This proposal seeks funding for a senior design project in the college of Mechanical Engineering. Cal Poly alumni and professional engineer Geoffrey Wheeler is sponsoring the project. He requires us to design a drive system that will provide reliable mechanical power to a variety of other machines in the absence of electrical power. The intention behind this project is that the resulting system would be implemented in developing countries where electricity from the grid is unreliable. Our system will be capable of producing a broad range of output torques and speeds in order to run a diverse array of implements. We plan to design, build, and test a prototype, provide Mr. Wheeler with detailed parts drawings, manufacturing instructions and an "Operation and Repair" manual. We anticipate our most significant design challenge to be manufacturability because we are constrained to relatively low-tech low-precision fabrication methods by the nature of the problem. It is important to note that the Cal Poly Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) has previously undertaken similar projects on multiple occasions focusing on implementation in a community in southern Malawi. Our project will take a somewhat broader approach and focus primarily on the mechanical design. We plan to provide EWB with our documentation, and they will have the option to implement our design at their discretion. Mr. Wheeler will also have the opportunity to implement the design as he chooses.
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