About the InfiniCycle
Most electrical bicycles are designed to reduce the challenges associated with the more physically challenging aspects of commuting on a bicycle (hills, etc.). The major drawback when using a conventional throttle-actuated motor is that the user tends to use the bicycle more as a scooter or miniature motorcycle.
Our design requires the rider to input mechanical power via the crankshaft to have the electric motor output a multiple of the power that the rider is already providing. This would eliminate the ability of the rider to use the throttle and would require them to be actively pedalling for the motor to be engaged. This bike bridges the gap between commuting on a normal bicycle and commuting via a car or motorcycle.
To measure the power (and thus, torque) inputted by the rider, we will install an innovative power measurement system near the midpoint of the chain. At the end of power measurement system (which utilizes a linear potentiometer and encoder), an idler sprocket will be meshed with the chain, allowing it to move smoothly as in normal operation. The vertical displacement of that section of chain will be measured by the potentiometer and outputted to the motor controller as a voltage. The controller will condition the signal and draw the correct amount of current from the battery pack to engage the motor.