Alexei Mikhailov – Humber College Industrial Design
TrakRok vehicle is an alternative design solution intended for all season off-roading mobility. Powered by sustainable renewable energy, the vehicle is composed of light weight exoskeleton assembly construction. Utilizing a wheeled locomotion swing arm design, delivers TrakRok performance advantage in environments of rough terrain, and harsh seasonal conditions.
Alexei Mikhailov – Humber College Industrial Design
I would like to thank the faculty at Humber College Industrial Design, for providing me the fundamental base of skills and knowledge in industrial design, and giving me the opportunity to explore my thesis project to the best of my ability. Also I would like to thank my project advisors, Andrew Jepson and Dan Baldwin, for providing me with very helpful information and input which shaped and directed my thesis project to the next level. Their expertise in the field of design and engineering, enabled me to recognize and solve challenging problems with a new outlook on functional design.
The vision of a fun future where boys will be boys brought smiles to our faces. The fact that it’s propelled by green energy (hydrogen) and allows for physical nature exploration is a boon. As a design, we appreciate that it expands a category/typology.
1. Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the challenge posed to you? Did it get you excited and why?
I’ve set out to design a new alternative off-roading ATV vehicle, an all-terrain vehicle that offers better safety measures with the use of alternate design applications and sustainable technologies, the TrakRok is the solution I derived at. The main problems I was faced with, is how to make the design more conceptually safe and sustainable, at the same time being able to offer better applications for the off-roading experience. I was initially excited about the project ever since I began my design co-op with a new and upcoming company that developed the Shredder, I’ve had the opportunity to contribute with design and develop of their new revolutionary off-road prototype vehicle called the Shredder. This experience inspired me to redesign conventional off-road ATV vehicle into something new and alternative, using innovative technologies and material of tomorrow.
2. What point of view did you bring to the challenge? Was there anything additional that you wanted to achieve with this project or bring to this project that was not part of the original brief?
I’ve tackled this project with a new perspective on ATV design and its applications , I wanted not only to take the existing product spectrum and innovate it but also implement new functional features which would outperform the conventional product offerings. Ive researched new possibilities in technological advances from different fields of view, analyzing advances in regions from Military, NASA and Automotive sectors: this enabled me to take a new approach at challenges faced with conventional ATV design.
3. When designing this project, whose interests did you consider? (Discuss various stakeholders, audiences, retailing, manufacturing, assembly, distribution, etc., for example.)
Working on this project, I wanted to incorporate new innovative technologies that were never fused together into one package. Inspired by the Shredder track design, I wanted to fuse the modular track system with the chassis of a conventional ATV in a completely new platform, serving interest of implementing better safety applications and sustainability factors to better suit the ATV market with a completely new design alternative.
4. Describe the rigor that informed your design. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) If this was a strictly research or strategy project, please provide more detail here.
The initial inspiration idea for the TrakRok started after I did my design co-op with the Shredder company, this is where I got firsthand experience working with mechanical design applications. My advisors provided me with very helpful input which shaped and directed my project to the next level. Their expertise in the field of design and engineering, enabled me to recognize and solve challenging problems with a new outlook on functional design. Starting with the early stages of the project I made a number of small scaled foam core sketch models in order to get a better idea of the defining form of the vehicle, this helped me to determine the profile and wheel stance of the vehicle that would define the overall appearance. A 3D CAD model of the TrakRok was modeled to further refine the design, after which I used rapid prototype service to produce the parts that were then later sanded and finally painted before put together into a scaled physical model.
5. What is the social value of your design? (Gladdening, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, labor-mindful, environmental, cultural, etc.) How does it earn its keep in the world?
ATV vehicles are responsible for more casualties in children and adults than any other leading recreational transportation out there. Safety and sustainability are the social value of my design, offering an alternative new outlook at problems of safety, the TrakRok is the design solution that introduces new features in a conceptual context which would decrease hypothetical number of casualty rates. At the same time taking into account the sustainability factors, which play a major role in the product life cycle and the effect on the environment. Utilising new biodegradable materials provides a greater efficiency in recycling and disposal of parts as a whole.
6. If you could have done one thing differently with the project, what would you have changed?
It’s difficult to truly say what I’d changed and do completely different have I had another go at it this project. It was a tough journey with many challenges that lead me to the final design solution, many factors effected change to happen which lead to alternative solutions and new problems. One lesson that I learned is that change is always evolving when a new design is formed, change is growth from one constant to another, without change new innovative ideas wouldn’t happen. If I had to name one thing I would change, it would be the design of the “swing arms”. As intricate and as cool as they may look, in the real world scenario such design would not be very economical to realise, as it is with every conceptual idea, reality adds its own rules into the mix that we all abide by.