Blade Runner

About the Project.

The Composite Center has asked the Mechanical Engineering Technology department to design and manufacture a transportation system to move the Wind Blades in and out of the Composite Center.

Weekly Update


The team built a wooden box to hold the batteries, hydraulic pump, and electrical supplies. A mounting system for the hydraulics was designed, supplies ordered, and fabricated at the Machine Tool lab on campus.

After that was completed, the team tested the hydraulic system and everything is working as planned. The wires for the hydraulic system and battery were determined to be too hot, and a larger gauge wire will need to be purchased and replaced in order to be within safe measures.

The plan for the weekend is to finish some welding in certain locations: Spring mounts, Hydraulic setup, and certain spots on the frame. We also plan on painting the frame, axles, and springs with a white primer and then if theres time we will paint it a navy bluish color.

The brakes are now a last priority and may not be something that will be completed within this semester. That may be pursued over the summer by Dylan, who will be employed by the Composite Center.


Jake and chris went down to the junkyard again and got another tire, a tank for the braking system and new pneumatic braking cylinders that will attach to the rear axle. The brakes are activated by compression so the idea is that we will attach this tank with a switch that will activate the brakes when necessary. Hopefully we can tie this in with the wireless remote but if thats not possible than a switch on the side of the frame will be our next best option. 

The mounting locations for the front and rear have been finalized and the plates have been tack welded. The spacing for the leaf springs appears to be correct and the frame has been flipped over to finish welding. Hoping to finish welding and attach mounts to the frame tomorrow, 04/19/18 and then we can mount the tires to the axles and we will have a standing dolly!

Joe and kyle are working on a mounting plate to attach the hydraulic piston to in order to steer the dolly. Jake is building a box to hold all the electronics, batteries and hydraulic pump in order to keep it from being destroyed by rain or other objects. 

Jake and chris are also working on figuring out how to tie the new braking system into the rear axles. The pneumatic cylinders have to be tied back into the rear axes, and then hoses have to be ordered for the tank we received.


In order to weld the mounts to the frame we will need spacers… Dylan is now determining what size those spacers will need to be and how we will located them on the frame. Mount spacing is also being determined in order to correctly place the leaf springs in their designed orientation. The top of the frame has now been welded and needs to be flipped over in order to weld the bottom. Hydraulic and electronic parts have arrived but it is determined that we will need another battery in order to power all the necessary parts. We have also ordered an wireless controller that works with the hydraulic system we designed.


Frame has started to be tack welded. Joe has ordered electronic and hydraulic parts, more parts might be necessary in the future but that is to be determined. John doesn’t want the mounts to be bolted to the frame so we have decided to weld the spring mounts to the frame.


Sandblasting has been finished and parts have been ordered. Fabrication for the frame has started and should be tack welded in the following week or two. Working and hoping on ordering hydraulics and electronics next week.


Spring break, no work has been completed but steel has been delivered to the composite center.


Dylan and Jake are still sandblasting the axles, leaf springs, and determining what parts that will need to be ordered. So far we have concluded that we will need new bushings for the leaf springs, and pins for the leaf spring mounts.


Still redesigning the frame. Noticed that we need two more tires due to the fact of weather cracks and a chunk missing. Started taking apart axles to sandblast.


John Arimond wants changes to the frame again, and an even more elaborative budget. Need to adjust certain lengths of the beams and get specific quotes for all electronics and hydraulics. 


Bangor steel didn’t have the material we were hoping to receive so we are looking elsewhere for Steel.


We have redesigned our final design of the frame and have received quotes on price and delivery. We have also obtained two axles from a junkyard.


Still working on adjusting the frame per Johns request and overlooking hydraulics, electronics and braking systems. 


John Arimond has now asked us to adjust the frame to save costs and resubmit it to him with a new budget and material list.


We met with the client who has approved the frame design and asked us to come up with a material list and improve our budget for final approval.


Our team has a rough draft of the design of the frame, we plan to meet with the client to go over specifics. 


Our team has edited and completed Interim report 2 which includes what we have currently come up with and the next phase proposal for the semester. We plan on having a completed design by the time we arrive back and January and hope to start ordering supplies.


We had our meeting with the client again. We decided that we would just make a large frame, with wheels that have the ability to turn. The “cart” would connect to the clamping systems that originally come with the blade. Therefore, we are no longer looking into clamping systems, or other concepts that would grab the blade. 

We are also currently writing our Interim report #2. Focusing on Down selection, and the next phase proposal.


We had our cross over advisor meetings on 11/27/17 with Professor Bret Ellis. We discussed the concepts that we have, and what we need to continue looking into. On 11/30/17 we have a meeting planned with the Client, and a few of the engineers that work at the Composite Center. We will present the ideas that we have, and will hopefully come to an agreement on one concept. 


Our team is in the process of determining the data analysis on the wheel, the frame, the tipping force of the wind blade. We will then start looking into what kind of hydraulic pistons we need, what kind of material we need for the frame, and what kind of wheels we need to purchase.


Our team is still determining what kind of data analysis we need to perform, and trying to narrow down to one concept.


Our team came up with some hydraulic clamp concepts that we could possibly use to grab the wind blade. Currently we have three, but will limit it down to one based off cost, practicality, and the clients preference.


Our Team is now researching hydraulic clamps, steering mechanisms, and looking for 12” wheels. We will also be calculating and analyzing the size and material we will need to build a frame that supports the blades load at static and repeated shocks.


Our group has finished our rough draft of the Interim Report #1 and currently doing final revisions. We also had our meeting with the client, Chris, and he helped narrow down ideas and what he expects us to create. We will be designing a concept for the tip of the blade, and not the root. It will be similar to a dolly, but requires powered steering that can be controlled from a wireless device. 


Discussed more concepts, emailed our client, Chris, and discussed how to write the interim report #1 with our Advisor, Professor Keith Berube. 


We had our team meeting and worked on our presentations for preliminary concepts. 


Our group has just selected our webmaster and Editor: Jacob Fox and Joe Varanelli, respectively. We assigned more research topics, and each of us will draw up a concept to share the following week. 

Team Members

Kyle Turner

Kyle Turner grew up in Freedom, Maine and graduated in 2013 at Mount View High School. He originally started his college career at Eastern Maine Community College studying Civil Engineering Technology, but later found that Mechanical Engineering Technology at the University of Maine was a better fit. Some of his hobbies include snowmobiling, snowboarding, racing, and hiking.  After Kyle graduates he would like to be able to get a job as a process engineer.

Christopher McKeeney

Christopher McKeeney is from Boston, Massachusetts and graduated Catholic Memorial High School in 2014. He majors in Mechanical Engineering Technology and is pursuing a minor in Business Administration. When he is not in the classroom, he enjoys playing for the University of Maine club baseball team.

Joe Varanelli

Joe Varanelli grew up in Harwinton, Connecticut where he spent most of his time hunting, fishing and volunteering for his towns fire department. He chose to come to the University of Maine because of his love for the out doors. After receiving a tour of the Machine Tool Lab he knew that he wanted to enroll in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program. After he graduates he hopes to acquire his PE, and further his education with an MBA.

Jacob Fox

Jacob Fox grew up in Georgia Vermont, where he spent most of his time working on cars, playing sports, and weightlifting. He originally chose to come to the University of Maine for Computer Science, but transferred into the Mechanical Engineering Technology department. After he graduates he hopes to work in the Boston area.

Dylan Rideout

Dylan Rideout is a fourth year student in the Mechanical Engineering Technologies program at the University of Maine with hopes to someday acquire a job within the renewable energy field.  Winn, Maine is where Dylan is from and this is where his interest of renewable energy was sparked as a young boy.  About 40 wind turbines line the hills of Lee, the next town over, and these among other renewable energy resources have always interested him.  During Dylan’s four-year college education he worked as a student laborer at the Advanced Structures and Composite Center where he did everything from adjusting test fixtures to ASTM standards to mounting and plumbing hydraulic actuators. Dylan looks forward to completing the capstone project and getting out into the engineering field to build a career.

Project Sponsors

White & Bradstreet

White & Bradstreet junkyard have helped us tremendously through this project. They have donated a front and rear axles from an early’s Ford L8000 truck, 6 tires (11 R22.5), pneumatic braking cylinders, and a 20 gallon pneumatic tank.


The team is thankful for the composite center for funding this project, White and Brad street for donating axles, tires, brake parts, leaf springs etc. We are also appreciate the help we received from our professors in recommendations in design and analysis.

A point of contact

Contact information

Team Email Information

Joe Varanelli:

Kyle Turner:

Jacob Fox :

Chris McKeeney:

Dylan Rideout:

Client Information

Christopher Urquhart:

John Arimond:

Advisor Information

Keith Berube: