to operate the system. The number of steps to operate should be minimal as well as the input force of the user and the overall time needed to set up, use, deconstruct, and stow. 9. Meets Regulations (C, F, G) a. The system will likely be looked at by organizations that regulate the safety and failure rate of the product. This could be private insurance deciding whether or not to cover the premium to purchase the product, or a federal set of regulations set by the ADA. 10. Environmentally Friendly (G, E) a. With an ever-growing conscience for the planet, customers will likely require (or appreciate) the materials chosen for the system to be recyclable after the product lifespan has passed. 11. Safe Power Source(C, F, E, B) a. If the system is designed to expand with a motor, attention should be made to the source of power. Most likely it would be an electric motor, which if possible could be powered by renewable energy.

A.2 Engineering Specifications


Customer Requirements Efficient Easy to set up Engineering Specifications Power used Material specific strength Number of steps to assemble Goal Min Max Min

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Force required to assemble Time required to assemble Versatile Safe Cost Effective Reliable Portable Weather Resistant User Friendly Meets Regulations Recyclable Materials The Engineering Specifications introduced in the above chart are expanded upon and discussed in greater detail below in order to better understand their significance to the problem, and the implications of their respective benchmarks. 1. Power Used (~>5 Amph per use) a. To improve efficiency, the power consumption should be minimized, particularly since this unit is intended to be as mobile/portable as possible. For the unit to be operated outside away from other buildings, it would have to operate on DC power from a battery supply. 2. Material Specific Strength (~60 MPa) a. Rigidity of the product is a high priority in this design problem since it will involve transporting the user from one elevation to another. The reason specific strength is considered is to account for the fact that we are dealing with a portable system, so it is essential to consider the weight of the product even while optimizing the material strength required. 3. Number of Steps to Assemble (~5) a. For obvious reasons, the number of steps to assemble directly influences the ease of set up requirement. The number of steps required for any product to be ready to use should be minimized to ease the burden on the customer, or operator. 4. Force Required Assembling (~10 lbs.) a. To ensure this product is simple to use for all customer groups, including those who may be elderly, the force required to assemble the product is an essential specification. By minimizing the force required to assemble the product we simultaneously expand our potential customer range. Range of distance rise available Weight capacity Consumer price Reliability Weight Volume of product when collapsed Number of water proof parts Force required to operate Time required to operate Number of codes followed Number of recyclable materials Min Min Max 600 lb. Min Max Min Min Max Min Min Max Max

Table A.1 - Customer Requirements and Corresponding Engineering Specifications with proposed benchmarks

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5. Time to Assemble (~5 min.) a. The direct correlation between number of steps to assemble and time to assemble is also intuitive. It is possible that the number of steps to assemble can remain low, while the time to assemble is high, therefore it was necessary to implement the duration of assembly as well. 6. Range of Stairs Ascended (~1-10 stairs standard) a. In order to better accommodate as many handicap conditions, and environmental settings as possible, the maximization of elevation change would be necessary. Not only do we want to be able to cover as many stairs as possible, but in addition we want to be able to adjust for any number of stairs. For example, our goal could be to ascend at least 10 stairs with this system. To us, the system will now need to be capable of ascending any number of stairs from 1 to 10. 7. Weight Capacity (~650 lbs.) a. More often than not the weight of someone with limited mobility will be greater than someone who can conveniently move around and burn calories. It is for this reason that weight capacity will be taken seriously, with the appropriate factor of safety in mind. We have estimated a using the weight of a heavy motorized wheel chair as well as a heavy user that the weight capacity will need to be around 600 pounds before a factor of safety is considered. 8. Consumer Price ($2,500) a. Even though insurance companies will be covering a large part of this device, for people with disabilities and their families, the burden of paying for the device should be as cost effective as possible. The difficulty presented in this estimation is the lack of direct competition our product has. We are creating a product with no similar competitors on which to base a price. 9. Reliability (~0) a. From a safety, cost, and reliability perspective; the number of failures which this product exhibits should of course be minimized. Being that the product is intended to be mobile and not fixed in one location makes design for reliability a difficult task. We will aim for six sigma reliability as a failure in this system could be deadly for the user. 10. Weight (~100 lbs.) a. Again, for portability, the unit will have to weigh as little as possible. The person will be able to roll the system when in transport however the system will have to be lifted into a vehicle for long distance traveling. We do not want weight to be a factor that limits our customer range. 11. Volume of Product When Collapsed (~3 ft^3) a. In addition to weight being a factor in portability, the volume which the unit occupies when it is being transported should be minimized. This will allow the product to be stored in even smaller vehicles, and increase the convenience of moving around people with disabilities. 12. Number of Water Proof Parts (~All Parts)

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a. Obviously this product will not be submerged during operation or storage, but if it is exposed to water, especially in outdoor conditions, it should not take on moisture in its internal components. All vital parts should be water proof or at the very least water resistant. 13. Force Required to Operate (~0 lbs.) a. Another important consideration for this product being user friendly would be that little force is needed to operate. This stems from a major factor in most simple ramps. The assistant would historically be responsible for physically pushing the handicapped individual up the ramp. We want to minimize this requirement in order to continue to increase our customer range. 14. Time Required to Operate (~2 min.) a. Reducing the time required to move the person, or time required to operate, improves this products user friendliness. A product which takes far too long to operate would be inconvenient to the user, and people surrounding the environment in which this product is being used. In many cases this system will occupy the entire width of the staircase, so the faster the system can be used the faster normal operation can resume. 15. Materials Recyclable After Product Life (~33%) Maximize a. In a perfectly sustainable world, our product would be designed with 100% recyclable material. Unfortunately this is not always possible since material strength is more important for this product, but will be our ultimate goal.

A.3 House of Quality


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Figure A.1 House of Quality

A.4 Concept Generation


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. Design Alternatives Attachable, lightweight, portable ramp to back of wheelchair Triangular stair wedges Air bag lift system Hydraulic lift system that goes straight up and folds bridge open Rocket propelled wheelchair system Portable elevator Pulley/cable pull system for wheelchair Tank tracks on bottom of wheelchair Spider inspired walk system Stairs rotate into ramp with grip Escalator ramp system Smart material heat actuated system Large spherical wheels that can compress for more surface area contact Ramp pulled out of top stair similar to moving trucks Stairs designed with steps and flat sections for walking and wheel chair use Hand crank system with favorable gear ratio Attachment that allows for riding up hand rails Wheels that adapt to stairs Wheel axle walks up stairs All terrain wheelchair Extendable ramp similar to ladders, winch connects to chair and pulls up wheel chair Star shapes wheels Skis on front of wheel chair Automated hand cart Winding ramps for less steep gradient Exoskeleton wheelchair Mag Lev lift system

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28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. Gyroscopic wheel chair (bubble design) Wheel chair with legs to pull up Lego combinable ramp system Lightweight composite collapsible ramp Scissor lift installed into chair Platform pulley lift system Crane lift device Air bag friction reduction system (air hockey table) Rotational lift system that swings platform up to top (think twister ride) Spiral ramp system that ends with bridge to top Pneumatic hand air pump to propel block up stairs

Table A.2 List of All Generated Concepts Figure A.2 Pulley/Cable System (#1 Below) Figure A.3 Tank tracks Figure A.4 Adaptable Wheels Figure A.5 Extendable Ramp

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Figure A.6 Lego Ramp Design


Below is a description of our top five concepts. The figures above correspond to the descriptions below in the same order. 1. Pulley/Cable Pull System with Skis (Figure A.2) - This system developed as a combination of several ideas in the gallery method process. The wheel chair itself will lock into ski shaped planks and be pulled up the stairs by a hand crank pulley system. This is very portable and simple, but may not be as safe and stable as the traditional ramp system. In addition, this system would require someone to mechanically crank the lift, and depending on the quality of the crank this could be a very strenuous task. Also to be considered, the crank would need to lock into the stairs in some way. 2. Tank tracks on bottom of wheel chair (Figure A.3) - This design alternative began as a very farfetched idea, however as it has continued to progress through the rounds it has become a group favorite. The advantage of this design is that it would be attached to the chair at all times and lower at the push of a button to climb the stairs. The tank tracks provide great stability and would give the ability to climb any number of stairs. The concern is that it would be very heavy and expensive to make as well as prone to mechanical failure and would require a motion based balance system. This would undoubtedly provide the most freedom of any of the devices as the tank tracks would be steered just as the wheels are. This allows for turning in any direction and the most control of any device on our lists. 3. Adaptable Wheels (Figure A.4) - This design ended up embodying several similar ideas that concern wheels that actually adapt to the stairs. The major concept in this idea is to have a wheel which could be expanded into a spoke like wheel. The spokes would form the shape of a star and would be contained within the wheel frame while not in use. This star shaped extension of the wheels catches each stair flush as the chair progresses up the stairs. This design would require a motion based balance system to lean the chair forwards during the ascending and tilt backwards during the descending. This design is simple physically but would be very involved from a programming prospective. 4. Extendable Ramp (Figure A.5) - Following the idea for extendable ladders, these ramps would be condensable and extend out to the desired length at which they would lock out. This design would also include a winch that would connect on the plane of the ramps to pull the wheelchair up to the next level. The concern with simple ramps such as this is the distance they can cover without additional support as well as a limit in the angle the ramp can ascend at. 5. Lego ramp design (Figure A.6) - This design is meant to be the ultimate in adaptable design. The basis of this design is its multi length capabilities. The design allows for many different length segments of ramp to be sold in the package so that ramps of several different lengths could be constructed. Through our research, we have found that the present day portable ramps come in a rigid one length system. In addition, we imagine this design having a winch and pulley system to allow the wheel chair to climb steeper inclines than the current maximum of around 1:4. Even at previously attainable inclines, the winch design will serve to take the stress off of the user and additional people helping the user.

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A.5 Concept Selection


Figure A.7 Decision Matrix

DECISION MATRIX OUTPUT


200 Weighted Totals 195 190 185 180 175 170 165 A B C Alternabves (A - E)

Figure A.8 Decision Matrix Output

A.6 Evolved Architecture



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Figure A.9 Exploded Design from MAE 451 Figure A.10 Overall Design from MAE 451 Figure A.11 Week 1 Modified Design Shown on Figure A.12 Week 1 Modified Track Design Stair Case Figure A.13 Update 3 Modified Track Connections Figure A.14 Update 3 Modified Wheel design

A.7 Larger CAD Models


Figure A.15 Platform in Opened Position Figure A.16 Platform in Lowered Position

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Figure A.17 Bottom Console installed

Figure A.18 Top Console Installed

Figure A.19 Top View Figure A.20 Overall Design

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A.8 Analysis Documents




Figure A.21 Stair Angle Calculations

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Figure A.22 Weight Calculations

Figure A.23 Electro Power Calculations

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Figure A.24 Weight of HDPE