Gear App

Why leave your bike down on the ground and lose it when you can lock it up on the rooftop?

Gear App

Type Coursework (Group)
Taken part Design and Implement
Tools Arduino Uno, Lego Brainstorm
Language Used Java, Lego Brainstorm specific language
Time Used 4 weeks
Resource Gear App Official Website

Background and Motivation

The parking areas shall be safe, of good quality, have weather protection and there should be opportunities to lock the bike indoors or in a fixed place.

Our goal is to create a secure system for bikes that is easy to use and does not claim space that can be used for other purposes, but utilizes the roof instead which is usually not used.

The main problems we identified and can be solved by our rooftop storage bicycle idea are:

Bicycle rooms: They are usually overcrowded with unlocked bikes, thus being an unsafe and inconvenient solution for storing and retrieving bikes. Furthermore, this space could be used as a storage room for various other things or as a laundry room.

Outside space: The amount of bikes is rising and people individually usually own more than one bikes. Outside storage of bicycles started becoming a problem in cities like Amsterdam. Also, bikes are more exposed to theft and harsh weather conditions.

Theft: More than 60.000 bikes per year are stolen since 2004 in Sweden.

We have looked at a couple of different solutions to our problem. In the central station in Gothenburg, there is a 2 storey bicycle storage rack. From there we have looked on how to lock the bike in place while it is in transit. We have also looked at an automated bike storage system in Japan. That system is underground though, but we could still look at it for inspiration. After we had arrived at the rooftop solution, we found a concept made for the city of Amsterdam, where bike storage is a huge issue. The concept was very similar to ours with rooftop

Our concept is based on a rooftop storage solution, using a cylindrical structure to store the bikes and a railway elevator system on the facade to lift them to the roof. RFID tag will be used for identification and users will be able to order the retrievals of their bikes at a specific time through a mobile app.

In the initial stages we are building parts of our concepts using simple styrofoam and legos to visualize the concept and ideate on the pros and cons. It is a complex system consisting of electronics, mechanics and IT app and hence it is very difficult to realize the entire concept and implement it with the limited budget and timespan. Simple 3D modeling and animation software was used for illustrating the whole mechanism, including RFID identification to access the system, railway-based lifting at the facade and storing on the cylindrical rooftop.

Design Concept

Our concept is based on a rooftop storage solution, using a cylindrical structure to store the bikes and a railway elevator system on the facade to lift them to the roof. RFID tag will be used for identification and users will be able to order the retrievals of their bikes at a specific time through a mobile app.

In the initial stages we are building parts of our concepts using simple styrofoam and legos to visualize the concept and ideate on the pros and cons. It is a complex system consisting of electronics, mechanics and IT app and hence it is very difficult to realize the entire concept and implement it with the limited budget and timespan. Simple 3D modeling and animation software was used for illustrating the whole mechanism, including RFID identification to access the system, railway-based lifting at the facade and storing on the cylindrical rooftop.

Problems and Concerns

The project has only developed a concept prototype, and there is still a lot that need to be designed and developed. For example how the bike is moved from the rail of the facade into the cylinder.

There are a few outstanding issues regarding the user interaction that need to be further investigated. These include questions such as; what is a reasonable time for the bike to move down? If the bike is not checked out how fast should the bike move back up into the cylinder? And should there be a punishment system each time that happens?

Seeing how public bike parking is becoming of more importance this system could also be adapted to be a public parking. How would the security then be handled if not by RFID?

This system could also have services connected To add services to the design such as gamification features in the smartphone application or storage of rain clothes or helmets for example.

Implementation