The intention of this project was to improve upon the current methods of actuation required to open and close large patio umbrellas. We have created a prototype that utilizes the assistance of a gas spring enclosed in the umbrella pole to provide the force necessary to open the umbrella while minimizing the force required to close it. This was accomplished through the alteration of an existing, easily purchased, umbrella with a hollow steel pole and the introduction of a low cost gas assist spring. Through the alterations to the pole, and umbrella itself, we were able to attach an internal extension from the canopy hub that coupled with our gas spring. At this coupling location a handle was attached which allows the user actuation of the umbrellas.
Mechanical Engineering Design Project (UMSL JME 410)
Mendoza Franco, Juan C.; Sweeney, Brian K.; and James, Phillip, "JME 4110 Final Report - Umbrella Actuator" (2016). Washington University / UMSL Mechanical Engineering Design Project JME 4110. 1.