Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Penn State

The goal of this project is to design a device that attaches to an everyday bicycle. The Bike Generator harvests energy from the movement of powerful magnets on the bike’s back wheel, or from a motor mechanically connected to one of the bike’s wheels. Through the use of electromagnetism, a battery then stores that power in a battery with the intention of charging electronics at a later time. By using a device to make the bicycle stationary, the Bike Generator could also be used as an exercise bike in a gym, and could potentially generate power that could go back into the electrical grid.

Let’s see what happens between now & the project’s end in May.

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May 31st, 2014

The Apparatus X Indiegogo campaign is a success! We’ve successfully raised nearly $18,000 from our campaign, bringing our total funds to over $25,000! We’ve also made significant progress building the vehicle. For one thing, the new frame has been welded and reinforced, so we can soon attach it to the base of the trailer. We’ve also received the new honeycomb panels, which are perfect for replacing the old trailer’s siding. Graciously donated by Aryes, the new panels are strong, lightweight, and pretty cool-looking, giving Apparatus X both functionality and aesthetic appeal!

Here are a few of the newest pictures of Apparatus X!

DSC_0339 DSC_0380 DSC_0392 DSC_0394

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April 2nd, 2014

Hey IBM!

Apparatus X has officially launched its Indiegogo campaign today! We are hoping to reach our funding goal of $20,000 with this campaign, and we’d really appreciate it if you check it out! Here’s the link:

We are attempting to raise $15,000 in 30 days, and we have a bunch of cool awards for our contributors! For $25 we’re sending a signed picture of the completed project, for $100 we’re displaying the name or business of our contributor, and for $1000 we’re giving away a 1:12 scale model of Apparatus X. Please check out our campaign, and share it with your friends and family!


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The goal of this project is to redesign a recreational vehicle to act as an adaptable tool trailer capable of expanding into a workspace, creating a mobile construction site that could be relocated to the site of a natural disaster. The trailer will also serve as a design studio for both individual and community design, fostering a collective knowledge and collaborative learning environment. As a third function, the trailer will serve as a micro living unit, which must be aesthetically pleasing as an illustration of what can be adopted by others as a comfortable and efficient living environment.

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February 26th, 2014

Hello IBM, thank you so much for accepting us into the Students for a Smarter Planet Program! Our team is very excited to join all of the other incredible teams on this website.

My name is Josh, and I am the financial team leader for Apparatus X, an adaptable tool trailer capable of expanding into a workspace, creating a mobile construction site that could be relocated to the site of a natural disaster. Our team is composed of about twenty Architecture and Engineering students at The Pennsylvania State University. We hope to complete the project by the end of this semester, after which it will travel to the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans. Once it arrives, it must expand into a full workspace, storing a wide variety of tools. The trailer will act as a community workspace, facilitating the engagement and education necessary to rebuild a damaged area. The trailer will also be entirely self-sustainable, generating its own power with an array of solar panels on its roof, and using a rainwater collection and purification system to sustainably and efficiently provide water. This system also serves a didactic purpose, demonstrating the possibility to live a green lifestyle. Finally, the trailer must also serve as a micro-living unit, supporting a single resident. The image below shows Apparatus X after it has fully deployed, exhibiting its expandability and multiple work areas.



Apparatus X is divided into three equal sections, displayed in the image below. The first section is the live space, which will contain a kitchen, bathroom, and bed for the resident of the vehicle. The next section is the flex and design space, which will provide a social area for collaborative design. The final area is a work area that provides work surfaces as well as storage space for tools.



Thank you again for accepting us into your program! We are very excited to post updates on our progress, and learn about the projects that all of the other teams are working on!

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