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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Members!
This is Sarit from India. I am working on design an electric car that can adapt to climate change. This is a project out of my passion for innovation, relying on my engineering experiences. I need technical guidance in detail design of a prototype.

Let me introduce first. I am a Civil Engineering graduate, having two Masters in Environmental Science (one from University of New Orleans, NO, LA) and currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Hydrometeorology (Climate Science) at IIT Kharagpur (one of the top technical institutes in India). I also have one year professional experience in Industrial design. And I love to create creative solutions for sustainable future development.

As a researcher in climate science, I can foresee higher intensity/frequency in climate related disasters, flood, landslides etc. in coming years. I also read a lot on development of various green technologies, including electric car development. In my vision, we urgently need to design a car that should rely on on-board charging from renewable energy and have features that save passengers from any sort of climate disasters.

So, such car has to be little more than a conventional electric car. I named it "Car+". A set of +ve charges (features) will allow it to run anytime, anywhere. The critical features are listed below:

+1> On-board charging system using all sorts of renewable energy sources (solar/wind/rain/lightning), even waste heat of tailpipe exhaust from IC engines

+2> 4x4 wheel drive-by-wire

+3> Expandable in both length and width-wise using air-filled struts

+4> Capable of float and fly using balloon/rotors in case of emergency only

+5> Ultra-low turning radius

+6> Head-to-toe panoramic dashboard

Of course, the prototype of such a special vehicle may not be economically feasible, rather the innovations behind its features can be patented to get other cars retrofitted with.

I already have the outline sketch and looking to proceed into detail design. Members please help me. Thanks in advance!
 

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You just described inspector gadget. You will want sealed wheel motors and sealed batteries to keep the elements like water out or you will wind up with a lot of dead fish floating around you the first time you take it into the lake. Of course with everything sealed up it will be a challenge in figuring how to dissipate the heat. I do not under stand why you need to expand the length and width of the vehicle. It would probably be better to pick a specific size and put the extra engineering into suspension and body flexibility.
 

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Hi Dragonsgate!
Thanks for your reply. Let me clarify. Car+ is designed to ply through sudden floods which is becoming common event across the world. Making battery/wheel motors sealed will just allow to strand without fearing any damage, but it will not allow to drive to your destination in time!
While the two-ways expansion is proposed to allow it you to drive even through a narrow lane of just 4 feet wide (very much common in developing countries) and also allow you to have high capacity while you are on wider road! These narrow lanes actually prohibit millions of car enthusiasts living in developing countries to buy a high capacity car because of its size. At preliminary stage, Car+ is designed to expand from a size similar to 4-seater Tata Nano (the cheapest car in the world) to 9-seater Tata Winger (a mid-size utility vehicle). So, Car+ has to swell from 3100mm x 1400mm to 4920mm x 1900mm in length and width respectively, using air-filled struts. The design is underway, need to check the technical feasibility.
 

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This is what happens if you get too much education without spending some time out in the shop. Academic disorientation. Take a little break from school, and do a simple dc conversion and learn how to wrench, grind, and weld. The higher testosterone levels produced from this kind of activity will get you back on track.
 

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This is what happens if you get too much education without spending some time out in the shop. Academic disorientation. Take a little break from school, and do a simple dc conversion and learn how to wrench, grind, and weld. The higher testosterone levels produced from this kind of activity will get you back on track.
Lol i was gonna refrain from saying anything because the concept was unclear and unpheasable to me ... But i must say i loved your reply lol
 

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This is what happens if you get too much education without spending some time out in the shop. Academic disorientation. Take a little break from school, and do a simple dc conversion and learn how to wrench, grind, and weld. The higher testosterone levels produced from this kind of activity will get you back on track.
I have seen education work the opposite also. If it is not in the book it can’t be done. An example I like to throw out is one involving my brother in-law. He is a self taught electronic wiz. Years ago he was working for a big photo developing company. He was left in charge while the head of the maintenance was on a short vacation when a computerized machine went down. The part needed would take two or three days to be delivered. In the meantime the company was loosing thousands of dollars an hour. So my in-law builds a replacement. Forgive the lack of detail but from what I remember it was a resistor and some other components and a finned heat sink with a couple of biscuit blowers. He got everything up and running with in a couple of hours. The head guy (a college boy) got word and was back in a day or so. The first thing he said as he stood there looking at the repair was that shouldn’t work. He was strictly book learned while practically everything my in-law knew was hands on. Evmetro’s advice to get some shop experience is sound but the main thing is keep that unbridled imaginative enthusiasm and don’t let school or anybody else beat it out of you.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello Evmetro and Dragonsgate,
Thanks for your exquisite comments and suggestions. Let me mention that I have grown up in family of Mechanical and Electrical engineers and have extensive in-hand training. I am of course trying to develop a car using so-called out-of-box leap-frog technologies, but it is obviously will be much-sought in coming years. Will go component by component, scratching from basics. Starting with the expandable platform design, followed by driving transmission. ~Sarit
 

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Im all up for innovation but wanting to make something float and fly and 4 wheel drive and expandeble in lenght and width .... Start by basics ...make a boat car then a plane car then if all goes well go with the big package with what youve learnt in mistakes
 

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There were also a lot of people that told a young, South African, whipper-snapper, full of dreams and enthusiasm, that he couldn't build cars that rival the best of the "real" manufacturers, and build rockets that go into outer space and back safely, and transport cargo to the ISS... :rolleyes: How can you tell a person they are dreaming too big, reaching too far, when you don't have all the information you need (including a peek into the future at their against-all-odds accomplishments) to say whether or not they can succeed?

By that reasoning Musk should have built a DC-powered Metro, and started with bottle rockets.

He didn't say the vehicle was going to market, or even that it had to function perfectly in every aspect - but, from what I understand, more that it provokes thought, at this point. The question then is more a matter of how much money, time, and knowledge, he has to invest in realizing it, or how much of each he can come up with over time? Elon didn't have enough money and knowledge to do Tesla and Space X on his own, but that hasn't stopped him so far.

With hub motors, the 4x4 part is solved. I can build a chassis that expands in length and width, with the equipment I have available now - it's just a matter of having the time and money to keep at it until it works right. That wouldn't even be that difficult to accomplish. Tight turning radius - four wheel steering... Most of what was proposed is actually doable.

The biggest challenges I see are with control - it's going to take a LOT of coding to make all that stuff work properly.
 

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The biggest challenges I see are with control - it's going to take a LOT of coding to make all that stuff work properly.
Strangely enough I see that as a trivial problem,

Remember the old Twini Minis and Mokes,

Two independent engine/gearbox units - simply use the ground as a common feature to tie them together

Rather like an old fashioned standard differential - no code needed
 

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Todd, the proposed vehicle sounds pretty unrealistic to me, but I would have to agree with you that it is possible to build. When I read about your projects, you appear to be a bit of a dreamer yourself, but I am always impressed with your skills and with your extremely artistic perspective. The world could use more builders like yourself. What I think you fail to see here, is that the chances of finding somebody who can dream this craft up, design it, AND build it are slim. You may be able to do this, but you are seeing things from the perspective of a gifted builder. I won't even get into the money side of this project, but there is probably some kind of liberal government money program that would love to fund it. I hope you and sarit never lose your ambition for this kind of stuff, and I have no plans to stand in the way. I'll check in once in a while on this build from the laptop on my welding table...
 

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...and 1.7 billion dollars.
Lol, for starting a new car manufacturing business and a space flight company, that isn't as much as it sounds like. Compared to developing one prototype vehicle that (according to the goals) isn't immediately production oriented, doesn't need a factory to build, or have to jump through government hoops....

Most of that vehicle he described, I can see how to build, with not even a mentionable fraction of Musk's money, if it was just meant to be a concept.
...Of course, the prototype of such a special vehicle may not be economically feasible, rather the innovations behind its features can be patented to get other cars retrofitted with...


Strangely enough I see that as a trivial problem,

Remember the old Twini Minis and Mokes,

Two independent engine/gearbox units - simply use the ground as a common feature to tie them together

Rather like an old fashioned standard differential - no code needed
I agree with you, I was just looking at all the stuff he wants together and thinking that computer control would make it seem like a viable 21st century application. Even econoboxes come with a lot of computer crap now, and we carry quite a bit of computing power in our pockets (compared to the good ol days).

...
+1> On-board charging system using all sorts of renewable energy sources...

+2> 4x4 wheel drive-by-wire

+3> Expandable in both length and width-wise using air-filled struts

+4> Capable of float and fly using balloon/rotors in case of emergency only

+5> Ultra-low turning radius (me: 4ws by wire electronic rack, with speed, steering angle, etc, sensors to determine how much and what direction the rear wheels turn)

+6> Head-to-toe panoramic dashboard
...

So, with concept vehicle in mind, imagine promotional videos showing the vehicle racing towards a narrow alley, sensors reading the obstruction ahead, and automatically narrowing the vehicle just in time. Yes, it's James Bond, but we actually have available technology - even for hackers - to accomplish this stuff now. That's a hyped up, concept car, style method of promoting the value of the technology. In real, litigation/liability centered, life it probably would only work if the vehicle were stationery and empty...

I'm just saying that what he proposes isn't out of the realm of possibility - even for a slightly above average Joe. It wouldn't be cheap, and it darn sure wouldn't be easy, but we don't know what he has to work with or how much drive and commitment he has to see it through.
 

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... When I read about your projects, you appear to be a bit of a dreamer yourself, but I am always impressed with your skills and with your extremely artistic perspective. The world could use more builders like yourself...
Thanks, I think?:confused: Kidding thanks!:D

I am a dreamer, and I do like to push the limits. The funny thing is I am really doing far less than I am capable of right now, for a variety of reasons. My biggest downfall is I really do things to try to encourage others about what's possible, but it's really hard to remain motivated and committed when people are saying, "you can't do it, it won't work, that's dumb, why not just take the easy way?"




...What I think you fail to see here, is that the chances of finding somebody who can dream this craft up, design it, AND build it are slim. You may be able to do this, but you are seeing things from the perspective of a gifted builder...
Thank you again. :) How do we know that he doesn't possess ten times my capabilities? I found internet forums a little over a decade ago and instantly started posting all my bright ideas. I was consistently and repeatedly told, "it will never work". The stuff I'm showing now is what I was already doing back then. I didn't show a lot of it to them because I grew weary of trying to convince people what I was holding in my hands was actually real. The stuff I can do, but don't show now, and have learned to not even discuss, people would continue to tell me I can't do.

I will say it again, I can see how to build that vehicle (as a concept) and it doesn't look that difficult. Even if I couldn't, that doesn't mean it's impossible - it means someone just might be able to see something I can't.

I didn't believe America was ready to elect a minority for President, I was wrong. I didn't actually believe that Musk could fly that darn rocket into space and back - I was wrong. I couldn't see what looked, and ultimately was, so simple to another, from their perspective. Until you stand in a man/woman's shoes...
 

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My hypothesis here is that his skills will not match his academic background. He may posses shop skills that are better than yours and mine combined, but from my observations of highly educated people, the testosterone break that I suggested will have a strong impact on the design of his proposed build. It may even help to identify a few things that could take a low enough priority to scratch off of the list. Maybe having it fly could be moved to a future build, and he could focus on prototyping and testing to come up with a solid 4x4 design that works well under water before taking it to the next level.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi crackerjackz!
Thanks for passionate words. Let me reaffirm that Car+ is not a regular flying or amphibious car, it can float or fly only during emergency like sudden flood or landslide. It is just a regular 4-wheeler with some additional features for adapting climate change at a reasonable cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hello Todd!
Thanks a lot for taking interest in Car+ design. You are right, architecture of Car+ quite possible with available technology. The real challenges are
1. to build an all-electric 4x4 drive train using drive-by-wire tech which need some serious coding

2. to develop an on-board charging platform (combination of solar panel, wind-turbine etc.) that integrate all-renewable energy sources

Its may sound crazy now, but I have a draft design of the integrated power-collector, will share in time. The coding would be tricky, will take up after the configuration of the hardware is ready. For the given dimensions, is it possible to estimate the cost building an expandable platform and along with the material details?

Just to mention, I am a big dreamer too..you may check website sarit dot in to find more details.

~Sarit
 

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Looking at your website I see that this vehicle design is just a small part of a rather ambitious larger dream of promoting a sustainable future world economy and ecosystem, which I also embrace. I am very much interested in technology, which will certainly be a large part of our ability as humans to survive and hopefully prosper in the future, but I see the main problem and impediment to such a system as being our own misguided instincts and learned predatorial activities. These behaviors tend to limit our ability to live in close harmony with other people, particularly those with selfish and individualistic tendencies, and some of this can be seen as remnants of our ancient simian ancestors who exhibited some of the violence and selfishness of Chimpanzees.

I also have a strong interest in dogs, and their more recent ancestors, wolves, who have developed a strong and effective pack structure that allows them to resolve conflicts and perform actions that, above all, ensure the pack's continued survival, and adapting to severe environmental changes. I think we can be greatly helped by understanding and interacting with dogs, who have co-evolved with us and enabled our rapid advancement over the last 10,000 years. We will need to learn how to become closer to nature and respect our natural environment, working together to assure our long-term survival as a species, and eliminating the selfish and destructive behavior of some individuals who essentially have no empathy or conscience, and exist only for short-term self-aggrandizement with no regard for others or the ecology that must be preserved.

Some of my ideas are presented in my proposal for an intentional community, and eventually a network of communities, that promote much greater efficiency as well as a social environment that promotes healthy human interaction and reduces the isolation that characterizes far too many people today. And, yes, it will also include dogs and other animals, as pets as well as livestock, where we may learn to treat animals with respect and kindness, rather than abusing them as is done in commercial facilities to satisfy our unhealthy demand for meat products.

www.newkoinonia.com
 

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The biggest challenges I see are with control - it's going to take a LOT of coding to make all that stuff work properly.
The biggest problem is feature creep.

Take what could be a great design: A really simple, robust, lightweight, small, affordable vehicle with flexible interior space aimed squarely at the developing world and its limitations...

Then add the requirement that it also has to be a 4 wheel drive boat that can change shape like a Transformer, fly and run on harvested energy...

What do you get? Nothing. Big ideas are great but if they're going to grow they have to be rooted in reality.
jk
 

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The biggest problem is feature creep...

...What do you get? Nothing. Big ideas are great but if they're going to grow they have to be rooted in reality.
jk
My thing is whose reality. A billionaire's reality is a bit different than a poor guys. We still do not know what resources the OP has, has access too, or might gain access to. Even when aimed at the developing world, Bill Gate's reality of what he can do to change the world, and how he might approach it, is a completely different picture than what I am capable of doing.





...Take what could be a great design: A really simple, robust, lightweight, small, affordable vehicle with flexible interior space aimed squarely at the developing world and its limitations...
That's your vision. It is reasonable, logical, and worth pursuing. The OP has a different vision and, from what I understand, his goal is to provoke thought and inspire people to participate in finding solutions - a concept vehicle, not a directly applicable tool for those developing nations. He said his hope is that parts and pieces of his design can be implemented by others in their solutions. His entire website has that feel - creating the atmosphere for change, for something better, not exactly grassroots pour a ladle of food into a bowl. Both are needed. The grassroots level, hands-on, work must be done; and at the same time there need to be big ideas floating to establish a direction, and end goals.





...Then add the requirement that it also has to be a 4 wheel drive boat that can change shape like a Transformer, fly and run on harvested energy...
That's twisting things quite a bit. He has specified a few times that he meant it should be watertight for things like flash floods, not function as a boat. The expandable length and width are so that the same vehicle can haul more stuff and fit in tight spaces. The manufacturers have been experimenting with concepts like this for quite some time. One or a couple of the new city car concepts kind of folds in the middle so that it takes up half of a parking space. Sounds far-reaching but it is an elegant solution to a common urban problem. As mentioned, I could actually build that chassis now, with my available resources. The flying thing, if I understand correctly, is not to be a plane; but more to deal with things like a mud slide, where driving and floating are impossible. A hovercraft can probably accomplish this - it's not actually flying, but it's off the ground. And again, if I understand correctly, the idea is to present possibilities for solving a potential problem, not an immediately applicable solution. The key word he used that puts all that into perspective was - emergency.

Why don't I do all this if I think it's so easy? Because it's not my vision, not my goal, not my dream. I do, however, get his vision, goal, dream, and think it's worth considering.
...Big ideas are great but if they're going to grow...
In this case, the big idea can grow in the minds of others, to think differently, approach problems more responsibly and effectively. That vehicle will then have served its intended purpose. Big ideas help shock humans out of their fear of change, by allowing them to see how much better something can be. We've been building transportation essentially the same way for over a century, and changing the world around it to suit its needs. Such a concept promotes the opposite - the idea of changing the vehicle to suit its intended environment.
 
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