Miscellaneous : Recreation


Low Maintenance Snowmobile Ski Design that Increases Traction, Maneuverability and Safety on Paved Surfaces

Students from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in partnership with UW-Platteville Senior Design have developed a snowmobile ski that offers improved steering and traction on pavement and other hard surfaces. The design incorporates a fixed wheel and runner system, which provides steering control when rolling on pavement and concrete yet allows the skis to function properly when driving on snow and ice surfaces. The design has been refined through multiple prototype iterations and has passed testing for mobility on hard surfaces, traction on ice, and functionality on snow. The present design increases maneuverability on pavement and requires less maintenance when compared with snowmobiles that are currently on the market.

Bike Trailer Folds for Easy Storage

UW–Madison researchers have developed a new bicycle trailer design that stays attached while folding for easy storage. The trailer folds and pivots to align with the frame, allowing the user to store his/her bike effectively in a rack, apartment or tight space. The user can go from carrying a backpack, athletic bag or groceries to storing the entire bike/trailer setup in the same area the bike would occupy normally.

The trailer, which attaches to the fork rather than the axle, folds by pivoting up and forward to rest nearly on the seat, sides folded down. When folded it rests in a width thinner than the bike’s handlebars and extends only a few inches beyond the back tire.

New Dual Keyboard Console That Transmits Data to Two Player Pianos

A UW–Madison researcher has developed a modified version of the Moor-Duplex piano — a double keyboard console, which controls two player pianos using Disklavier-compatible technology. The console comprises two stacked 88-key piano keyboards with two complete sets of hammers that strike felt instead of strings when a key is played. A system of sensors and processors, together with a communication interface, allows the pianist’s keystrokes to be transmitted from the double keyboard console to the two player pianos, which then produce the actual notes. Additionally, there are a total of five pedals on the console: three that are found on traditional pianos, a fourth as found on Moor-Duplex pianos that allows a single key to activate multiple hammers and a fifth to control the exact behavior of the fourth pedal, among other functions. 

Portable and Lightweight Interlocking Crowd Control Barrier

UW-Madison researchers have developed a barricade connector that allows adjacent supports to be interlocked to prevent crowds from pushing the barricades apart. The newly-devised interlocking connector utilizes one of the two openings in any A-frame barrier structure to facilitate simple but effective connection of two barrier units. By connecting the units via one of the openings and using a typical barrier board in the other opening, pedestrians are unable to separate the individual barrier units or access the blocked area. The image below clearly illustrates the structure and function of the connector and barrier board. The barrier system is lightweight and portable, easy to manufacture and weather resistant.