BS Mechanical Engineering

Minor in Mathematics

Class of 2009

Senior Design Project:

Mechanical Equine Therapy Replication


Design and build a mechanical horse that can mimic the gait of a horse as seen from the saddle and as interpreted by motion capture technology. This would be a feasibility and build as a potential physical therapy alternative for equine hippotherapy.

These types of therapies are used in paraplegic and quadriplegic rehabilitation programs. The translation and rotations in the horses saddle force the patients muscles and tendons to work and stretch in all directions strengthening thier hips and legs.

Motion capture of the equine movement was provided as primary data to be mimicked by this machine.

Step 1: Mimic The Motion

Design in CAD the mechanisms that will be used to fix the horse at three points fully controlling its motion. Those three points and the path that they folow through a single gait, when distributed throughout the mechanism will drive the horse movement.

Step 2: Mock Ups

Build mockups and samples to test theories and discover potential problems before they are irreparable. (pre-widespread use and availability of 3D Printers).

Step 3: Reiterate and Revise

Finalize Designs

Step 4: First Prototype Build

Build and Test Your Prototype

Step 5: Revise as Necessary to complete a successful design

Step 6: Present Finding and Conclusions

Final TMH Presentation2

Congratulate the Team on a Job Well Done

Senior Fluids Project


Winglet have been used in aerospace and aviation to increase efficiency, reduce pressure drop across the wing, and reduce the amount of turbulence and intensity of the eddies produced by the wing. Our design project was to determine whether similar efficiencies could be achieved when utilizing winglets in the design of wind turbines.

The goal of this would be two fold. One would be the increased energy efficiency of the wind turbines. The other would be that the reduction in pressure drop across the wing tip would have a less harmful effect on local wildlife whose lungs are prone to popping when they near windfarms due to the sudden pressure drop near the wingtip as seen in this youtube video.

Photographs of our wing and wing tip designs made at 1/25th scale and on 1/150th scale.


Our hypothesis that winglets produce similar effects in wind turbines as they do in aerospace applications proved to be inconclusive. While we did see a reduction in pressure drop and improved efficiencies, our numbers were within the margin of error and therefore statistically insignificant.

While the 1/150th scale wind turbine was the largest we could fit inside of our wind turbine, we believe the scale at which we tested our hypothesis was too small to identify whether significan efficiencies could be achieved. Even slight measurable changes in pressure variations when put to scale of anctual winde turbine yielded exponentially fluctuating results.

While winglets may in fact increase efficiency more testing would be needed in larger wind tunnel facilities like those of a vehicle or small aircraft which could reduce the margins of errror when it came to scaling our data and