Battery-Powered Bicycles, an Underwater Glider and a Three-Wheeled Solar Car: News from the Edgerton Clubs and Teams

Camilla M. Brinkman, Communications Administrator | Office of Experiential Learning

It was an exciting and productive summer for Edgerton Clubs and Teams on campus and around the country.

The Vehicle Design Summit’s (VDS) latest and greatest prototype ArchiMITes, an open source designed “green” car, is almost ready to roll. In early August, filmmaker Alberta Chu of ASKlabs documentary films interviewed VDS team members Anna Jaffe ’09 and Nii Armar ’06 SM ‘09. The short film, to be broadcast this fall, is produced for the General Electric and Cinelan “Innovators” series featuring today’s thinkers who are changing the world. Chu has previously made documentary films for National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. Chu’s film on the largest Tesla coil in the world will be screened at the Boston Museum of Science in November.  Check out the ArchiMITes design.

Vehicle Design Summit's ArchiMITes

The Electric Vehicle Team (EVT) is building an electric bicycle that can travel on battery power alone. Currently fabricating the trailer that will carry 140 lbs. of batteries, EVT has plans to travel from Cambridge to New York City in the spring. Meet the team and check out their vehicles.

In July, the Solar Electric Vehicle Team (SEVT) traveled to Rochester, New York to race in the 2012 American Solar Challenge. The team encountered some challenges on their “eight states in eight days” race. On the second day, plagued by thunderstorms, Chopper del Sol hydroplaned, hit a pole on the side of the road and sustained damage. True to their indomitable spirit, the team worked through the night and the next day to repair the body of the car. Rain and issues with the battery pack made for a challenging race but the team gathered forces and at 4:08 crossed the finish line in St. Paul, Minnesota. SEVT is now in rebuild mode, redesigning the car for four wheels instead of the current three and fabricating a moncoque chassis. Meet the team and see the team's latest design.

Solar Electric Vehicle Team with Chopper del Sol

Members of the Marine Robotics Team (MRT) and Edgerton Instructor Ed Moriarty traveled to Ketchikan, Alaska in August for the first sea trials of their underwater glider. The team exceeded test requirements by running untethered in 300’ of water and cycling down to a depth of 45’. Long-term goals for this Chevron funded project are to detect oil plumes and to study the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico. The Ketchikan location enabled MRT members and Moriarty to participate in an outreach program – run by the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock and the Juneau Economic Development Council –in which middle and high school students built small underwater gliders.

Marine Robotics Team and Instructor Ed Moriarty in Alaska


For team members participating in UROPs – funded by the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program (GEL) – a regular lunch series provided opportunities for members to debrief on the past year. Discussion centered on team organization and leadership issues common to each team. Future plans consist of a series of workshops to help clubs and teams increase their performance, refine their technical knowledge and hone their leadership and fundraising skills.