Undergraduates Continue Work on Bike That Will Automatically Shift Gears

Achievement date: 

Get Shifty, a student team that started in a First‐Year Experience Course, continued work on its automatic-gear bike with support from the Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) based at the University of Illinois.


The Get Shifty Team demonstrates the power of exposing students early in their engineering careers to project‐ based learning. The students learned about the Center’s work as well as different aspects of design and selecting projects, then were asked to build something relating to mobility.


The bike prototype consists of a modular attachment for a standard multi‐gear bicycle that will shift gears automatically while the rider pedals. The Get Shifty Team is working to patent the device, then sell the production and usage rights to existing bicycle‐oriented groups and businesses.

The student team entered their design in the Cozad New Venture Competition in 2018. This competition is designed to encourage students to create new business. The Cozad Competition awarded the Get Shifty team free legal services in the areas of corporate formation, patent, trademark, and licensing.