Design Problem

Kenya is an agricultural economy with most of the population involved in some kind of small-hold farming venture. Women, men, children as well as the elderly all engage in farming activities. Wheelbarrows are an essential tool for these farms transporting crops and soil between different parts of the farms, but the standard wheelbarrow being used in Kenya , was designed for the construction industry and is not ideal for farming conditions. Muddy terrain often located on steep hillsides makes using a conventional wheelbarrow all but impossible.

Typical Rural Farm Located on a Hillside

Design Process

I decided to design a custom electric powered wheelbarrow designed for off road conditions. I replaced the regular solid wheel with a larger car tyre that can be inflated to the desired level and fitted an electric scooter motor with a chain driven drive train to the wheelbarrow. The motor is powered by three regular motorbike batteries. During the design process I learned to weld, I learned some basic electrical engineering and mechanical engineering concepts. The design went through multiple iterations. The prototype was very successful we managed to drive it on grass and mud successfully. There are several design changes I would make for the next prototype which I have explained in my process journal.

Process Journal