For Good Measure

Artichoke LemonsMar 22, 2017

The mechatronics engineering technology seniors have designed a safer electric skateboard.

  • - Connor Egan (left), Luke Melcher, George D'Angelo and Joseph Donatucci.

  • - Luke Melcher with the helmet warning system.

  • - Luke Melcher on his electric skateboard with blind-spot detection.

  • - The skateboard designed by the four mechatronics engineering technology majors.

Four seniors in Cal U’s mechatronics engineering technology program will compete for a top prize of $10,000 in the finals of the State System Startup Challenge.

The finals will air live at 7 p.m. April 13 on PCN and

The plan developed by Luke Melcher, George D’Angelo, Connor Egan and Joseph Donatucci involves safety features designed for personal electric vehicles like scooters, bikes and longboards.

“We found an interest in it and built our own boards,” Melcher and D’Angelo said. “We have the issue of having to ride on the street and be part of the traffic, and but we also have instances where people pull out in front of us.”

The system developed by the quartet warns of a potential hazard but does not brake.

“The processing part is on the vehicle, and we have a helmet system with a display that you can see through but will flash a warning light in your peripheral vision,” Melcher explained.

The team began work on the project last semester as part of their senior project under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Wilburn, associate professor and mechatronics engineering technology program coordinator.

Dr. Mark Lennon, associate professor and director for the Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship, provided guidance on entering the State System competition.

“This project really began out of the passion these students have for longboards, and for making this last-mile transportation and those similar to it safer for their riders,” Wilburn said. “However, the business aspect took off from the incorporation of cross-campus disciplines into the Senior Project Proposal. Luke is minoring in business, and one of his professors, Dr. Lennon, has really mentored the students throughout this process.

“This project is an excellent example of what is possible when different disciplines across campus come together for a common purpose.”