The MINDDRIVE class received a Lotus Esprit and plan to use its frame for the future two-seater electric MINDDRIVE car.
Even though the final class in this session was last Saturday, students and mentors met at the Minddrive shop on Wednesday night to continue working on the second car known as Project Reynard. The hub motor is mounted, in place and operating. Students began applying a new see-through skin to the body’s framework. Andrew Deckard brought his powerful, self-built computer into the shop so he could begin learning the 3D CAD Solid Works program. Mentor Walt Accurso got him started.
[pb_vidembed title="The Hub Motor" caption="" url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6mkUuk3w90" type="yt" w="650" h="385"]
Huyi Rodriguez explains what MINDDRIVE is and what he and our other students are trying to achieve by building an electric car. We are posting this for all of you who prefer to listen in Spanish!
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Huyi Rodriguez gives an explanation of the class in Spanish.
Written by Elias Joseph Williams, Student at Lincoln Prep Academy
The Aerodynamics of any car are usually overlooked by consumers, but they play an important role in how a car drives and looks. The MINDDRIVE car’s “swoopy” sleek design isn’t just for show, it serves as an aerodynamic exoskeleton for maximum efficiency.
This year’s car weighs about 1100lbs, goes about 60 mph and is planned to go 100 miles on a charge (that’s 499kg, 97kph and 161km). Without the proper shape none of these goals would be reached. An Indy Car is one of the most aerodynamic machines on the road today, and that is the base for our electric MINDDRIVE car. Indy Cars can cut through the air at 200mph (322kph) like a steak knife through butter. Its body is somewhat useless at slow speeds like say 60mph, our car’s predetermined top speed. To make the car as efficient as possible we had to eliminate the resistance of the down force that the Indy Car was made to generate, so, we built around it.
Using steel rods and some industrial shrink wrap the first car’s trademark transparent skin was born. Because we plan to drive this car on a public highway at 60mph we will need a tougher, more sturdy material to protect from bugs and other objects.
“Road ready.” Those two words have shaped the whole process of building this year’s car. If you look at the differences between this year and last year’s car you will see that this year’s has a more futuristic and also realistic look. With the new material, whatever that may be, it will look even more contoured and like a car you might see on the road in 5 or so years. All of the hours of sketching and designing and welding and building on this car’s exterior have been because of aerodynamics. Getting the downward and upward forces into equilibrium add fuel efficiency to the car, making the car go farther on a charge. The epitome of aerodynamic shapes for a car or any moving object is called the Morelli shape, and although you may not have heard of it, you’ve seen it. It’s a teardrop.
Its shape is ideal for any speed and its coefficient of drag (COD) is .04 which is easily considered the best. Coefficient of drag is an equation combining aerodynamics and friction, the lower the number the better. For example: a 2003 Hummer H2 has a COD of 0.57, whereas a 2010 Toyota Prius has one of 0.25. Aerodynamics is a very complex yet simple science. Studying the movement of fluids around an object has been one of the many highlights of these summer classes. It is an underrated element when it comes to car buying but that still doesn’t diminish the fact that car companies hire people specifically for developing the most efficient, aerodynamic bodies. We may not have that perfect shape but with all the time and effort put into this project we will come away with more knowledge.
Elias Joseph Williams
Last Saturday, more than 150 people toured the MINDDRIVE shop, visited with students and viewed the two electric car projects. One of the day’s highlights was the presentation of a $4,000 check by Larry Carl, executive vice president of the Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Kansas City. Students prepared a video presentation and designed T-shirts that were sold to raise money. Steve Rees and Linda Buchner gave a special thanks to Steve Karbank and Phil Kirk for their generous support of the program.
By Itoya McConnell, student of MINDDRIVE, 2011
Thirteen students and six mentors from the MINDDRIVE summer class displayed the prototype of their new electric car at the Maker Faire on Saturday, June 25 at Kansas City’s Union Station.
Although it was a very hot day it was also a very productive day for the new car and the new class. Most people that stopped to view the car and listen to information about it had no idea about the car that was built last year, so in the process of informing people about this year’s car we gained followers for next years car and any future cars after that. Read More→
By Elias Williams, Student of MINDDRIVE, 2011
The MINDDRIVE students and mentors attended the fifth annual Art of the Car Concours a fundraising event hosted by the Art institute of Kansas City for their scholarship fund. In its five years of existence the Concours has grown in attendance and participation. Nearly two hundred cars filled the grounds of the Art Institute this year, from early 1900’s cars to luxury cars of the 50’s and 60’s.
One of the rarest cars there was a 1950 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith Limousine. Built by the luxury British car maker this specific model at the concours was built “specifically for Royalty” claims the owner. The massive automobile sported a couch for the backseat and is one of the earliest cars to use a retractable semaphore or turning signal. Most of the cars there were considered innovative in their times.
The MINDDRIVE electric car was invited to the car show this year for following the model of the other attendees and being innovative in the 21st century. With its new concept exterior the car was finally revealed to the public. Its sleek transparent design definitely stood out among the early to mid 20th century cars featured at the show.
The students and mentors were busy a majority of the day, answering questions and doing their best to tell the story of the car and the MINDDRIVE program.
The students were asked to select a recipient from the lot of cars for the “MINDDRIVE Award for Excellence innovation in Design” which was given to the Turqouise 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air owned by Bob Kenney Sr. This award was started three years ago when founders were asked by the Art Institute to give an award and was originally named for the school MINDDRIVE was founded in, De La Salle. Being that MINDDRIVE is now a stand-alone non-profit organization hosting five schools from the Kansas City Metropolitan area.