A study on power assists for bicycle rickshaws in India, including fabrication of test apparatus
Author(s)Hickman, Madeline R. (Madeline Ruth)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Daniel D. Frey.
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Bicycle rickshaws impose significant physical burdens on their drivers. Used throughout India for transportation, these rickshaws are not designed for driver comfort and safety. Instead, traditional rickshaws are only single-speed, with an extremely high gear ratio that makes it difficult for drivers to pedal with large loads. Particularly in India, many rickshaw drivers are under-nourished, and the physical exertion required to pedal passengers over rough roads and uneven terrain leads to serious health consequences. A power assist could go a long way towards improving rickshaw comfort and ease of use for drivers by easing the burden on the driver. Despite this, the cost and other constraints on modifications to the rickshaw severely limit which solutions are feasible. This thesis explores a number of options for a gearing system or power assist, and then documents the design and fabrication of a simple electric assist test setup. Measurements and analysis from the test setup will help determine how much power is needed to develop an effective assist, and which methods of assist can achieve that while staying within the cost constraint and other constraints on the design.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2011.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 47).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology