HPV Differential

Front drivetrain differential for the 2017 RISD Rover, designed to be used in any human-powered vehicle.

One of the major points of failure for previous RISD entries in the NASA Rover Challenge was the front differential. In the 2017 entry, we wanted to address this through a grounds-up overhaul of the design itself.

The design drew inspiration from the reversible ratchets in flip-flop bike hubs; through combining two opposing two of these in opposite configurations with a central driver, you could effectively make a differential at a fraction of the weight of conventional bevel gear based designs.

The design had to be lightweight but still be able to withstand the forces exerted on it. Numerous designs and prototypes were created during the design process, with CAD, FEA and physical prototyping all used as tools to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each iteration. The final design was judged by its manufacturability, cost and performance.

Project collaborators Ryan Smith.

Faculty advisor: Michael Lye.