DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF STAIR CLIMBER TROLLEY
This project aims at developing a mechanism for easy transportation of heavy loads over stairs. The need for such a system arises from day-to-day requirements in our society. Devices such as hand trolleys are used to relieve the stress of lifting while on flat ground; however, these devices usually fail when it comes to carrying the load over short fleet of stairs. In the light of this, the project attempts to design a stair climbing hand cart which can carry heavy objects up the stairs with less effort compared to carrying them manually. It also endeavors to study the commercial viability and importance of such a product. Several designs were conceived that would allow a non-industrial hand trolley to travel over stairs, curbs, or uneven terrain while reducing the strain on the
In our project, the trolley is equipped with Tri-Star wheels which enable us to carry load up and down the stairs. It also eases the movement of trolley in-irregular surfaces like holes, bumps, etc.
|Design and fabrication of stair climber trolley|
A hand trolley is a small transport device used to move heavy loads from one place to another. It is a very common tool used by a large number of industries that transport physical products. Also called a hand truck or a dolly, the hand trolley is often used by stock persons who arrange and restock
merchandise in retail stores. When used properly, trolleys can protect people from back injuries and other health problems that can result from lifting heavy loads.
A typical hand trolley consists of two small wheels located beneath a load-bearing platform, the hand trolley usually has two handles on its support frame. These handles are used to push, pull and maneuver the device. The handles may extend from the top rear of the frame, or one handle may curve from the back. An empty hand trolley usually stands upright in an L-shape, and products are usually stacked on top of the platform. When the goods are in place, it is tilted backward so that the load is balanced between the platform and the support frame. Especially if heavy or fragile materials are moved, the person operating the trolley should return it to an upright position carefully, to insure
nothing falls off the platform. The front of the frame may be squared off for boxes or curved for drums and barrels. Sometimes, a hand truck also has straps for securing loose freight during transport.
Professional material handlers prefer to use a hand truck when moving stackable items such as boxes, crates or packages. Heavier items are usually stacked on the bottom of the hand truck, with lighter objects saved for the top.
Hand truck users must be careful not to stack it so high that their vision is blocked or the load becomes unstable. Generally, it is safe to load a hand truck to the level of its handles or the top of the frame. The load is then shifted onto the wheels with a backwards lifting motion. The user can maneuver the cargo by steering it left, right or forward.
NEED FOR STAIR CLIMBER TROLLEY
Lifting heavy objects to upper stories or lifting patients to upper levels from the ground are not painless jobs, especially where there are no lifting facilities (elevator, conveyer, etc.). Moreover, most of the buildings are structurally congested and do not have elevators or escalators. This project can
introduce a new option for the transportation of loads over the stairs. The stair climbing hand trolley can play an important role in those areas to lift loads over a short height.
STAIR CLIMBER TROLLEY
The stair-climbing hand truck is designed to reduce liability rather than increase it. Conventional hand trucks work well on flat ground, but their usefulness decreases when it becomes necessary to move an object over an irregular surface. Package deliverymen, for example, often find it necessary to drag loaded hand trucks up short flights of stairs just to reach the front door of a
building. The entire purpose of using a conventional hand truck is to avoid having to lift and carry heavy objects around.
Lifting a hand truck up the stairs defeats the purpose of the device, since the user must provide enough upward force to lift the entire weight of the cart and its contents. Furthermore, the geometry of a hand truck makes it nearly impossible to lift with one's legs, as is the proper form. Considerable strain is placed on the back muscles and the risk of operator injury is sharply increased.
The pulling up of a standard hand truck up the stairs results in a bumpy and jarring motion. This motion may damage the items loaded on the hand truck or cause them to fall off entirely. A hand truck that could climb stairs without requiring the user to lift would improve the safety of moving heavy objects over irregular surfaces.
In our project, we are designing and fabricating normal hand trolleys with Tri-Star wheel in order to enable the trolley to move up or down the stairs.
TRI-STAR WHEEL DESIGN
The Tri-Star wheel was designed in 1967 by Robert and John Forsyth of the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. They were first developed as a module of the Lockheed Terrastar, a commercially unsuccessful amphibious military vehicle. A Tri-Star wheel functions as an ordinary wheel on flat ground, but has the ability to climb automatically when an impediment to rolling is encountered.
This wheel design consists of three tires, each mounted to a separate shaft. These shafts are located at the vertices of an equilateral triangle. The three shafts are geared to a fourth, central shaft (to which a motor may be attached).
|Tri-Star Wheel in Motion|
When geared in this quasi-planetary fashion, these triangular sets of wheels can negotiate many types of terrain, including sand and mud; they can also allow a vehicle to climb over small obstructions such as rocks, holes, and stairs. The wheel assembly may be gear-driven, with two wheels in rolling contact with the ground. The third wheel idles at the top until the lower front wheel hits an
obstruction. The obstruction prevents the lower front wheel from moving forward but does not affect the motion of the driving axle. This causes the top wheel to roll forward into position as the new front wheel. This wheel usually lands on top of the obstruction and allows the rest of the assembly to vault over the obstruction. Tri-Star wheel in motion is shown in figure
APPLICATION OF TRI-STAR WHEEL IN OUR PROJECT
In our project, we are using this Tri-Star wheel arrangement in a hand trolley in the place of normal wheels setup to enable the trolley to climb up and down the stair cases and also to up come small obstacles like holes and bumps on its path.
Though this project had some limitations regarding the strength and built of the structure, it can be considered to be a small step forward, as far as Stair Climbing Vehicles are concerned. During the test run of this project, it was realized that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider this design for carrying heavy loads up the stairs. This product will be well acclaimed if it can be commercialized to suit the needs. Though the initial cost of the project seemed to be higher but more accurate manufacturing would shorten this. As far the commercial aspects of this product are concerned, if this product can be fully automated and produced at a lower cost the acceptance will be unimaginable. Presently, there are no competitors for such a kind of product in our market.