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Project 4: Electric side-by-side

Abstract

The aim of this project is to create a compact side-by-side vehicle capable of accommodating two children and being controlled remotely using a controller.

Tanner Welch, Ethan Mancuso, Carson McKellar, Mauricio Sanchez, Harrison Lambert

Problem Statement

The challenge we’re facing involves two brothers, aged 3 and 6, who are currently sharing a small plastic ride-on vehicle. The younger sibling operates the vehicle because the older brother experiences motor skill difficulties. As they’re outgrowing the current vehicle and both love to ride, the parents have requested a solution.

 

Design Specifications

  1. Accessibility: Ensure easy entry and exit with wide openings and low entry points.
  2. Safety: Prioritize safety with features like seat belts, padded surfaces, and roll bars to protect the child during operation.
  3. On-board Sensory Controls: Design accessory controls such as large buttons or a joystick for easy operation of lights, music, horns, etc.
  4. Comfort: Provide supportive seating with adjustable features for comfort.
  5. Sound: Limit excessive noise.
  6. Size and Room to Grow: The car needs to accommodate two quickly growing boys. We need to develop a vehicle they can use for multiple years.
  7. Terrain: Needs to be able to drive on various surfaces such as pavement or grass
  8. Color: Red

Background Research

Things we will need to make a RC kids car:

  • Remote Control System: Transmitter and receiver for remote operation.
  • Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs): Control motor speed.
  • Wiring and Connectors: Ensure proper integration of components.
  • Batteries/Power Supply: Additional power source if required.
  • Mounting Hardware: Secure attachment of components to the go-kart chassis.
  • Servo Motors for:

 

Throttle Control Mechanism: For controlling the gas (acceleration) of the go-kart, we would need a throttle control mechanism. This could be a servo-controlled throttle linkage or an electronic throttle controller.

Brake Control Mechanism: Similarly, for controlling the brakes, we would need a brake control mechanism. This could involve installing a servo-controlled brake system or an electronic brake controller.

Steering Mechanism: To control steering remotely, we require a steering servo. This servo is mounted on the go-kart through the wheel or drive train

 

Schematic drawn after consulting with an ECE student at Tech:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Videos of previous projects similar to ours:

 

 

Concept Design 1

Small, Electric Ride-On With Makita Battery Upgrade

Almost all ride-on cars use SLA style batteries which use a gel form of acid for slower discharge and for safety. To use a makita battery, we need a Lithium Low Voltage Soft Start Module: $72

And then we have to include the drill battery: $60

To avoid the drill upgrade route entirely we could just use provided battery
upgrades. The upgrade paths would be anywhere from
$60 – $200. And the kids car itself would be anywhere from $200-$500.

Pros:

  • Cheaper RC conversion kit
  • Similar speed to other car, both brothers can drive at a similar pace
  • Easier to modify
  • Less maintenance cost
  • Cheapest donor vehicle

Cons:

  • Need to perform battery upgrade to Makita swap out system
  • Slower
  • Less Room to grow into

Concept Design 2

Larger Electric Side by Side

Pros:

  • Faster and more off-road capable
  • More room to grow into
  • Metal frame allows stronger mounting points for accessories

Cons:

  • Will need to install 3 point harness due to increased power
  • Heavier wheel turning requires stronger servos for RC conversion
  • Increased maintenance cost
  • Minimum cost is approximately 1800 dollars

Concept Design 3

Larger Gas Powered Side by Side

Pros:

  • Much cheaper than electric
  • Faster and more off-road capable
  • More room to grow into
  • Metal frame allows stronger mounting points for accessories

Cons:

  • Will need to install 3 point harness due to increased power
  • Heavier wheel turning requires stronger servos for RC conversion
  • Highest maintenance cost
  • Loud noise will need to be addressed with muffler or headphones

Semester

2024 Spring