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User:KVDP/AT CAD Team/AT electric skateboard
Local transport with cargo
A while ago, I added 2 main designs for transport, notably the quad roller skates and the AT e-velomobile (see AT_CAD_Team#Transport_CAD_projects ). The quad roller skates were intented for short-distance transport, where the AT e-velomobile is intented for medium-long distance transport.
One thing I'm not sure of however is whether the quad roller skates are usable with cargo (cargo can be carried on the "driver's" back, ie in a rucksack). Depending on the rucksack's capacity, upto 40 kg could definitely be carried (although this also depends on the drivers physical capabilities). However, I'm not sure whether with this much weight, it would still be possible to skate appropriatly; ie as the center of gravity lies pretty high-up, and the quad roller skates are also "unstable"(; they glide). So, I was thinking on whether anyone has had experience with carrying a heavy rucksack with (quad) roller skates ?
The reason why this is important is for the possibility of using the skates for going to the local supermarket, and other shops. As mentioned in my instructables article, and the Appropriate Living Manual, offcourse the personal requirements need to be kept low as well (so that little needs to be gathered at all; 40 kg of load isn't much ...).
Offcourse, the AT e-velomobile could be used in this case despite that it's primarily designed for medium-long distances. However, for very short distances (mostly to urban centres), there are significant drawbacks; the biggest being the problem involving the requirement of a parking space, and the fact that the vehicle will need to be left if ie a public transport vehicle needs to be taken while in the city. The quad roller skates were capable of foreseeing in this, however the AT e-velomobile can not, so if cargo can't be taken along due to the high centre of gravity, then a suitable alternative needs to be found.
I was thus thinking of adding a AT electric skateboard (or something comparitive; ie electric mountainboard, ...) to the list, if indeed these could fix the problem. They are a little more stable (center of gravity remains still high though), so it is possible they could eliminate the problem. They could also provide some other advantages (ie equally great agility when compared to the roller skates, possibility for use with other (non-transport related) projects)
First issue to take a look at with the design is offcourse how the driver will sit on the board. This, in respect to the height of the center of gravity, to not exhaust the driver (ie sitting with a heavy bag is easier than standing up with one) and also to increase the aerodynamic properties. With regular e-skateboards, the driver stands, which is pretty much the worst position to carry a heavy bag, the worst aerodynamic position the driver can assume, as well as the worst in respect to the center of gravity when wearing the rucksack. In essence, 2 positions are possible: the first is a more regular skateboarding/surfing position (not standing but with bend knees). The other is a new position where the driver sits on one or on both knees. Control of the engine power/brakes remains equal; ie with a handheld remote control.
The 2 positions will need to be looked into since, when sitting on the knees, I'm not sure whether weight shifting will still be that easy or possible at all. A second aerodynamic improvement could also be to add a foldable windshield (some 30cm high). This could be used in case the sitting position is used, to hold the driver in place (knees against windshield, leg straps at the back), as well as to improve the aerodynamic properties (wind will deflect from the shield and continue its path via the driver (driver essentially being an extension to the windshield). Goggles would be foreseen (see this article for what goggles can be used). Another issue if the sitting position is chosen is the size of the board; this wil be wider than with normal skate/mountainboards.
In addition, to be AT-compliant, the electric "skate" (or other) board would also need to be foreseen of regular lead-acid batteries (rather than Li-Ion, ...) and also made up from cradle to cradle materials. I made a list of manufacturers in the new article I made at Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_skateboard ) we can use to design/built the board with in case the roller skates won't do.
For the powersource: a regular battery (LiFePO4 / Ni-Cd/ or Ni-Mh), or a fuel-cell (bioalcohol-based) can be used