VLRS-Vehicle Lean Recovery System
The team’s objective is to increase the safety of motorcycle riders by developing a modular safety device that when installed on motorcycles will prevent motorcycle riders from rolling over during a failed cornering maneuver. As a secondary benefit the device will allow riders to come to a complete stop without the need to place their feet on the ground and hold the bike up. When the device is installed on a motorcycle it will provide safety to novice and experienced riders without sacrificing the feel or performance of the ride. The safety device shall be provided of means to track the motorcycles lean angle and velocity in order to calculate the position of the ground and maintain the vehicle stable in case of a failed maneuver or when otherwise needed while coming to a stop.
Market need In order to identify a need for the VLRS, a minimum viable product (MVP) study was conducted. The team polled 53 motorcycle riders and found that almost all riders had fallen off their motorcycle in one or more of the following conditions: parking, cornering, coming to a stop, rain, gravel. When asked if they would buy a device that would prevent rollovers they answered "yes as long as the device does not affect the performance of the motorcycle".
Initial Designs and Requirements With the information from the MVP the team has developed three designs: A Recovery Arm design, a Flywheel design, and a Shifting Center of Mass design. The Recovery Arm is comprised of a set of mechanical arms that extend and retract, the arm comes in contact with the ground when needed and helps support the motorcycle only if the system detects an excessive lean angle. The Flywheels design will have twin flywheels apply a corrective moment to the frame and restore balance to the rider in case of excess lean. Similarly, the Shifting Center Mass, will actively swing a weight out from the frame of the bike to impose a restorative moment and restore balance to the rider. These designs were further developed by CAD modeling and simulations, cost analysis, preliminary calculation of required forces, power requirement, weight of components, and quantitative estimations of feasible range and performance.
Figure 1: Flywheel Design
Figure 2: Recovery Arms Design
Figure 3: Shifting Center Mass Design
Narrowing Down To Two Designs
In order to address customer requirements, the shifting center of mass design was deemed unfit for production. Even though the design will restore a rollover condition, the weight required to solve the roll over problem would drastically affect performance and over all cost.
Mathematical Models and Testing
2D Angular Motion