Chen Yue & Matthew – Week 11

One of the biggest concerns for our installation is how the whole system operates and how to ensure safety of the passengers . We came up with the concept of locking the boat in place at the platform when passengers are embarking and disembarking by stopping the pulley system. There are two buttons used, one on the platform and another on the side of the boat. These info-graphics show how it works.




Below are some renderings after added design and modification.

Lastly, we placed the installation on the screenshot of the map of Nanyang Lake. To make the trip more interesting and provide passengers more view of the surrounding, we decided to create a slightly longer distance (70 meters).

Besides, we are also considering on which design to adopt to make the gate/entrance to the pedal boat more visible.

Chen Yue & Matthew – Week 9


After consultation and discussion, we decided to focus on refining our boat design. We wanted to make the design more unique and site-specific to the lake, instead of one that is commonly seen elsewhere.

Concept Sketch


Inspiration & Concept
 The main objective of this project wasn't to put a recreational boat on the lake, but rather, to rediscover the Nantah spirit through an experience of team work, effort and communication.

The installation acts as a connection between the passengers and the story in the past and is also an iconic symbol that only fits the selected location. Therefore, we want to proceed the concept of two pedal boats on a pulley system as it conveys the message well across.

As mentioned before, we intended to create a mechanical-feel to the boat as it ties in more with the context of being placed in a technological university. And referring back to the story of the Nanyang lake, we sought inspiration from the heavy machine:  Excavator

An excavator is used for digging. It has a great significance to the site as the Nanyang Lake was first build using manual labor from students and faculties. Now as technology advances, it shows how technological advancement has progress and made things easier for mankind. It depicts us as a technological university which is research intensive and always innovating breakthroughs to benefit the society. We would like to use the shape of the excavator to pay tribute to those who manually dug up the lake but with a modern twist.


Concept Design

The boat will be constructed on an existing compact pedal boat. The design resembles distinct features of an excavator with its iconic yellow & black color as well as conveyor belts. The light design follows the one of the excavator and plays an important role for communication.

Dimensions & Specifications

Plastics can be considered as the material for the outer casing of the pedal boat. It has a high strength-weight ratio and also very resistant to weather. Plastics are lightweight and moisture resistant, which are good properties for making a boat. Some of these plastics include ABS, HDPE, LDPE and PP.

These plastic sheets can be easily moulded and fabricated into our desired exterior shape using CNC machining. Industries provide a full range of plastic products from tubes, rods and sheets.


Interaction & Communication

There will be a push switch inside each pedal boat that allows user to notify each other. Below are some possible scenarios. The two boats are connected with cable on a pulley system and therefore, their movement affect each other.

 (1) Green light meaning both boats want to continue pedaling and move along with the pulley
  (2) Red light indicating disembarking at the next platform, and the other responds with green light, willing to help pedal along
 (3) Both boat disembarking at the next platform
 (4) No respond from the other boat, only passengers on the disembarking boat pedal and they move at a slower speed

Chen Yue & Matthew – Field Trip

In order to better develop the design for the pedal boat, we went to Sports Hub for a field trip to experience the ride.

Below is the image of the boat that we took, which allowed 2 people to pedal at the same time.  The shelter was very simple and it was still very bright and hot when in the boat.

^ Close-up photos of the pedal as well as a simple 3-way control of the direction. (L-left, straightforward, R-right)

v Two propellers at the bottom of the boat to move the boat forward. We were told not to pedal in reverse as it would harm the mechanism. 

There was a simple mechanism that allowed the user to move the seat forward and backward to find a comfortable distance.

We also tested on how the boat can make a U-turn and here is a video on it:

The boat wouldn’t be stuck but could turn even at a very close distance to the floating ball as long as we pedaled.

We also looked at the different platform on land and floating and considered what possible solutions could be used for our design.

Overall, what we concluded from this field trips are:

The boat moves at a very slow speed and it was quite exhausting to move around in the lake in sports hub and thus we felt that the size of nanyang lake is just nice for a casual and relaxing ride.

The boat could get stuck when moved near plants in the water therefore causing unnecessary trouble. This issue would be resolved if  the boats are tied to a pulley system on a fixed route.

The shelter needs to be more further developed so that it works better to shed the sunlight. The material needs to be more durable as well to withstand the weather. 

The pedal seat didn’t allow adjustment to the inclination of the seat and it could have provided better back rest.

Besides, we also measured some dimensions of both the exterior and interior of the boats, which could be used in the following process when we go into detailing of our design.

We will develop our design based on observations made from the field trip and also implement an interactive feature into the boat system.