Loading

Hoot Wheels Ingenuity fueling movement in Marietta

There are a number of ways to navigate Kennesaw State University’s two campuses: walking, biking, skating or perhaps even catching a ride on the Big Owl Bus. For some students, any of those options are more than satisfactory. For a certain group of engineering students who spend their free time tucked away in KSU’s Wilder Communications Building, it leaves much to be desired. Armed with knowledge acquired in Georgia’s second largest engineering college, these students showcase their ingenuity by taking standard modes of transportation and augmenting them through electric power. Whether it’s through castaway skateboards or hand-me-down dirt bikes, these motorized devices perform on par with those already in the marketplace for a fraction of the cost – oh, and they can get you across campus in under three minutes.

"These motorized devices perform on par with those already in the marketplace for a fraction of the cost."
Ben Hall, Mechatronics Engineering
  • Electric Longboard
  • Out-of-pocket cost: $800

“It was all about power for dollar for me. Sure, I could have bought a Boosted Board for $1,500, but it cost me way less to build something with the same range and speed. Plus, I can customize it very easily. Before joining the Electric Vehicle Team, I knew practically nothing about batteries and building complex devices. It was a lot easier being able to lean on the experience of the other team members and seeing their devices. There’s a lot of cross pollination on our projects.”

"Before joining the Electric Vehicle Team, I knew practically nothing about batteries and building complex devices."

Daniel Makarishchev, Mechanical Engineering

  • Electric Mountain Bike
  • Out-of-pocket cost: $600

“Part of this project was simply getting around campus faster, but the other large part was to showcase what I can do to the other people both on the Electric Vehicle Team and off of it. Most of the time people stop me to ask how much power it can generate. Right now it’s around four horsepower and can reach about 35 mph. To my knowledge, you can’t buy something like this in the marketplace, but I would venture to guess you’d have to drop a few thousand dollars to match this kind of power.”

"Right now, it’s around four horsepower and can reach about 35 mph."

Joshua Bray, Mechatronics Engineering

  • Electric Longboard
  • Out-of-pocket cost: $775

“The goal of anything I make is, can I make it better than a manufacturer at a cheaper cost? I love using it to get around campus – it’s so much easier – but I also spent half the money that I would have buying one brand new. I have senior design groups stopping me all the time asking, ‘How did you start this project? What should I research?’ Aside from the trucks, just about every single metal piece was fabricated in the machine shop on campus. All the of the composite stuff I’ve learned from participating on the Electric Vehicle Team and Formula SAE was poured into this project.”

"I have senior design groups stopping me all the time asking, ‘How did you start this project? What should I research?'

Mario Mignott, Industrial and Systems Engineering

  • Electric Dirtbike
  • Out-of-pocket cost: $900

“This started as a 50cc minibike that my cousin gave to me way back when. It had been sitting in my backyard for years and was starting to become an eyesore for my mother, so it became a let’s-get-this-out-of-the-house project. After joining EVT, I realized that I could convert it to electric and eliminate the need to go get gas. People are pretty baffled when they see it coming, even experienced riders, because they don’t expect it to have the torque that most gas power bikes do. I’ve had people tell me they want to build their own version of the project. Being able to collaborate with students from other disciplines has been a total game changer in the process since I can learn from so many different areas. In a lot of ways, that is how it will be once we join industry.”

"Being able to collaborate with students from other disciplines has been a total game changer in the process since I can learn from so many different areas."

Brandon Solon, Mechatronics Engineering

  • Electric Longboard
  • Out-of-pocket cost: $150

“I bought as few parts as possible. This board was just hanging on the wall in Wilder just waiting to be used. Most of what you see here are things that I was able to salvage from other projects. This all started by wanting to build something cheap, and then I started to realize how much fun it was to go really, really fast. You should see the reaction on the Kennesaw Campus when they see me zip by. People stop and want to try it out for themselves without fully understanding the power behind it.”

"This all started by wanting to build something cheap, and then I started to realize how much fun it was to go really, really fast."

Credits:

David Caselli / Kennesaw State University