In the fall of 2016, I joined RISD Rover, a team that competes in NASA's Annual Human Exploration Rover Challenge. I took part in the Treads, Seats, and Wheels, and Suspension subsystems, where I learned iterative processes, casting techniques, and methods of working with carbon fiber and other composites.
Through this process I gained experience working closely on a team for a long term project. Each component of the Rover had to interface with each other, so subsystems had to be in constant communication with one another. Below is an overview of the Rover project and photos of the completed Rover.
Our carbon fiber wheels won the Technology Challenge Award for best wheel design.
Our chassis features a full carbon fiber transverse leaf spring as our suspension. We chose this design because it hadn't been done at the competition ever before.
The chassis can also fold in half, allowing it to fit into a 5x5 foot cube for transportation, a requirement that the competition stipulates.
I am pictured here in the driver's seat in the left picture. I followed a physical training regimen during the duration of the project in order to prepare for riding the Rover at the race. Unfortunately, during my run, we encountered a suspension failure and couldn't finish the course. In the right picture, a different pair of teammates drive the Rover on the second day after our overnight repair.