Swarm Mothership

This project was designed as a vehicle for the Swarm project at Burningman, 2007. It is a 4 person bicycle powered vehicle that can carry the six 80 pound Swarm robots, or be converted to a smaller street configuration for general city riding. The 4 riders face each other around a central steering wheel, creating a social riding and driving experience.

The combination of requirements for weight capacity, rider comfort, space and shipping, and street rideability made for an interesting design process, but it has filled all of it's roles well without much compromise on any design aspects. One of the more interesting challenges was the braking system, which had to have sufficient power to stop the loaded vehicle or be safe on the hills of San Francisco, yet have no drag when not applied. The no drag part ruled out the early plan of using a hydraulic motorcycle caliper, and I instead made a custom mechanism that uses it's own braking force to clamp the brake pads harder.

My role was designer and lead builder.