Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



For several hundred years, the Standardbred harness racing industry has remained relatively unchanged. The sulkies pulled by the horses have seen only minor changes. New construction techniques and lighter materials have allowed sulkies to become lighter and generally faster. However, there is currently no sulky that uses a modern control system to adapt to changing racetracks, horses, and drivers. A Smart Sulky would be able to accomplish these things. The Smart Sulky would be capable of measuring changes in the movements of the horse and compensate for rotational movement and vibration, which the horse transfers to a conventional sulky. The Mechanical Engineering Smart Sulky capstone group has taken up the challenge of designing such a sulky. As part of that work it was necessary to develop the equations of motion that govern the movements of the Smart Sulky, as well as to perform analyses of testing done on conventional sulkies to determine the general behavior of a sulky. Data analysis was done to determine the constants in a system representing the Smart Sulky. The formulation of the equations of motion governing the Smart Sulky movement is the focus of this work. These will be implemented as a part of the Smart Sulky Mechanical Engineering capstone project.