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David’s Electric Ride

By: Ella Rook

Senior David Boles has been modifying his electric scooter as a curiosity project. Photo taken by David Boles

David Boles’ new project is rolling on out. The d.tech senior is known for being a tech geek extraordinaire. He is on the robotics team, interns for Oracle, and now has nearly finished building an electric scooter from scratch.

Boles started the most current version of his passion project near the end of summer so that he could use the scooter for transportation. Previously, he had attempted to build the motor on the frame of a Razor scooter but found that the wheels were too small and the platform too low to the ground to support a motor and batteries. Putting aside the Razor scooter, Boles still needed to find the right motor to power the scooter. He “tried using an electric motor [he] had lying around” but found that the scooter would “get stuck in cracks just by itself, without the weight of anyone on it.” Boles then looked to eBay to find a motor that is usually used for electric bikes and Vespas but would also work for an electric scooter.

During design lab last Spring, Boles continued to work on his scooter and even used it for his Presentation of Learning. However, Boles said that his designs were “not super well thought out beforehand” and he only “designed by necessity.” Although Boles may have worked on the fly, he still acknowledged that he used plenty of prototyping skills to constantly improve his electric scooter. Nothing worked the way it was intended to, so he “iterated” and found it became “annoying.”

Over the course of Boles’ building phase, he has cherished a sense of independence, claiming to not have any mentors. Nonetheless, senior Milo Aronica did give his advice to Boles while they were in the same design lab. Aronica pointed out that “there were some weak points in his design” and that he tried to give Boles his “opinion and experience” with mechanical engineering problems. Boles, on the other hand, maintains that the design problem Aronica attempted to give advice on was an issue, “but not for the reasons he brought up.”

One group that has continued to give Boles moral support over the course of his project are his parents. Although Boles doesn’t know if “they have a super strong opinion on his work,” Boles’ father, Robert Boles said that the scooter is a “great idea, it will allow him to get around more freely.”

Despite all the work Boles has put into his scooter, it is still a couple of hours away from being fully operational. He plans to finish the electric scooter whenever he “feel[s] like bothering and [has] free time.” Amusingly, on the cusp of finishing, Boles “kinda wants to redesign it again.”

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