Introduction: Deployable Bridge VG100 UM-SJTU Joint Institute



The University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (JI) is located in Shanghai, China, and it was established in 2006 by two top universities in the world, the University of Michigan and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. JI is a place where every student lives a full life and always keep challenging themselves in all aspects.

We are team No.7, whose team members are He Sizhuang, Liu Baichen, Shan Shiyuan, Xiao Siqi and Zhou Zhuomin (arranged in alphabetical order). We have a super cool team name: Erwin Schrödinger, which indicates that we hope we are a team with unpredictable power. In our minds, if we never try our best to do something and challenge ourselves, just as we never open the “boxes” of ourselves, we will never know how powerful we are! As first year students, we would like to “open boxes” and see our potential power which is hidden inside our minds.

The instructors of vg100 Intro to Engineering are Dr. Shane Johnson and Dr. Irene Wei. (in alphabetical order of their last names)The aim of the project is to build a deployable bridge. By ‘deployable’, we mean that the bridge is fixed on one abutment and deploy itself across the ‘river’ onto another abutment without external mental forces. After each team has completed constructing their bridges, a ‘game day’ will be held. On that day, the bridges will go through several tests and get graded, namely size test, deployment and retraction test, weight test, load test and maximum weight test (as a bonus).

If you want to see our bridge's performance on the game day, the link is listed as following. Also, if you have some new ideas or problems and want to contact us, you may write an email to me. My email address is and we will try to reply as soon as we can.

Step 1: Items Needed

Here are the items needed when making our bridge and how to buy them ( for those that are not in China, you may find your own way to purchase them)

Step 2: Design Your Bridge

Design your bridge with careful calculation and draw the blueprint with softwares like Solidworks or AutoCAD.

Our blueprint of the bridge is shown in the pictures.

Then cut the wooden boards with laser.

Step 3: Number These Components As the Following Picture

We call those components by their numbers in the following steps for convenience. Make sure you apply the glue evenly to the edges of those components and stick them tightly in order to strengthen connections.

And then we will start building the bridge.

Step 4: Install One No.2 Panel

Lie a No.2 panel horizontally on the working surface.

Plug two No.4 bracings into the No.2 panel.

Glue them together and make sure that the two bracings are vertical.

Step 5: Install the Other No.2 Panel

Note that the two No.2 panels should be parallel to each other.

Then, wait for the glue to solidify.

Step 6: Attach a No.1 Panel to the Flat Side

Step 7: Plug and Glue Four No.3 Support to the Semi-finished Product From Two Sides.

Step 8: Connect Two Sticks to the Main Structure and Finish Building the First Half.

Step 9: Repeat the Steps to Get the Other Half

Step 10: Power and Connection

Construct the power part and connect all these parts with hinges. Also attach rope and rubber band to the system.

And it's done!