[ENGR251] Design Project 2 – Soul Saver Shoes

Our second project topic for ENGR 251 is “product for other 90s”, in other words, product for people in developing countries. After doing a lot of brainstorming, we decided to focus on foot wear. In many developing nations, families cannot afford to buy shoes for their children. So children have to go school by bare feet, which allows many serious parasitic diseases absorbed and damages the feet by sharp items on the road.
“Sole Saver is an affordable alternative to normal shoes with reasonable durability. The product protects vulnerable feet from the ground using hardened glue or resin on the bottom of a sock. The idea behind this very simple design is that a local craftsmen could be trained to make and sell these shoes in their communities. Once an individual has experience fabricating Sole Savers, pairs can be sold for less than $1.”

sole shoes

Figure 1: Sole Saver prototype

“The benefit of the Sole Saver is that it costs less than expensive sneakers, but provides more protection than sandals. The simplicity of the design allows for easy repair and maintenance on the product, and it is affordable enough so that new pairs can be purchased when they wear out or are outgrown. Since they can be made from any type of socks, the Sole Saver allows for the possibility of customization for any color and pattern. Additionally, if the shoes are manufactured locally instead of being shipped from overseas, this business plan also creates jobs.
However, there are several costs associated with this product. The Sole Saver is not as durable as traditional sneakers, and so they will need to be repaired or replaced more often. Moreover, there is the social implication of wearing something different — people may not want these shoes if they are viewed as unfashionable. There is also a small learning curve that would have to be overcome when teaching new craftsmen to manufacture and market the products.”

Design Challenge – RC Hovercraft

In this design challenge, each team was given one week to build an RC hovercraft with given materials including foam, motors, servo, etc… I teamed up with Nigesh and Kanishka for this challenge as team “Hangman”, and we decided to go for a traditional design of a hovercraft. We first cut out the foam base of the hovercraft in the first day. Then in the second day, while I was taking care of the electrical circuit of the hoverboard with motors and servo, Nigesh and Kanishka designed propeller holders. We finished our design and successfully run it in the final day of design process.


Figure 1: Our hovercraft design

We joined the race the next day. We competed in drag race and round trip race. During the race, our hovercraft was broken apart when we meet the bump because it is not sturdy enough. So we fixed our hovercraft and applied a lot of duck tape and tried the second time. This time we did pretty good in the round trip that we got third place.


Figure 2: The hovercraft race

Design Challenge – Solar Dragster

This time our challenge is designing a fastest solar car. My team includes Kanishka, Nigesh and me. The supply includes 1 motor, 1 solar panel and a bunch of pulleys as well as gears. At first we though of a pulley system for our solar car, but in the end due to friction the pulley system does not work. In the last thirty minutes, we decided to rebuild our car by switching to a gear system. We finished our solar car on time and attended the race. We got second place in this design competition.