Step 1: Movement Progress
Step 2: Color Progress
To improve the general visibility of the flag we're building, we wanted to make the flag the most eye-catching color possible. We conducted a peripheral vision experiment to determine which color (of our list of red, yellow, orange, white, and green) is the most identifiable at the extremest angles from straight ahead. We had our subject sit at a table, looking straight forward, while we slowly moved a colored card in a circle centered on the subject's head, staring from directly to the left and right. This way we could tell which color was the most obvious from the farthest distance to the side. Our surprising results showed red as the winner- so we used red for our newest prototype.
Step 3: Reflectivity Progress
We haven't started work on reflectivity yet, but we have some ideas. We wanted to implemet some wide-angle solid-state retroreflectors (regular bike reflectors) to help night visibilty, and some chromed surfaces to increase daytime attention. We added tin foil to the back of one of our spinning prototypes earlier this year, and it seems to work fairly well in testing.
Step 4: Solar Light System Ideas
Ultimately, we plan to add a full solar power system to our teacher's bike. We want to start with a 5-watt solar panel, which, when in sunlight, directly charges an external battery pack. This battery pack has two USB outputs, one of which will be a phone or GPS charging cable, and the other will power an Arduino, which will have the lights wired through it.