Human-Powered Vehicle; How the Wheelchair Contributes to the Equality in Society

Wongwiset, Niphattha, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Smith, Natasha, EN-Mech/Aero Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Seabrook, Bryn, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

The development and popularity of the bike inspire Human-Powered Vehicle project to improve the efficiency of the bike with the considerations of environments and efficiency. The goal of the Human-Powered Vehicle team at the University of Virginia is to design and build Blue Comet, our human powered vehicle, to compete in the 2020 ASME HPVC E-Fest North. The design includes conceptual development, background research, manufacturing process, modeling, computational analysis, and experimental testing used to build and optimize the vehicle’s performance. The vehicle aims to obtain ride stability and high aerodynamic performance. However, the social and unintended consequences of innovation are necessary to include in the design.
The STS study about the wheelchair's impacts on equality in society exemplifies a case study for improving the technical project. The purpose of this research is to study and evaluate if the wheelchair supports equality for wheelchair users in society. The study illustrates how mobile technology creates unintended results in society from emotional perspectives of the users, economic viewpoints from organizations related to the technology, and government policies related to the wheelchair. Thus, the analysis from the project combined with the design and building perspectives from Human-Powered Vehicle project represents insightful considerations and impacts of future vehicles’ design to society.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Wheelchair, Technology Fix, Bicycle, Human-Powered Vehicle, ASME2020

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Technical Advisor: Natasha Smith
STS Advisor: Bryn Seabrook
Technical Team Members:
Sungwoo Cho,
Samantha Davis,
Matthew Evanko,
Yongyi Jiang,
Thomas Lee,
Brian Lembo,
Ian O’Donnell,
Kevin Meyers,
Dana Poon,
Geoffrey Shellady,
Christopher Wilks,
Niphattha Wongwiset

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