Project Title: Bisbee Assisted-Lift Delivery System

Team 16075 Members:
Roberto Cordoba Berigan, electrical and computer engineering
Jakob Davis, mechanical engineering
Aaron Hausman, systems and industrial engineering (team lead)
Wesley Lee, mechanical engineering
Scott Payne, systems and mechanical engineering
Martin Wong, electrical and computer engineering

Sponsor: City of Bisbee

Residents of Old Mining Town Get a Lift

Engineering Design Team 16075In Bisbee, an Arizona town known as the Queen of Copper Camps and
famous for its 2 miles of municipal stairways, something as mundane as bringing home the groceries can be quite an ordeal.

The Cochise County seat, population 5,575, sits in a valley surrounded by hills, and many of the town’s hillside houses are accessible only by steep stairs.

Imagine an elderly person carrying packages in one hand, grasping a stairway railing with the other and laboring under the effects of mile-high altitude to get groceries or pet food home.

“Between 65 and 75, life changes a lot,” said Bisbee public works director Andy Haratyk, adding that he has heard many stories of elders taking three days to bring in all the groceries from just one shopping trip.

With the help of Engineering Design Team 16075, Haratyk and other city officials are doing something about it.

The team started construction in February 2017 on the Bisbee Assisted-Lift Delivery System. The conveyor that students are building in B Mountain’s 45-home, 30-percent-grade neighborhood is the start of a citywide system.

With inexpensive off-the-shelf parts, the team is creating an assistance device capable of transporting at least 100 pounds of groceries, firewood, trash and recyclables per trip. Residents will use a call button to summon a transport container that travels along a gear-, belt- or chain-powered conveyor system beside the staircase.

In addition to providing real-world experience for soon-to-be UA graduates, the project is giving Bisbee High School students a chance to work alongside team members and apply civil, electrical, industrial and mechanical engineering principles.

“Just because you’re from Bisbee doesn’t mean you have to think small,” Haratyk said of the teens’ experience, and the conveyor system.