Individual reflection – Rob

Team process

In general, I think the process of the product development went very well. We had a planning and a clear division of roles within the team. Everyone showed up and put a sufficient amount of work in their role.

Group organization

The first weeks were a bit less organized, as not everyone made their blogs in the right week according to the workbook and we were starting to fall a bit behind. I think Qu did a great job here in organizing our work and setting deadlines as a team. From this point, everyone did their work and made their blog posts on time.

Development process

The idea for our product came pretty quickly, so we already had a good basis to work with from the start on. The code was first written before the design phase of the product came to be.

The product has gone through several concepts before the final design could be made. We had a number of requirements that the product has to meet and we found new ones with every step. This has been a great learning process.

  1. First draft
  • Design was too hard to pull off
  • Would not be practical, clunky and not ergonomic

 

     2. Second draft

  • Too heavy and clunky
  • Not aesthetically pleasing
  • Too expensive

 

    3. Final design

After the first 3D printed prototype, we had a group brainstorm session on how to improve the product.

  • Design is inexpensive
  • Design is small and light

 

Strengths

  • Currently there are no product with the same set of features
  • Similar products are more expensive and not suitable for our target group
  • Pain reliever: Not having to operate phone on bike, creates traffic safety
  • Motivates to take the bike more often
  • Detachable and easy to bring

Weaknesses

  • Might not be compatible with every bicycle handle because of the orientation of the buttons

 

Individual

Learning goals

In my opinion I succesfully worked at my learning goals during this project. My goal was to improve my illustrative skills and create a representative product.

Throughout the several design steps and improvements I have learned how to demonstrate the looks of a physical product to make it a working prototype.

I also practiced with a new technique to visualize a product, by first making a 3D sketch in SketchUp and tracing this in photoshop. I found that this is a very fast and effective way to make drafts.

Process.png

 

Discussion

What went well

In general, I think this project went very well on group level and individual level.

  • We managed to finish all items and have a good in depth knowledge on our product
  • We learned a lot by making and testing the physical product
  • We managed to keep a steady planning schedule

What could be better

  • On my part, I could have discussed more about the design in the group. This way we probably wouldn’t have as many redesign steps.

 

 

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Development: Legal issues – Rob

Before the product can be introduced to the market, we need to make sure that the use of the product and all of its features is conform the (Dutch) law.

#1 General product requirements

The European Union Law has a number of requirements that every product needs to meet. In order to prove that our product is legal we answer these requirements.

http://www.rvo.nl/onderwerpen/tools/wet-en-regelgeving/eu-wetgeving/algemene-producteisen

Product safety (Richtlijn 2001/95/EG)

The law states that every product that a consumer can use has to be safe. Producers are therefore obligated to make sure their products meet the general safety requirements, and warn the consumer for every possible safety risk.

Traffic safety

According to the Dutch road traffic law book (Wegenverkeerswet) article 5 and 6, anyone who participates in traffic is obligated to behave so, that they do not form a danger in traffic that could cause accidents. Doing so will result in punishment.

  • In short, the person has to pay attention to the traffic to not form a danger
  • The user can listen to music, as long as they are not distracted (e.g. a smartphone)

Place of origin

Products need to provide information that allows them to be traced back, like identity of the manufacturer and a product reference. If there are safety risks involved in using this product, this needs to be mentioned.

European and national norms

Products can be considered safe if they meet the national requirements and norms. If these are not present, the safety needs to be judged on

  • Recommendations of the European Commission
  • ‘Best practices’ in this particular branche
  • Current level of technology

Our product

Our prototype is allowed to be tested in traffic according to the traffic safety law (wegenverkeerswet), because the bicycle user is allowed to listen to music as long as they are not distracted from the traffic. Our product is not distracting the user or causing trouble to operate the bike in any way.

However, for the product to be released and manufactured, the safety would need to be tested to meet the requirements of European and national norms.

Sources

http://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0006622/2016-03-15

https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/fiets/vraag-en-antwoord/mag-ik-bellen-en-naar-muziek-luisteren-op-de-fiets

#2 Patenting

To protect our product from copying and theft, we need to consider patenting in the early development stages.Although a patent can be given to any type of product, it needs to meet certain requirements

  • The invention must show an element of novelty; that is, some new characteristic which is not known in the body of existing knowledge in its technical field. This body of existing knowledge is called “prior art”.
  • The invention must involve an “inventive step” or “non-obvious”, which means that it could not be obviously deduced by a person having ordinary skill in the relevant technical field.
  • The invention must be capable of industrial application, meaning that it must be capable of being used for an industrial or business purpose beyond a mere theoretical phenomenon, or be useful.
  • Its subject matter must be accepted as “patentable” under law. In many countries, scientific theories, aesthetic creations, mathematical methods, plant or animal varieties, discoveries of natural substances, commercial methods, methods for medical treatment (as opposed to medical products) or computer programs are generally not patentable.
  • The invention must be disclosed in an application in a manner sufficiently clear and complete to enable it to be replicated by a person with an ordinary level of skill in the relevant technical field

 

Our product shows novelty, as there are no products with the same features at this moment. It solves the problem of safety issues within traffic because of mobile phone distractions.

To acquire a patent, we would need to contact the European Patent Office (EPO).

 

Sources

http://www.wipo.int/patents/en/faq_patents.html

 

#3 Business organization structure

An important step in setting up a business is choosing the business organization structure. All businesses must have a legal configuration in which the rights and control of all participants are described.

Some of the types are:

The type would need to be discussed with the investors and team members, dependent on which role the participants want to fulfill.

Sources

https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/choose-your-business-structure

 

 

3D printing and redesign

This week we got to print our prototype at the Fablab.

Before the actual printing could happen, we visited the Fablab to discuss the options with the students there. We needed to have flexible material in order to make the clicking mechanism more efficient.

There were 2 options

  • PLA filament
  • ABS filament

The prototype was printed in PLA filament, this material is less strong, but a bit more flexible. As our product is not very large and pretty solid, the strength would be good enough.

 

The product fits with the attachment clip as planned.

1

We did find problems with this prototype however.

17668585_1233553970094622_642174102_o

The design is too clunky to be practical for a bike, the material is heavier than we thought and it would be in the way of the biker’s hand. Also we found that the 3D printer didn’t completely print the object.

New design

After we found that the prototype would not work, we had a new brainstorm session in the group to come up with a new, more practical design.

  • It needed to be much smaller and lighter
  • Buttons should be on top
  • No cornered shape

 

The new design is a lot smaller and can still fit the LightBlue bean inside. It is attachable in a similar way to the previous design and consists of two parts. The lid is removable to be able to change the batteries.

TechnicalDesign.png

Product design progress #2

Concept

After analyzing the first draft, our product had to be redesigned.

The problems we had to solve were:

  • Placing the LBB inside the handle would take up too much space
  • The buttons are not visible with the current layout
  • The product is not sufficiently adjustable for other bike handles
  • The design is too hard to build with our knowledge

With this in mind, we chose to build our product on an existing mount for bicycle lamps. This already solves a view previous problems:

  • The device is easily adjustable
  • Buttons would be easily visible and reachable
  • The LBB can be placed inside with no consequences for the user comfort

Also with this we can maintain our goal of making a low budget product.

 

We bought this mount for a bicycle lamp in the store and we will use the mechanic for our product.

Clip

Layout

We will be using one type of bike for the prototype testing. The product will be placed over the right handle.

AttachingSpot

BasicLayout

 

Measurements

Before the technical design can be made, a number of measurements have to be done.

1. Attachment clip

ClipDimensions

 

 2.Object size

For safety reasons, the product needs to be out of the way for movement of the hand. For this I made some measurements of how large the object should be so it is not in the way, yet still comfortably usable.

Dimension.png

Technical design

Technical1

  • The device can be clicked into position with the bicycle mount

 

Tehcnical2

  • Batteries can be changed by opening the slide with the LBB inside

 

Sources

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:410473

Product design process #1

First draft

Before the actual options for building the product were researched, I made an initial concept.

17500342_1224652604318092_702195304_o.png

Specifications

The concept is a device that replaces the original bicycle handle, and is operated by turning the buttons up and down.

  • This design is easily detachable so the owner can take it with them
  • The product can be used without looking at it so the user stays focused at the road
  • The LightBlue Bean is fixed inside the object.

Application

Firstdraft

Technical research

# 1 – Ergonomics

To ensure comfort and safety of the user, ergonomics need to be kept in mind for the product design.

When placing the hands on a handle with a small surface, certain parts of the hands will undergo too much pressure, resulting in the narrowing of blood vessels and causing pain.

01_1

  • The pressure on the hand should be reduced by dividing it on a larger surface. This is seen in a lot of modern bicycle handles.

01_4

With ergonomics in mind I changed the design to have a larger surface.

Firstdraft2

# 2 – Bike handle types

Our product is aimed at casual bikers. This target group tends to use different types of bikes than mountain bikes, in which the pose of the user is different as well. Several bike handle types that fit with these type are explored to find the right model to work with.

1.Flat bars

Standard handle bar type for most bikes. They are characterized by their flat design, sometimes with a bend towards the rider.

  • The straight design makes it easy to attach items, like lamps and phone holders.

Flatbars1

 

 2.Riser bars

Bars that rise from the center clamp area. The design is made to allow the biker to be more upright for comfort.

  • Better for wrists. The rider sits farther back, allowing less weight to be distributed to the front.
  • Wider grip than flat bars.

 Riserbars2.png

3.Bullhorn handlebars

Bars that curve up and forward, for optimal aerodynamics.

  • Allow you to lean forward to catch less wind.

 BullHorn

 Usage of the product

Our product could be used for multiple bicycle types, as long as the handle has a straight part. The product should be comfortably usable in different angles, as the handlebars require the user to sit in different poses. A possible solution is the possibility to turn the product in different degrees.

HandleHolding.png

# 3 – Attachment options

The mount can be fixed into place using a Bicycle bar lock ring. These are partially flexible so they can be adjusted to different handle bar sizes.

Lockring

Discussion

After discussing the design and possibilities with the group, we found that this design will not be feasible to build. Problems are:

  • The product would need additional space for the LBB to fit inside, otherwise it is not easily removable or it could damage the wires
  • If the surface would be too big the product would not be ergonomically appropriate
  • There would be no space to place the turning wheels sufficiently
  • The user cannot see the buttons as they are placed on the back, therefore it would take too much time to get used to it.

 

These points will be kept in mind for the next technical drawings.

Sources

https://www.citybicycleco.com/blogs/fixie-news/45179589-the-ultimate-guide-to-bike-handlebars

http://www.richtigradfahren.de/en/05_lenksysteme.php#slide-2