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Wheelson

Wheelson is an intuitive bicycle attachment that improves cyclists’ safety while they are carrying heavy loads which is common for those doing grocery shopping.

  • Wheelson - Works with rental bikes too

  • A fun video which shows that we can have fun and work at the same time

    A fun video which shows that we can have fun and work at the same time

  • Easy snap and attach/detach. Detach Wheelson to shop

  • A close view of Wheelson on a bicycle

  • Studying cycling itself to make a user centric product

  • Initial Prototype - Rapid prototyping with wood

What it does

Not everyone has access to motor vehicles and bicycles are frequently used for simple activities such as purchasing items. This can be a challenge for transporting heavy loads as it decreases stability. Wheelson safely stores items while improving mobility.


Your inspiration

As Singapore strives towards zero carbon emissions, there have been measures that encourage the use of bicycles. This has made access to bicycles to be more convenient. As such, individuals and food companies are utilizing bicycles for longer distances and carrying more load. It is not an uncommon sight to observe individuals carrying huge packages on their backs and cycling. The heavy load shifts the center of gravity of the system, making it more difficult for users to balance and travel around curves. This is made more difficult as more users share the same pathway, further making navigating such curves even more challenging and dangerous.


How it works

Wheelson’s key technologies centre on 4 core deliverables – ANY BIKE, ANYTHING, ANYWHERE, ANYONE. We noticed that bicycles come in different heights, widths and frames. To address the height variation, we created a pivotable frame that allows users’ to vary Wheelson’s height. The width issue was tackled by making the width of the buckets smaller such that they mostly fit within the width of the front handlebars. We built highly adjustable clamps to accommodate different diameters of the bicycle frame. As a bonus, we added a snap and lock feature to easily attach/detach Wheelson from the bicycle frame. Anything - The current iteration of Wheelson was designed to handle a standard-sized weekly grocery shopping payload. Wheelson buckets had 36L of space and can carry 15kg. Anywhere – With a custom suspension system, Wheelson safely stows items in any terrain. Anyone – Its light and sturdy aluminium frame keeps the bicycle upright without holding you back.


Design process

The team comes from SUTD and all of us live on campus. There was a nearby supermarket that we frequented via bicycle. We then realized that there was a problem of grocery transportation on bicycle. We then discovered that it was a common problem among people who use bicycles as a primary mode of transportation. We then did user studies on how users ride and the various ways they transported groceries. We explored fitting groceries in our bags, hanging it on handlebars and adding a basket at the front of the bag. This made us feel instability and discomfort. Being engineering students, we decided to address the pain points of instability, comfort on the back, fear of good dropping. We realized that the root cause of instability was the high CG of the load. We thus needed a solution that ensured the load was close to the ground. In addition, we disliked having to carry our load and hence, we needed an external device like a basket to hold it. To solve the issue of dropped goods, we wanted a container with a lid that secured to the frame we were building. We came up with a wooden prototype as a POC that worked for only one type of bicycle but was well-received by our classmates. We then reiterated and came up with a modular concept is the current prototype with additional features.


How it is different

As far as we know, Wheelson is the first of its kind to employ caster wheels to wheel buckets along roads. This means that the weight of the payload has a low center of gravity which improves stability. In addition, it allows the payload to be situated close to the main frame of the bicycle without having it trailing the bicycle. This gives the cyclist greater control of the payload allowing him or her manoeuvre more precisely with confidence. Another cool feature is that it can easily attach and detach. This allows users to drag it into shopping malls, make their purchases and finally snap it on to their bicycles easily when they are done. In addition, Wheelson attachment is not bicycle specific as it has highly adjustable clamps to accommodate bicycles of various sizes and shapes. Wheelson also has a custom-built suspension system that makes it adept at handling any terrain and ensures that payload is always safely stowed.


Future plans

In the future we aim to improve the quality of aluminium used. We also want to make Wheelson customizable such that Wheelson users can use their own buckets with the device regardless of size. With mass production, we hope that Wheelson can be made available globally which would be especially useful for countries that predominantly use cycling as a form of transport.


Awards


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