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Guest redback79

«centerskates»

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Guest redback79

Hello everybody!

 

It's been a while since my last post here. The last 12 weeks of my 4 years of education were dedicated to the diploma project. A rather intense time with moments ranging from 'close to desperation' to 'that's gonna be great!'. Well, neither I went insane nor it became the big thing... but it defenately became a project I consider worth sharing with you! It passed the judges and now I'm curious how it will do here. Hope you like it! ;-)

 

 

Topic:

Every student was compleately free on the topic he wanted to focus on and unlike some fellow students, I started off with nothing more but a general topic: «individual urban mobility».

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Concept development:

I won't go much into details here but once the topic was set, I immediately started researching and analysing the fields of city development, historical aspects, ecological problems, alternative solutions, the latest in urban transportation, public transport, roadpricing and and and... I also roughly sketched out some first ideas like a sit-in segway or a car based on a skateboard principle (steering by leaning)...

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There was much more of such stuff and even if I liked some of the ideas they didn't convince me. Maybe the lack of automotive design experience and an own preference for human powered mobility were reasons that led to a self-restriction to pavement- and cycleway mobility. Designing "another light, narrow, one seated, alternativeley powered car" was not making much sense to me. The reasons are hard to explain but I simply came to the (very personal) conclusion, that design is not the killer argument to make car alternatives more apealing to customers in the near future; -at least not until technology, price and comfort of such vehicles are ready to compeed with todays cars.

 

What I wanted was another angle on the topic... Why not focussing on something more fun orientated? Another way of getting around in cities that complements public transportation? ...a transportation device that is so small that you can easely cary it around?

The niche I finally found was sports equipment for urban transportation. Skateboards, inline skates and numerous gadgets originally designed to be sports equipment caught my attention. Quite often they are used to get around in urban areas. What if I "jump on" this trend and try to evolve my own vision of such a sports device? ...and so the product idea was born: It shall become the latest in urban sports equipment with a strong focus on a new challange, coolness and fun. Strongly individual, urban anyway and still a lot of mobility involved...

 

 

The two concepts:

...so i started sketching again, built some physical models, sketched again... What I ended up with were two main ideas, a city-skateboard and some sort of 360°skates that later became the «centerskates»...

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Final concept: «centerskates»

Obviously the centerskates (as I started to call them) are way more innovative compared to a city-skateboard and still the descission I had to make was not that easy. Two ballbearings basically... how to bild them to be able to test the riding feeling and improve the design by adjusting stance, angles and so on? Of corse I could have skipped that step but nobody would have belived me that you can actually ride with those things. A functional model seemed to be the only way to convince everyone from professors over my mentor to even most of the fellow students. (...and last but not least I couldn't be sure myself either)

Within about a week I had the functional prototypes. I was so keen on trying them that I could hardly sleep the night before ;-) After about half a day of training I was able to ride them... not what one would call elegant but the concept was ridable. From this point in the project the fun part started: ride, adjust, ride, adjust... :-)

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Finding the final design:

Being able now to check what consequences various changes would have on the riding experience it was quite easy to set the main features necessery for a final version of the centerskates:

_in order to make them transportable, they had to be collapsable

_the stance needed to be adjustable (for easier fronside turns)

_rubber edges where needed to get into the skates and "walk" still having the skates on

_an ergonomical cussioning had to provide fixiation for the feet

_a pedal on the toe-side provided a more direct riding feeling

 

With all that in mind I started with the actual design of the centerskates. From an aesthetical point of view I basically wanted them to:

_be as simple as possible (and therefore easely understandable)

_be also an expression of lifestyle (more then a serious sports device)

_eventually remind of a collectable item known from computergames (which in this case woul iincrease the speed of movement for a while)

 

In a final sketch- and model building phase I was searching for an apropriate shape and look. Again I can't go into much detail here. The outcomes of that last phase before the preparation of the exhibition and the presentation were tonns of foam models and a pile of sketches. During that whole design process I like to switch to whatever medium will bring me there the quickes and so I was drawing, built mockups and modeled in CAD almost at the same time. Here some key sketches as well as a key sketchmodel:

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The final product:

There is not much to say about the final product since I consider it to be the logical concequence of the above process. I managed to keep the shape simple and achived the futuristic look I wanted... maybe too simple for some people but I like to reduce everything to very geometrical shapes and break them up with champfers or slightly convex/concave surfaces or a combination of both. From the point at which the design is now ingenieurs would want their adjustment, marketing guys as well and so on... For what was to achive in a diploma work without a close collaboration with an industry partner I'm pretty happy with it. Once again: I hope you like it ;-)

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Phuuuu... That's it for now...

Greetings

redback

 

 

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Guest Lilith

wow this is awsome :clapping: great job! didnt go into details yet but already works for me :clapping: really sweet, i like the whole process and the way you think and elevate, absolutely cool!!!

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Guest madmatt

Simply fantistic Idea!!!

 

Great Design Here!!

 

My compliments...

 

P.S.: how about a frame between the wheel?

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Guest Spezz

Nice work, but does it really work well? How do you gain speed?

Maybe post a video of you riding it?

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Guest redback79

Hello again...

 

...this might give some answers to open questions:

Watch me and a fellow student (she was a natural talent!) ride the centerskate prototypes. I didn't have the opportunity to bring my riding skills to a higher level. Time was short and the friction of the self-made ballbearing was way to high for smoth rides. The prototypes started to "dissolve" after a few days of testing (metall balls running on plexiglass are not the most endurable combination ;-) )... but still this video shot for docomentation purposes shows quite well where further development might lead to.

 

 

Have fun watching!

redback

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Guest Papanek.

Wonderful! Excellent! Hope to see them on the streets, even X-games :) and i can`t wait to try them. ;)

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Guest madmatt

Very cool, it seems works! How about make a wheels much wider? For improve stability?

 

Make other videos :-)

 

Bye

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Guest ***

nice project but nothing really new.

 

Orbitwheel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wu0l1IwfnhY...orbitwheel.html

 

the Volvo sport design awarded "360"

http://www.zerofra.com/360.html.

 

You could have save some time cause there is a lot of videos with this idea on the net.

But it must have been really funny to built and test the prototype you did. Very nice model and presentation of your process anyway.

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Guest sachin

This is an interesting idea. I love seeing the prototype and you actually trying them out. The whole process from start to final model is very nice.

 

Just curious, has anyone gotten injured using these?

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Guest redback79

Hi there...

 

First of all: Thanks everybody for the critics! :-)

 

There we go! ;-) When I posted this thread I was actually already wondering how long it will take until someone will post a link to the orbit wheels. Well...

 

Before I started with the project I knew about the 360board. At one point I was asking myself if it would be possible to get rid of the connecting part between the wheels. Would it still be stable enough? ...and if yes, would it be possible to ride such skates by using a "snakeboard-like" movement? There is no doubt, that the 360board influenced my ideation precess a lot!

 

During my research on all kinds of street gadgets, I didn't stumble over the orbit wheels though. It would have saved a lot of time indeed, but most likely I woudn't even have choosen to go for the centerskates if I would have known about the orbit wheels... Now that the diploma is over I'm actually quite happy that I didn't know about them... what a downer that would have been!!! But not just me, nobody must (or at least seamed to) have known about the existence of the orbit wheels. School even descided to help me applying for a patent and a patent research was done by professionals. Result: a somehow similar idea from 1869!!! patented in the USA and another one from around 1920 with origins in Germany. A very good reason to not question too much anymore I thought... I belived myself sure that the concept didn't exist.

 

...but as you already know, it did. About a month after I was finished with school, an australian friend replied on a diploma pic I send him with a link to the orbit wheels. S*** happens...

 

 

 

Greetings

redback

 

 

@***: did you know this: http://www.engadget.com/2004/05/14/the-scabber ? According to the design this must be quite a few years old...

 

@sachin: No no, luckily nobody was injured trying them! My mentor would have been eventually, if I wouldn't have caught him the moment before impact ;-)

 

@madmatt: unfortunately the prototypes are shreded and I can't use school infrastructure anymore *sniff*

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Guest nabee

great work!

 

Don't feel bad that someone else thought of it as well. I think you have a great start, why stop there? evolve it onto different surface. Snow, water.. sand etc.

 

we are never finished .

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Guest yodesign

Really, really nice : idea, sketching, rendering, prototype...well done!

I like the style of this project, it's one more solution not to use car by the way...

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Guest Robbiii

All I can say is: Fantastic Work!

 

Everything seems to be professionally done! I love both the concept and presentation, very clear and good. Great model btw.

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Guest clark

not to be cynical here but..

 

what's wrong with walking?

 

sure the concept is good, and as a project it's interesting enough but from a social perspective how useable is it? Could you expect to see a business man going to work on a pair of wheels (lol)?

 

IMO the concept of traversing through a city faster than walking has already been achieved with skateboards and rollerskates, and we all know how annoying it is to have some stupid kid on a skate board ride past you and promtly fall over 20 yards down the road

 

personally I think it's quite a scary prospect to have people travelling fast in an urban environment, think about it- when you reach down to fetch your phone out your pocket then look up again and you have to sidestep to avoid walking into someone because you lost track of the things around you. The faster you go the harder it is to be aware of your surroundings and other people

 

as a potential sports product I can see it being popular, or as a gimmicky thing (I can see a bunch of lads skating around the streets trying to sell them, just like how you see people trying to sell those powerisers)

 

If a product like this could become socially acceptable then it could be great, don't know if you've ever seen them but there are shoes called 'heely's, which are normal shoes with a wheel that falls out when you tilt your foot back and retracts when you place it flat. If you could add some sort of motor to those so you could travel quite fast then they would be great, because they look like shoes, so you don't have to look like an idiot, and you'd have more control because they're physically attached solidly to your body

 

^^ my idea, steal it and die!!

 

 

as I said before, not trying to diss your project- I just have this fear about how designers will delve into stupid ideas for the sake of progression, when in reality it's causing more problems than it's solving.

There probably aren't all that many genuinely good idea's left now, and making something faster/lighter/cheaper/with a cherry on top, does not constitite an automatic good idea.

 

I love your sketch work though, and i'm always up for products that take an existing idea (the skateboard) and make it so you can hide it away in your satchel bag

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