FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is EPICS?
EPICS, or Engineering Projects In Community Service, is a service-learning design program in which teams of students partner with local and global community organizations to address human, community, and environmental needs. Purdue is the headquarters for the National EPICS Program. These programs are now operating at 15 universities nationwide. EPICS has received major awards from the Carnegie Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the American Society for Engineering Education, the IEEE Education Society, Campus Compact, the Corporate and Foundation Alliance, Purdue University, and the Governor and Legislature of Indiana.
Our team's core goal is to develop an effective and efficient override mechanism for the Ford Wilson Race of Champions that would allow an adult to take over all steering control of an accessible soap box derby car if the child's driving becomes unsafe for other participants. The CAR Team is currently comprised of 12 members, each of which are working together in various capacities to help aid in the final product.
Is the project finished?
The team is currently in the process of transitioning from the conceptual design phase to the detailed design phase of the engineering process. The team is currently planning to finish the project by the end of the Spring 2020 semester in order to allow our community partner's car to be returned before the next race, which occurs in the fall of 2020.
How much control does the child with a disability have?
The child and the adult, or "professional driver", will both have control of the car in the beginning of the race, however, if the adult determines that the child's steering is too erratic and/or could potentially harm other drivers, the adult will be able to engage the override mechanism and gain full control over the car. When the override mechanism is engaged, the child will be able to move the steering wheel, however, it will have no effect on the car's actual steering. This way the child will still feel as though they are participating in the race but will not endanger any other participants if their driving is deemed unsafe by their accompanying adult..