Chen Yue & Matthew – Week 8


Adding on to our field-trip post last week, here are some of our thoughts and findings:


1.Seating design of the pedal boat that we tried was too awkward

This is because the pedals were higher than the seats, as shown in the picture below, resulting in us lifting our legs up and resting in an awkward position.

We concluded that having the pedals located lower than the seat would be more comfortable for pedalling.



We measured some of the dimensions on the pedal boat as shown in the image below (top view of pedal boat). The nearest length of the seat to the pedals was 600mm while the furthest length was 800mm. The dimensions were just right and it was comfortable.


3.Pedal Bike

Another available type of pedal boat was the pedal bike. It has the same mechanism as a normal bicycle but the chains rotate the propellers instead of wheels.


4.Embarking and disembarking the pedal boat can be quite unsafe

There was only a staff holding on to our pedal boat as we got on and off it. No ropes were attached to the pontoon to prevent the pedal boat from drifting away.


Overall the joy ride was very relaxing but moves at a very slow pace. We enjoyed ourselves though the sun was shining straight into the pedal boat most of the time. Here are some of our friends we made along the way…


This Week

This week, we added the element of communication between the two boats and created a list of features that we want on our pedal boat:

  1. Solar Panel (Power supply)
  2. Headlights (To indicate direction)
  3. Interior Lights (For night usage)
  4. Communication Device (To indicate intent)
  5. Bumper (Protect boat)
  6. Belongings Compartment
  7. Pulley System?

There needs to be a way that users in the different boats could communicate so that they can work together. An example of such communication is lighting. It is the most basic form of communication and simple colour coded lights could represent different intentions.

Our inspiration is from a lighthouse – a beacon light, where it serves as a navigational aid and guide for ships. This depicts NTU as a university where it guides students through education and preparing them for the working life ahead.

A simple communication device that consists of switches is added to the front of each boat. Users must state their intention – moving forward, stopping at the next platform or emergency stop.

(A toggle switch may be used for this purpose.)


The toggle switch will light up the lights indicating the boat’s intention. For this design, there will be a pulley system attached to the pedal boats and it is more compact compared to the next design.

Here is another design where the front light and back light serves as indicator lights and will change its colour. There is no pulley system attached to this design and users are free to move around. Users need to indicate their intention so that the other boats can work together and avoid a collision.


These are the features on the boat:


Another idea that we had for the shape of the boat is to depict a lighthouse as it symbolises NTU being a university that care for it’s students and navigating them to the right direction.

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