Date of Award
The URI senior capstone design Team 17 was tasked by Dr. Bahram Nassersharif to design and build a tree climbing device. It was required that said tree climbing device be: easy to operate, safe for both the operator and the tree, have hands free climbing capabilities, climb branch free trees with varying diameters between 12 and 24 inches up to 20 feet in height, have a carrying capacity up to 350 pounds, and cost less than 500 dollars to build.
Team 17 began the design process to meet these requirements by first undertaking background research into the current tree climbing devices on the market today, including patent searches and viewing found solutions from around the world. This allowed Team 17 to move forward and generate 120 design concepts, finding many potential solutions using varying power sources and mounting methodologies. From these potential solutions the team evaluated each design on the design parameters set forth. The chosen design was a human powered device with a pneumatic assistance system. This design was chosen for its ease of use, low cost to manufacture and maintain, and potential loading capabilities.
With a design chosen the team moved forward designing and redesign the device to meet the design specifications. Through testing of the various iterations of the design, engineering analysis, knowledge learned through research, the final design was built, meeting the required design specifications. This build was capable of holding 350 pounds and ascend branch less trees with varying diameter trees from 12 to 43 inches up to 20 feet. The design consists of two frame assemblies, connected through the pneumatic assistance system. A final engineering analysis was completed on this design, yielding a factor of safety of 1.5. The build cost a total of 463.95 dollars.
Additional considerations were made including manufacturability, ease of use, environmental impacts, safety, operating environments, and reasonable servicing schedules; since use in remote locations is to be expected. The design is for any individual intending to climb a tree; including but not limited to hunters, arborists, and photographers.
Vaudrain, Alex; Botelho, Scott; Coleman, Cameron; and LoBianco, Nick, "Design of a Device for Hands-Free Tree Climbing" (2019). Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design Projects. Paper 66.