Scooter runs on pedal power for better control

The team of final-year students from the Mechanical Design Engineering programme - comprising (from left) Mr Liew Kar Quan, 23; Ms Wang Xin, 26; Mr Lim Jia Xin, 25; and Mr Chan Xinyin, 24 - with its human-powered scooter ScootMe!.
The team of final-year students from the Mechanical Design Engineering programme - comprising (from left) Mr Liew Kar Quan, 23; Ms Wang Xin, 26; Mr Lim Jia Xin, 25; and Mr Chan Xinyin, 24 - with its human-powered scooter ScootMe!.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

Perplexed by the series of e-scooter-related accidents and fires in recent years, a team of four final-year university students invented a pedal-powered scooter.

Completely mechanical with a speed limit of 24kmh, the scooter, named ScootMe!, moves when riders pedal on it.

According to the Land Transport Authority, the speed limits for e-scooters on footpaths is 10kmh and 25kmh on shared paths.

Mr Chan Xinyin, 24, the leader of the team from the Singapore Institute of Technology and University of Glasgow's Mechanical Design Engineering programme, said: "For a human-powered scooter, the speed is regulated and that reduces the chances of accidents. To move faster, you need to put in more effort on the pedals."

The team presented a 13kg model of the scooter at The Mapletree Challenge last Thursday and received a consolation prize of $1,000 for their invention.

The handle and body of the scooter are made of aluminium alloy, while the load-bearing base is made of steel.

Another reason the team built the scooter was to get Singaporeans moving.

"When people travel on e-scooters, they are not getting any exercise. Unlike a bicycle, pedalling on the scooter activates the upper thighs more and those with knee problems will find it less painful to ride ScootMe! because they don't need to bend," said Mr Chan.

The team invented the scooter for a mechanical design class last year. Seeing potential in the innovation, the students' lecturer encouraged the members to join the competition.

Hoping to mass-produce ScootMe! one day, the team will improve the design to make it sleek and lighter.

They will also attach a rubber foot pedal for grip and fix minor mechanical glitches so that the scooter can move along sharp bends without toppling.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 06, 2019, with the headline 'Scooter runs on pedal power for better control'. Print Edition | Subscribe