Mardu Swanepoel

Development of a Smart Bicycle Dock
Masters in Engineering Student


Project: Smart Bicycle Dock
Bio: I am an engineering student with a degree in Mechatronic Engineering, a strong believer of "the only way to do great work is to love what you do", and I always strive to think differently and challenge the status quo - all, to impact the world. Engineering - together with art, design, nature and fellowship - is one of my greatest passions. I believe you should always do what you love, that what makes you come alive, and one of those things for me is being creative and innovative in an engineering context. 

My research contribution entails developing a smart bicycle dock that is capable of locking up and keeping safe the majority of stock bicycles, ranging from road bicycles to MTB to cross-country bicycles. The dock uses its structural design and novel locking mechanism to mechanically secure the bicycle’s frame and wheels, while additional innovative smart sensors detects any attempts of theft on the bicycle while it is locked in the Smart Dock. The Dock will also consist of machine-to-machine (M2M) capabilities in order for it to connect to the Internet of Things (IoT), enabling additional features to be added on which will be relevant to the eventual implementation of the dock. 

My contribution is the investigation and analysis of the problems related to urban cycling, defining the main barriers, and developing a conceptual solution for the problems identified. The conceptual solution will then be defined by further research activities investigating the problems identified. The conceptual design is then followed by a detailed design that serve as solution to the problems identified. 

During my project I cover work relevant to mechanical and electronic design. These include mechanical frame design and analysis, mechanical locking mechanism design, electro-mechanical transducer design and signal amplification, discrete wave analysis, and wave analysis algorithm. This work all contributes to the Smart Bicycle Dock project relevant to my research contributions made.