Social Construction of Bike Technology Assignment (STS Class)

(Here’s where to post the outcome of your “SCOT a bike” assignment. Once you’ve uploaded your video to Youtube, put the link in a comment on this post, along with your brief write-up. Your comment will not show up right away because I need to approve each comment individually.)

Due:  Feb 9th by 10pm

Using what you’ve learned about the Social Construction of Technology as a theory of technological change, make a meaningful alteration to a bicycle that shows SCOT at work—with you and your group as the “relevant social group” of users making a technological change, and creating a new technology that’s more appropriate to your needs and interests.

Document your process and outcomes in writing and also do a short (no more than 5 minute) video in which you explain the ultimate success or failure of your modification—in other words, did SCOT work in your case? Did you come up with a new, socially-constructed technology that’s attuned to the needs of a certain group of users? Who are those users and how do they differ from others? What else does your modification need to be successful and potentially become widespread?

The written portion will be a short collective essay of no more than 500 words (one essay per group) that you will post on www.digitalhistorylab.com (as a comment on the “SCOT a bike” post). At the end of the essay, post a link to your video, which should be hosted as a public video on YouTube. Try to make sure that the video tells us something more than the essay—use the format of the video to explain things visually and kinetically in ways that might not be possible to do in text. For instance, your video might show us your modification without using words, or might include diagram overlays of your invention if you are unable to actually fabricate the parts for it.

In addition to coming up with some sort of (hopefully ingenious) modification, your goal in this assignment is to better understand SCOT—how it works, and when the theory is and isn’t applicable—through doing a hands-on task. In your essay, explain the thought processes behind your experiments with SCOT, how this changes your understanding of what we’ve talked about in class, and what you learn along the way.

Be sure to cite your sources—remember that you need to give credit where credit is due for ideas as well as words.

 

15 comments

  1. The theory of the social construction of technology (SCOT) involves the evolution of a certain technology which is influenced by certain groups of users. Our goal is to observe SCOT in a practical way and to take part in the experience of socially constructing a bicycle.

    When brainstorming ideas for the SCOT a Bike project, our team thought about real-life problems with bicycle riding. From personal experience, we realized the difficulties of riding a bicycle in cold weather. We tried to focus on a social group that included bicyclists who need to ride on a daily basis. Many people have to avoid riding their bicycle in the winter. Our project attempts to solve that issue and to create a product that would be suitable for all seasons.

    Our initial idea was to create a completely new bicycle with integrated parts that would warm the bike. However, after more brainstorming, we realized that creating an entirely new bicycle would be a complicated and complex process, in terms of design and manufacturing. Also, it would be more costly to the users. Therefore, we decided to come up with a “kit” that could be installed onto any bicycle.

    This kit includes a dynamo generator which converts some of the energy from pedaling into electrical energy. This electrical energy is transferred to “slip-on” handle bar covers which is then turned into heat. Using magnetic docking technology, this heat can also be transferred to a pair of gloves which can be worn by the user.

    Before the SCOT a Bike project, we understood SCOT in a way that the modifications in the technology influenced by the interpretations of users need to be large and diverse. For example, turning a car into a stationary power source is not a common idea. It is also a relatively large scale modification. This is what we thought SCOT was only applicable to. However, during our project, we learned that SCOT actually applies for any piece of modification, large or small, that would make the use of the technology more convenient to the relevant users.

    One thing that we learned is that to observe the effects of SCOT, we must first focus on a specific use of a product (e.g. problems with riding a bike in the winter). Afterwards, we can expand our frame of view to see a bigger picture of SCOT.

    Link to video:

  2. STS
    -Michelle Ho
    -Jake Bruns
    SCOT PROJECT

    When we were thinking of an altercation for our bicycle, we really wanted to target kids in college and everyday bike users that use it to get around and perform daily tasks, especially in the city. Our change was to make a built in speaker to go on the bike in between the handlebars, to play music, through Bluetooth or an auxiliary cord. It would be in the bike so it would be dirt, water and wind proof, and provide tunes for bike riders wanting to listen to music. This provides a safe alternative to headphones, because headphones go in directly to the ears and prevent hearing of outside noises, like other cars, sirens, and things that could be potentially dangerous for bike riders. Although we cannot actually build or put a speaker in a bike, we know our potential process. We would face the face of the speaker out and up, for maximum volume, and the reasoning for it being on the handlebars is easy and safe access to use features such as changing the song or volume, and it wouldn’t be much of a distraction.
    Another component of the typical bike we would like to modify are the seats. Instead of the traditional bike seat, a seat with back support would take its place. The piece of the seat that supports the back would also provide increased balance to the rider. This shall be done by a mechanism that would shift the rider back to the middle of the seat, provided by two arm-like devices that will hold the rider in place. This alteration would benefit a wide range of bike riders, especially beginner bike riders. Avid bike users may also benefit from this added assistance with balance, using their energy to bike long distances or difficult trails instead of depleting their energy to reposition and stay upright. The added back support may also provide comfort, giving the option the lean back.
    With the combination of the built in speakers and the balance-providing seat, the new bike model aims to fit a wide range of bike users. From young teens who would like to blast (at a reasonable volume) the latest music with extra comfort from the seat, to more mature riders who may needed the seat for avoiding serious injuries. When coming up with these two modifications, we thought to aim towards two age groups, one that we can relate to and one that we may not. With this process, we’d believe we would hit a wider range of different bike riders and attract more consumers. When relating this project to SCOT, designing a bike puts us in the mindset and position as other design teams whose goal is appeal to as many customers as they can by attending to their demands.

  3. SCOT a Bike
    by Wouter De Geyndt and Amy Kamin

    The Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) is a theory arguing that people and society determine the function of technology, instead of technology determining the function of society. As students at the Illinois Institute of Technology, we represent a segment of society that requires certain uses from our technology. We need our computers to be mobile. We need our consumables to be cheap. We need our social communication to be constant and instantaneous. Therefore, when given the assignment to develop a bicycle modification that represents SCOT in action. We had all of these user requirements in mind.
    Our preliminary design took the build and shape of a traditional commuter bicycle and made some modifications to the frame to allow it to convert into a mobile desk. Essentially, the idea involved turning the wheels ninety degrees so that they became the desk surface or its base. One could imagine, on beautiful spring day after a cycling commute from campus to downtown, or after a trek on a local bike trail, a student, like ourselves, could park themselves on a public bench and create for themselves a mobile workstation capable of providing the surface stability of an average study desk.
    The modifications included creating a hinge on the rear of the bike frame to allow the rear wheel to turn ninety degrees. By turning the wheel and allowing it to lay flat on the ground, it provided a wide base for the desk. The desktop came from turning the handlebars in the familiar way so the front wheel turned a full ninety degrees as well. Upon recreating a bike out of corrugated plastic, we realized that the weight of the front wheel would cause the newly formed desk to collapse on itself. Therefore, we revised the design to include a kickstand-style brace along the front forks of the bike. This brace, when folded in, allowed the bike to still function as intended, but when kicked out and locked into place, supported the desktop and all of its contents (laptop, books, etc.). As we continued to play with the design, we had some difficulty with modifying some of the more mechanical parts of the bike, like the chain and braking system, which would not bend or move easily. However, we believe that in order for it to be widely accepted, the bicycle would need to undergo some serious changes so that the chain and bulky pedals are fit for our purposes. And in time, with further research, we could solve some of the discrepancies in functionality between the bicycle and desk modes.
    During the time spent developing the concept and building a life-size model of a real commuter bicycle, we began to understand the difficulty in socially engineering a piece of established technology. In the beginning, every other idea we came up with – heated handlebars and anti-lock brakes – were already invented. Additionally, the other ideas just seemed impractical or unfeasible. However, the bicycle is a universal mobility tool that has been around for over a hundred years and it is simple enough to allow a variety of modifications, thus, it is a perfect model for SCOT. And while our idea for a mobile desk would be perfect for students, it is rather impractical on a functional level.

    YouTube link:

  4. Many people incur leg injuries during sporting events, exercising, or just with old age, and still want to be in top shape. Our bike modification, which is directed towards people with temporary or permanent disability involving the legs, is a bike that has a large boot attached to the pedal, which allows users to propel the bike with minimal usage of the injured bone, muscle, etc. This modification to the bike allows for people to still get the benefits of biking while protecting their injuries from further damage.

    We believe that this modification was never the designer’s intended usage of a bicycle since the bike was aimed for speedy transport of individuals at a relatively low cost. Although we know that bicycles are for people who generally have strong legs or use a bicycle to gain strong legs, it would definitely be disappointing if their ability to ride a bike was taken from them due to a injuries as not riding would make them grow weaker over time.

    But through SCOT theory, we amend some components of the original design to protect the user’s injured leg from outside elements and also to assist in balancing the bike without a lot of effort through the usage of training wheels. These modifications are meant to relieve the injured foot of any excess strains by adding mechanical parts to the bike that would minimize the work needed to be done by the injured leg. Nevertheless, the amount of energy required to operate this modified bike would be the same as a normal bike.

    We tried to reverse the idea of the black box because the modern day bicycle does not have one fixed universal design which suits a wide range of people and cannot be vaguely broken down into large categories because different people have different demands for their bike. We chose the category of injured people because there are people who still wants to ride a bike despite their injuries. With the modification we chose to add, we believe that their demands can be fulfilled

    Overall, this activity emphasized the fact that even technologies considered to be black boxed could be partially reverse engineered to fit the needs of others who cannot ride a standard bike for one reason or another.
    Works Cited – http://www.berkelbike.co.uk/
    Video Link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vuvlHlFCRg

  5. The Urban Biker’s Shopping Dilemma (Viktor Koves & James Jerger)

    Cyclists in urban environments go shopping just like all other urban dwellers, but lack access to a device that allows them to carry more than a day or two’s worth of groceries to and from the grocery store. It is for this reason that we have designed a sturdy, towable carrier for the active cyclist. The main idea behind the design is to allow cyclists to carry a modest amount of cargo, be it groceries from the store, or supplies for a mountain biking trip. Narrow enough to navigate doorways and be towed by a bike, the carrier will also be sturdy enough to absorb small shocks and effectively protect the cargo inside. By doing so we can ensure that cyclists are able to safely ferry groceries from the store to their home without having to forego the bicycles that they rely so heavily on.

    The device is rectangular in shape to maximize volume capacity for such a small dimension space. It will be narrow enough to fit through doorways and be towed by a bicycle and tall enough to house more than just a few bags of cargo. It also will have a hard lid that would make it resistant to harsh weather (particularly rain). The wheels will feature a suspension that will work in conjunction with a durable box material to absorb bumps and shocks along the road to better protect its cargo.

    One of the key features that will make this trailer worth owning is a towing hitch that can move on a joint so that when it is not being pulled by a bike; it can be pulled by hand like a cart. This would allow users to take the cart into the store with them, shop with it, then come out and attach it to their bike then travel wherever they need to go. By having such a versatile design, the only limitation of the cart besides its storage space would be what users decide to do with it.

    Through designing this bike modification, we have learned a lot about how to apply S.C.O.T. to create a product that embodies flexible usage. By allowing users to interpret it and use it their own way to achieve their goals we are allowing the actions of the users to really define what the Cargo Trailer can do for them. We started by examining a personal issue we had with bikes, which is the difficulty of carrying items, and then expanded to the general problem that many users have with cargo on bicycles. We then devised a solution to best accommodate the specific needs of that group of users. The process by which we identified a problem with bikes as well as the solution we devised to solve the problem highlighted how S.C.O.T. works, as we designed our solution around the problem and the set of users affected, instead of randomly.

    YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCMnIGULhYQ

  6. Redefining Bike Storage: A Bike That is Also a Coffee Table

    When we were ideating a bike design that more appropriately meets the needs of users, we evaluated the simple process of using a bike and determined that the storage phase is one in which a lot of issues arise. Especially for users who live in confined spaces such as a shared apartment with multiple roommates, finding a place to store their bike can often be a burdensome task.

    As a result of this insight, we were able to challenge the conventional means of storage by considering ways in which the product can be transformed into something else. What if your bike was also a piece of furniture? No longer do you have the need to find space in your apartment for two big items; rather, one of your products serves two functions, creating a more efficient and pleasant living situation. Thus, our product was born: a bike that also serves as a coffee table. Our users are generally those who lack storage space, but we also considered our non-users: people who have sufficient space, but who might find the idea unique enough to implement in their own lives.

    The analysis of SCOT helped us consider the implications of our design. In class, we discussed the various steps involved in SCOT including rejection, adoption, interpretation, and closure. In the rejection phase, we analyzed our potential users and non-users and their reasons for rejecting our idea. Some of these include: difficulty setting up and breaking down, bad aesthetics, a need to store components of table while bike is in use, and the ramifications that come with having a dirty (muddy, wet, etc) bike. In the adoption phase, users will be able to enjoy a sleek design, 2-in-1 furniture, and more space to roam. In the interpretation phase, people will begin to extract other uses from it including a desk, a dinner table, or simply a platform to hold miscellaneous items. In the closure phase, when the ‘black box’ has been closed, standard table kits will be manufactured and distributed so as to suit many kinds of bikes and table tops. Taking into consideration the idea of technological momentum (as discussed in class), our product might create the need to manufacture new kinds of clamps that are specifically for bikes and tables, and perhaps also bikes and tables that are designed specifically for this 2-in-1 concept.

    We understand that in order for our modifications to be successful, we need to create a system that is easy-to-use. Additionally, there needs to be a limited number of parts to assemble and disassemble, and it definitely needs good aesthetic. This project helped us understand how SCOT can be applied to the process of building a new technology by considering the implications for its users and society as a whole. It also helped us to keep refining our design until we had a solid idea that was sustainable, relevant, and unlike any other.

  7. Social Construction of Technology: Modifying a Bicycle

    The theory of the social construction of technology (SCOT) involves the evolution of a certain technology which is influenced by certain groups of users. Our goal is to observe SCOT in a practical way and to take part in the experience of socially constructing a bicycle.

    When brainstorming ideas for the SCOT a Bike project, our team thought about real-life problems with bicycle riding. From personal experience, we realized the difficulties of riding a bicycle in cold weather. We tried to focus on a social group that included bicyclists who need to ride on a daily basis. Many people have to avoid riding their bicycle in the winter. Our project attempts to solve that issue and to create a product that would be suitable for all seasons.

    Our initial idea was to create a completely new bicycle with integrated parts that would warm the bike. However, after more brainstorming, we realized that creating an entirely new bicycle would be a complicated and complex process, in terms of design and manufacturing. Also, it would be more costly to the users. Therefore, we decided to come up with a “kit” that could be installed onto any bicycle.

    This kit includes a dynamo generator which converts some of the energy from pedaling into electrical energy. This electrical energy is transferred to “slip-on” handle bar covers which is then turned into heat. Using magnetic docking technology, this heat can also be transferred to a pair of gloves which can be worn by the user.

    Before the SCOT a Bike project, we understood SCOT in a way that the modifications in the technology influenced by the interpretations of users need to be large and diverse. For example, turning a car into a stationary power source is not a common idea. This is what we thought SCOT was only applicable to. However, during our project, we learned that SCOT actually applies for any piece of modification, large or small, that would make the use of the technology more convenient to the relevant users.

    One thing that we learned is that to observe the effects of SCOT, we must first focus on a specific use of a product (e.g. problems with riding a bike in the winter). Afterwards, we can expand our frame of view to see a bigger picture of SCOT.

    Link to video:

  8. The Wounded Tri-cycle

    Many people incur leg injuries during sporting events, exercising, or just with old age, and still want to be in top shape. Our bike modification, which is directed towards people with temporary or permanent disability involving the legs, is a bike that has a large boot attached to the pedal, which allows users to propel the bike with minimal usage of the injured bone, muscle, etc. This modification to the bike allows for people to still get the benefits of biking while protecting their injuries from further damage.

    We believe that this modification was never the designer’s intended usage of a bicycle since the bike was aimed for speedy transport of individuals at a relatively low cost. Although we know that bicycles are for people who generally have strong legs or use a bicycle to gain strong legs, it would definitely be disappointing if their ability to ride a bike was taken from them due to a injuries as not riding would make them grow weaker over time.

    But through SCOT theory, we amend some components of the original design to protect the user’s injured leg from outside elements and also to assist in balancing the bike without a lot of effort through the usage of training wheels. These modifications are meant to relieve the injured foot of any excess strains by adding mechanical parts to the bike that would minimize the work needed to be done by the injured leg. Nevertheless, the amount of energy required to operate this modified bike would be the same as a normal bike.

    We tried to reverse the idea of the black box because the modern day bicycle does not have one fixed universal design which suits a wide range of people and cannot be vaguely broken down into large categories because different people have different demands for their bike. We chose the category of injured people because there are people who still wants to ride a bike despite their injuries. With the modification we chose to add, we believe that their demands can be fulfilled

    Overall, this activity emphasized the fact that even technologies considered to be black boxed could be partially reverse engineered to fit the needs of others who cannot ride a standard bike for one reason or another.

    LinkTo Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vuvlHlFCRg
    Works Cited – http://www.berkelbike.co.uk/

  9. Michael Thu Kha
    HUM 354
    Hicks
    Feb. 9, 2016

    SCOT a Bike

    What all great minds alike have in common when they innovate is one goal: improve life. Electricity, roads, engine combustion, were all innovation that provoke the invention of, or the transportation innovation of the automobile. The automobile allowed the western world to progress into a future of development and prosperity. As cultures like America, Europe and some Asian focus on the future, many still lag behind. [For the sake of the first example] Many societies still depend on the bicycle to seek development and prosperity for their own live. These people are desiring the basics of life: food and water. The theory of social construction of technology is applicable if there was an innovation for the bicycle that allows people inhabiting certain regions in the world to live better.

    An idea to innovate the bicycle for underdeveloped cultures is to use the empty frame tubes of an average bicycle to store a fishing pole for people of regions of the world in countries like the Philippines, Republic of Congo, or even for the indigenous inhabitants of Peru. Fish are a main source of nourishment, if not the most important one. The convenience of storing a practical fishing pole inside the top tube of a bicycle frame will benefit these people in terms of time and money. If fishing poles are stored and transported in the top tube of a bicycle then there is a lower chance of damage during the time of transportation, which will allow the life of product use to grow, and in return save money for people who may not necessarily have the funds to purchase a new fishing pole at any given time. Societies that depend on consumption of fish and the mode of transportation from the bicycle will feel more confident in their economy.

    Even though it’s a pragmatic idea, it’s useful and helpful- factors that have high value to people who do not have the resources, connections, and conveniences of people living in places with innovations beyond the levels known in the modern world.

  10. The Bicycle: A Not Quite “Closed” Technology

    By: Mary Novokhovsky & Svetlana Taylor

    Video Link: https://youtu.be/PoNxEvOrfmk

    Neither of us lives on campus, so we rely on trains, cars and buses to get us to school. Even though the bicycle is a less costly, more environmentally friendly alternative to both of our current modes of travel, it just isn’t practical for many female commuters. This is because bicycles do not have enough basic safety and utility measures built in to be feasible travel solutions for our social group.

    In Mary’s case, the primary issue is safety. There is no route from her apartment in Bridgeport to campus that consistently has a bike lane. This means that part of the trek inevitably involves sharing the road with motorists. While this is less dangerous in the daytime, the poorly lit roads and narrow streets are a recipe for disaster at night. Also, as a victim of street assault in the city of Chicago, she is very conscious that any motorist with predatory motivations can easily follow her home. In potentially threatening scenarios there isn’t enough time to pull out a cell phone. That’s why Mary’s proposed modifications involve added security measures like front and back brake and turn lights plus an emergency alert button.

    For Svetlana, the issue of luggage capacity of the bikes is also a decisive factor. As a commuter student who accomplishes a two-hour commute each way, she carries a roller bag that contains all of her study materials and electronics. This is in addition to a backpack that contains personal items, such as lunch and exercise clothes. A Divvy bike doesn’t have a design feature that would make it possible for her to transport her school bag, therefore she constructed an addition to the back of the bike that could easily accommodate a bag or a small suitcase.

    Maybe these modifications aren’t the most novel, but they make all the difference to our social group: the female commuter. The Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) theory argues that “relevant” social groups are the determining factor in shaping technology (Klein and Kleinman 2002).

    While there is not a perfect bike out there that meets both of our needs, there exist a plethora of items that can be used as “fixes” currently. This harks back to the Pinch and Kline piece, “Users as Agents of Technological Change: The Social Construction of the Automobile”, when users of the automobile start purchasing “kits” to help customize their cars for different farming or household purposes. Even though one cannot purchase a bike with front and rear headlights, an emergency button and extra storage space, it is possible to separately purchase all of these items to create a customized commuter bike.

    If the demand for these “fixes” continues to remain high, then there is definitely room for the bicycle to reemerge as an “open” technology and become a more inclusive and innovative item. Once enough social groups demand the fixes to become standard, then this will open up, as Latour refers to it, the “black box”.

    References

    Pinch and Kline, “Users as Agents of Technological Change: The Social Construction of the Automobile”
    Klein and Kleinman, “The Social Construction of Technology: Structural Considerations”
    Latour, “Where are the Missing Masses”

  11. SCOT a bike

    Daniel Felipe López Morales
    Soowon Kim

    In this assignment, we, Soowon and Daniel, tried to apply “Social Construction of Technology (SCOT)” onto the bicycle. A bicycle is one of the most common human-powered, although few of them are electrically powered, means of transportation. Most of the bicycle shares similar form factors. I would doubt that the degree of government intervention on the bicycle is as severe as compared to automobile, however it is evident that closure had happened to bicycle. The idea of using bicycle is fixed in society and less than one out of hundred would use bicycle so as not to move from A to B, but for other reasons. We tried to break closure and open the black box so that we can alter, or even bypass the input and output relationship, thus use bicycle in different purposes.

    Before talking about how SCOT is applied to the bicycle, we want to share the background of the reasons. Soowon, major in mechanical engineering, confessed that he had an interesting, yet cumbersome experience during the mechanical laboratory course. To measure mechanical properties of certain materials, the surface of all of the specimens has to be polished to get consistent results. Soowon quickly found himself, polishing a tiny specimen, less than a cubic inch, with sandpaper, among other twenty classmates who are doing exactly the same thing.

    With this experience, one cannot easily ignore the idea of turning bicycle into a polisher. We went to Home depot and got a ten-foot-long sandpaper, wrapped around the rear wheel. The bicycle was flipped over upside down so that its pedals can be utilized to rotate the polisher. As its effectiveness will be shown in the video, because of high gear ratio, the polisher rotated in a high speed with a minimum effort. It was faster, more comfortable, and less painful than the polishing procedure during the lab.

    Then, we can ask a question to ourselves; why bicycle is not being used as a polishing device? Why this interpretive flexibility is tangible in our society? We will not get a clear answer for this questions any time soon, however we can at least conjecture what would happen during the “interpretation” phase. First, the value of transportation would be far greater than the value of polishing device. As Soowon has experienced, the problem of polishing specimens had occurred only during the lab session. However, the need to transport from A to B is mundane and yet essential desire. Second, bicycle industry or polishing machine industry could have intervened just like what automotive companies have done on the modification kits companies. They could have convened a machine specifically dedicated to polishing, eventually move bicycle technology into the closure phase.

    Despite the effectiveness and comfortableness of our polishing device, this SCOT will not emerge among our society. Partially because bicycle has a greater value as a mean of transportation than as a polishing machine, and automated machines dedicated for polishing are already on the market. However, the interpretative flexibility we have tried on the bicycle has given us new and alternative views on conventional technologies which are already in the closure phase. If polishing become an essential activity, we will welcome the bicycle with a different social mask.

    - Video: https://youtu.be/4uQXhr4Wcqo

  12. SCOT a Bike
    For our bike project, we decided to modify a bike such that a person without arms would be able to ride it. The idea for our modification consisted of a connection between the handlebars of the bike and the shoulders of the rider. We decided that to prevent unwanted turning from leaning forward, these connections would have to be flexible and operate under tension only. This stipulation led to the realization that a rope of some kind would be the best connector. Due to lack of actual rope, we made our own rope out of duct tape by folding a long strip in half along its length. We faced a problem with keeping the rope on the shoulders while still keeping it far enough away from the neck such that turning would not be too difficult. To solve this issue, we found a creative way to wrap the rope around the torso, and we tied the ends to each side of the handlebars. To get to the final design we ended up using, we had to take into consideration all of the potential needs of a person without arms. This included the main thing, steering, but it also meant that we had to design the connecting ropes such that they did not connect to our arms.
    Applying Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) to modify a bike for an armless person helped us come up with some ideas that we would have otherwise not have thought of. Specifically, by defining the user group we were trying to design for, we were able to identify potential problems with the design, and in the end, we were able to solve most of them. The result of our modification was a bike that could be ridden by an armless person, but the design was not without flaws. We were unable to find a way for the brakes to be applied without the use of the rider’s hands. Additionally, for the particular bike we used, shifting would be an issue. Without arms, the movement of the shifting levers is impossible in our design. A potential solution to this problem would be to use a fixed gear bike, but we did not have one available to us. Throughout the design process using SCOT, we learned that it is not always easy to create a technology that meets all of the needs of a specific user group, but we also learned that by designing the technology for the people, rather than expecting the people to conform to the technology, we were able to meet the main need of our relevant user group.

  13. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-Z0YR36CoI

    Safety Legs

    When trying to design a meaningful alteration to a bike, we first had to ask ourselves “What problems do bike riders face?” Neither of us are bike riders, so we started with the safety problem of falling bikes. Gravity can be pretty annoying and bikes falling can cause damage to the bike and be a problem in general. Especially kids who just drop their bikes outside then burden their parents to buy them a new one when the foot pedal or handle break from the fall. We came up with the idea for a kickstand that deploys itself when the bike is tilted at a certain angle. We thought this idea was good, but not a big enough innovation. We then decided to rethink our problem and take it to another level. Yes bikes fall, but they also fall while someone is riding. With our new problem in mind, we came up with this solution.

    Bikes are capable of relatively high speeds and even professionals fall sometimes. Falling down at those high speeds cause serious injury or even death. We came up with the idea of placing two legs on each side of the frame that deploy when the bike is tilted to a certain angle. On the end of these legs is a small ball bearing that can roll in any direction. The bearings will help the bike glide and not drag as hard, giving the user a smoother rescue. This can greatly reduce injuries if implemented. This innovation can also add another dimension to riding bikes if the user decides to intentionally lean and ride on the legs instead. Although it is not recommended to do this, the user ultimately gets to choose how to ride it

    This innovation is successful because it tackles a serious problem bike riders face and increases safety. This innovation also adds to the enjoyment of riding bikes which is also a successful attribute. Where this bike isn’t successful is that it doesn’t prevent falls where the user is thrown over the handlers. This innovation also adds mass. Maybe these issues can be addressed in future versions.

  14. SCOT A Bicycle: Bicycle-Centrifuge

    All over the globe, underdeveloped countries and communities are struggling to get any scientific research done, and it is seemingly because of their lack of resources, both technological and financial. For these reasons, we decided to use the SCOT (Social Construction of Technology) method to transform a regular bicycle into and efficient and cost effective scientific tool, a centrifuge. Bicycles are used for transportation on in every neighborhood on ever continent all over the planet Earth. If an object that people have semi – regular access to could be used to “separate particles from suspensions or…solutions according to their size, shape and density by subjecting these dispersed systems to artificially induced gravitational fields” maybe a few of the current social issues and dilemmas in our world today could be solved.
    While there are already technologies similar to our design we have improved upon them and differentiated what we hope to achieve in multiple ways. Preexisting ‘Bicycle-Centrifuges’ are only capable of holding up to four test tubes, while ours is able to hold up to ten. This minor attachment has the potential to aid in blood tests, help create antivenin to help with venomous snake bites, create drinkable milk after coming from the cow, and even, with enough scientific research and engineering behind it, separate drinkable water from contaminated supplies. Because of the commonality of bicycles all over the world, this new bicycle attachment would most definitely become popular, it being most likely being only slightly more expensive than similar and less efficient competition, and become adopted by people everywhere. We feel as if our design adopts some of the more acquired features from the previous ‘Bicycle-Centrifuges’ and interprets it a new light.
    This design may never be fully accepted, as there are smaller and more cost-effective centrifuges currently in development, but it will certainly accept closure as THE ‘Bicycle-Centrifuge’. Similarly to other centrifuge redesigns, this specific model will likely be rejected at first, but that is just the first step in the social reconstruction of these communities into scientific bases. Our SCOT’ed bicycle most certainly seems like a flexible, decentralized, and man-centered technology, being applicable in underdeveloped nations and in top research laboratories. Our goal with this centrifuge-attachment design was to make this kind science more available to those who do not have the privileges we do at IIT and in the developed world, while still making a completely viable technology that can quickly and effectively transform a transportation vehicle into a scientific instrument that has the potential to save lives.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeKz-4NuL-s

    Works Cited:
    Melville, Kate. “Centrifuge Made from a Salad Spinner for Developing Countries.” Centrifuge Made from a Salad Spinner for Developing Countries. May 4, 2010. Accessed February 07, 2016. http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20100404030109data_trunc_sys.shtml.

    Stinson, Liz. “A Clever Bike­Powered Centrifuge for Developing Countries.” WIRED. Condé Nast, 10 Dec 2014. Web. 31 Jan 2016.
    http://www.wired.com/2014/12/clever-bike-powered-centrifuge-developing-countries/

  15. BIKE ‘S.C.O.T’ Model

    February 2/9/15

    Using Old and New to Save Money

    The bike design should be college student friendly, which includes cost efficient, easy transport on and off campus, and easy storage. The key idea was that an entire bike can be expensive or unaffordable for college students but if their existing bike can be modified using updated components or items, owning such a bike will be possible.

    To make this possible we focused on the frame of the bike, which is sold separately and includes WIFI, which is powered by the batteries located within the frame. The frame serves as a power source to the bike’s additional features. The shape of the frame was also built to accommodate students’ fashion sense. Then we looked at making the bike foldable, which would ensure easy storage, especially for students with limited storage space in dorm rooms. The bike bends horizontally near pedal by pivoting at the seat rod. Next, we were concern about the strength of the bike; hence, we decided to maintain the triangular shape at the seat to provide more strength and stability. We explore the different types of materials that would cost efficient and effective. We wanted the bike to be lightweight and easily managed to lift and carry if needed.

    Some addition features we wanted the bike to have was heat. The heat was located in the seat of the bike and on handlebars. This was design to suit student winter riders and help to keep them warm while enjoying a bike ride during the winter. The seat and the bars handle pads is a separate ‘do it yourself’ component of the bike that students can place and attached when needed. Both the seat and the bar handle pads are powered by the running cables from battery located in the frame.

    To design a new technology or improve on an existing design need assisted power or assistance to execute and produce more than the conceived thought. Tons of factors need consideration. One has to consider the user of a design at all times, ensuring that the design suits their needs. Some factors that came about during the BIKE project were the use of material, its weight and placement of feature components.

    We learned that, being conditioned to a certain way of thinking does not help are develop one’s creative process, but instead blocks it. One way we overcame a portion of our creative block was moving from general to specific, which assisted in identifying some of what users need.

    Please see Video Link:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsD83cxsHMw&feature=youtu.be

    Cited:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/us/gear/article/workshop-how-to-swap-components-to-a-new-frame-31331/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhlUI9ry2JY

    http://www.sadabike.it/en/

    http://www.citygrounds.com/crew-bike-co/crew-bike-co-district-track-frame-2016-4500/color/WHITE?utm_source=googleshopping&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=20175&gclid=CN_TvtqD6coCFRCGaQodjxsOag

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Car-Seat-Heater-2-Seat-2-Controls-Carbon-Fiber-Heating-Pads-Cushion-Warmer-Pad-/171177288915

    http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Lifepo4-electric-bike-rechargeable-battery-24v_60375172824.html

    https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/19UpFX22fC0uiO8dMaPTbOuiOOfLeloHhT0Ek2VSKexs/edit#slide=id.p13

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