Jonathan Chaplin, Associate Professor, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engr
This project paired University of Minnesota researchers with Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) personnel to develop design specifications for a trash-harvesting machine. The specifications included area, capacity, and types of trash to be harvested (paper, bottles, metal parts, wood debris, cans, etc.). A set of design concepts was generated, and a decision matrix was used to select the best possible concept. This process required input from Mn/DOT superintendents, engineers and machine operators. Once a concept was been identified, a detailed engineering design was carried out and the results were presented to Mn/DOT for approval. The team developed working 3D models and drawings of each component of the machine, and the vehicle's stability on slopes was assessed during the design exercise. Hydraulic components and circuits were designed and solid body interactions assessed for safety periodically throughout the process.