(continues from Part 1)
For their thesis projects, the 3rd year design students at the Lawrence Technological University (LTU) focused mainly on automotive interiors and devices designed to help overcoming physical disabilities.
Yacob Nigatu, Eryu Shi, & Ashley Nieman
Chrysler Vanwagon Concept
The Chrysler Vanwagon interior is designed for a family minivan with enhanced in vehicle interaction, improved ingress, egress as well as increased interior volume for a customer with a prosthetic leg.
The interior supports the customer’s devices as well as his/her leg through wireless charging throughout the interior.
The rear section is designed specifically for the needs of children and features color and material selections that aesthetically attract and interest the younger passenges while on trip in the minivan.
Justin McCandless, Dave Toennies, & Lindsey Grant
The Dodge Node propose an alternative solution for moving in crowded urban environments complete vehicle share program consisting of a compact, folding two-seater closed vehicle and an electric-assisted bicycle.
At stations located throughout the city, cars and bikes are stored underground and can be retrieved by signing up for the program and creating a profile using the included mobile app. The user can choose between the car and the bike depending on the specific need.
The vehicles fold so they can nest and take up as little space as possible. The Node can be dropped off a anywhere and the vehicle will alert other users that it is available, or it will drive itself to the nearest station for recharging. Induction charges located around the car allow it to share power with other Nodes and link up in a caravan for when the user is travelling in a group.
Video chatting between connected Nodes can then occur, and the car allows the passengers to interact with the outside environment by projecting points of interest on the class and suggesting activities based on previous destinations.
Emilio Feliciano, Tony Osorio, & Annie Knoff
Jeep Guardian Concept
Staying true to its brand, the Jeep Guardian aims to encourage Jeep users to adventure and explore on and off road the Jeep community.
The Guardian is a small device that captures motion for the gesture based 3D interface. The device also works with other products like Jeep helmets and glasses or other personal devices bringing the interface along for the adventure bridging the gap between the interior and exterior experience.
The Guardian is always around to record unique routes, share photos, and keeps users safe and connected when in remote locations. When a hiking trip or off road adventure ends, users can share their routes, photos, and journals and challenge other Jeep Guardian users to meet, beat, or improve their route.
Lear / Buick Passenger Experience Project
These two concepts explore different scenarios for future interiors focused on passenger experiences.
The first explores public autonomous transportation focusing on creating an engaging experience in any city by creating personalized tours that appeal to each individual customer.
The second focuses on autonomous/chauffer driven vehicles exploring the idea of the interior becoming the destination rather than being purely a means of transportation.
Lear Sponsored Project
The Weekender is a fully autonomous vehicle for the working man oriented towards leisure activities. Part ATV and part Fiat Jolly, it straddles the boundaries of traditional vehicles.
It is capable of acting as a trailer by folding itself into a completely flat load surface for hauling supplies to and from the job site. Because it can drive itself, there’s no more need to hook it up to any hitches. When work is done, the Weekender unfolds itself into a social space with the seats all facing each other.
All the passengers can share the driving experience thanks to the wireless steering controller, which also lets passengers discover interesting places.
The Weekender also features storage in the back for misc. gear as well as a durable canvas tarp for shade or foul weather.
Buick Interior Project
The Buick Lacrosse features a passenger-centric layout to provide the feeling and function of an office on-the-go, even when stuck in busy traffic. The front passenger seat can swivel around to create a lounge environment and make conversing easy among passengers.
Premium features like a hard wood floor and rich leathers give the car an air of luxury. Using the provided motion-tracking glasses, passengers can interact with a 3D interface that allows them to review digital models, maps, videos and more from every angle.
To interact with an object that exists only in virtual space, a simple and intuitive control unit is built into the rear center arm rest.
Industrial Design Projects
Under Armour RunSafe
The RunSafe shoe designed for Under Armour was created to keep the runner safe in any condition. With sounding alarms, and flashing lights, the runner is more visible to others which has been found to deter attackers.
The shoe also has a GPS tracker which can pair up with smart phone apps, and if the user deters from their intended route without indication, an emergency contact will be called.
All features are controlled through thought, a neurological technology that is in use in the medical field and being further developed.
Autism Therapy Chair
The Autism Therapy chair is designed to cater to autistic children during a meltdown. Each feature caters to a specific autistic symptom in order to calm and soothe the user.
Some techniques used include deep pressure stimulation, rocking, heating and cooling, soothing sounds, vibrations, and a secondary full spectrum lighting product.
Nike Influence Concept
“In order to help the kids of America lose weight and live healthier we must start designing ways to motivate them and get them moving.” The proposed concept promotes an active life style, and makes use of new materials, technology and energy sources.
Influence uses Nike’s Fuel Band technology to track movement and OLEDs woven into the mesh fabric of the shoe. As the user works out the shoe keeps record of the time and energy used and shows this data through changing its mesh’s color. It’s motivation through color.
Prosthetic Leg Concept
This prosthetic leg concept is designed for the active person who depends on their body to perform every minute of every day. It houses a microprocessor knee that helps carry the load and keep balance. It also uses a Proprio Foot that recognizes elevation angles so it adjusts for every step and has a natural rest state for a realistic position while sitting.
The foot is replaceable for other functional inserts, or wear and tear. With this dynamic and exciting design it will make anyone feel more than complete, mentally healthy, and proud.
(go to Part 3)
(Image Courtesy: Lawrence Tech University for Car Body Design)