Mechanical

Finished Board

The Cowabunga Board consists of a top plate, a bottom plate, and four feet. The feet are held in place by o-rings. Each foot rests in a recessed pocket in the top plate. In a series of equally-spaced holes in the top plate are blue LEDs. The top and bottom plates are made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). The feet are made of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE). The o-rings are made of Buna-N nitril with a Shore A hardness of 50.

Exploded View 1

Exploded view of the balance board. Each force sensor is sandwiched between the top of the foot and the bottom of the foot well. The circuit board is contained within the pocket in the top and bottom plates. A channel in the bottom plate routes the USB and power cables from the board to the computer and an electrical socket.

Exploded View 2

Second exploded view of the balance board. The LEDs ring the edge of the board. Channels route the wiring for the LEDs to the circuit board.

Design Iterations

The Cowabunga Board went through a number of design iterations between its initial conception and its final actualization. The outward appearance of the Cowabunga Board did not change substantially between design iterations. However, its inner workings were improved and simplified with each successive iteration. The most noticeable change in the design was the reduction of the size of the Cowabunga Board from 24" x 18" to 18" x 12." The original size of the board was determined by observing a person's resting stance and extrapolating based on 12" square floor tiles. Once the materials arrived to build the Cowabunga Board, it was determined that the 24" x 18" footprint was too large, and the size was reduced.

Internally, the Cowabunga Board went through many changes. Between the first and last iterations of the Cowabunga Board, the most notable changes were the wire routing for the LEDs and the change of the board assembly from three plates to two. In the original design, a 1" thick spacer was sandwiched between flat top and bottom plates, 1/2" thick and 1/8" thick, respectively. This was simplified to eliminate the 1/8" plate, and instead, the top plate and bottom plate, 1" thick, and 1/2" thick, respectively, had pockets that created an internal cavity in the board inside which the circuit was mounted.