Serial entrepreneur and avid competitive tennis player, Dr. Rahul Anand (he’s an anesthesiologist), was annoyed when he saw college and pro tennis players throwing sweat laden towels on the court after wiping off. Initially, he had hoped this was just a rare occasion, but it continued to happen. Dr. Anand even contacted the players and/or their management teams to make them aware of the hygiene problem this towel discarding was causing. Still, no change. Exasperated, Dr. Anand decided to take this problem on. This is where FUSE comes in.
Armed with the problem Dr. Anand was trying to fix, FUSE got to work. FUSE retraced the research, and for sure, this problem is a new animal. Not that it’s rare, just that its not been recognized. Lots of products start this way, we as humans adapt to situations. Look at what TESLA is trying to do with the removal of stalks.
After numerous concepts and a couple of full scale prototypes. A tight production budget started to provide clarity. Our team and Dr. Anand settled on the Rocket concept. Initially the Rocket was a single part roto-molded creature. It would hold towels, warm-up clothing, balls, hydration and personal items (phones, keys , wallets, etc.).
While initially designed for tennis, our team imagines the pod being valuable in multiple venues. The Sport Pod is at home pool side, beach side, in the gym and in the world of hospitality. With available accessory trays, the Anand Sport Pod is the perfect guest at your next barbecue.
In order to ship around the country, the world, and not ship air (or cost more than the product), we worked with the molder to make the the legs snap on. It fits into a FEDEX and UPS friendly box and sets up in minutes with no tools.
Athletic Trainer Taylor Peasha and professional Deep Sea Diver Steven Macdonald came to FUSE for help designing a super versatile training aid. Combined with some simple exercises and stretches, the medium density elastomeric ball provides just the right amount of point load to massage knotted muscles and compressed nerves.
On the engineering front, the big innovation is we use a single injection molded part that is simply flipped over to hold the strap securely. This part features a snap finger that locks to itself.
The OTTOLOCK has been a break away success for OTTO, but the company was looking for a more stable mount for their coiled genius. OTTO came to FUSE with a physical model that was pretty close and FUSE worked with OTTO to refine their idea and prototype the refined design.
FUSE refined and simplified the design to separate the mounting to the bike function and the securing of the lock to the mount function.
After a friend’s kid got hurt while playing with a stick, we had an idea. Why not make a safe stick? All kids love sticks, right?! SofStick is that safe stick. Made from elastomeric bead foam (think that molded packing foam that protects your new iMac), Sofstick provides all the fun of a real stick without the stabbing risk. Also, SofSticks float so can easily be a replacement for a foam pool noodle and be an all season toy. We designed a 46″long sword size SofStick and a thicker SofLog version.
Pulse Health had a way to measure key biomarkers non-invasively. They were able to measure this biomarker in exhaled human breath and had a small personal device in their stable but now wanted a clinical version.They came to FUSE for help with this device. FUSE took them all the way through prototyping.
One of our key contributions beyond the industrial design was we created user model scenarios to help the team understand how the device would be used. Once we showed a few of these graphic storyboards the team came alive to determine how best the device would be used.
After the Herman Miller RED Orbiter project, we had this idea about a way to better the Ready To Assemble / IKEA idea. I mean, who really wants to spend the time building furniture if you don’t have to? How cool would it be if you could still flat pack that piece of furniture,but then its already assemble and all you need to do is “pose it” and then just lock it down? It would be not only flat packable but also transforming and poseable into different postures. We thought it would be really cool and started with a chair- the Arma Chair like “armature” – get it?! Clever, right?
This was a proactive project providing a solution to the problem of bike parking since most bike have lost kickstands. The problem is you lean your bike against paint damaging poles and then your bike suffers more than cosmetic damage. We got this into Wired magazine and sold into REI. The rubber manufacturer who was pressing BIKEBARK bought the product a few months after we premiered at Interbike.
A Multitool That Takes Selfies
With our experience in designing tools and knives for GERBER we end up dreaming of versions of these products all the time. Most of them are not so great, but some are so simple and good they need to be realized. The multi-tool tripod was one of them. We put our noses to the grind stone and created a series of sketches, a wooden model and a presentation that could show how this new product would be appealing to a demographic new to the multi-tool world. This demographic included women and urbanites more familiar with Instagram than deer hunting. We presented and GERBER said “ME WANT” or the equivalent for a big corporation. FUSE did not do the industrial design but we do own the IP.
We were awarded the utility patent in 2014.
Mayan Temple Or Cute Floor Cleaning Friend?
Florbot was created as a market development tool for GE Plastics (now Sabic) to stimulate material sales in the floor cleaning appliance market. FUSE principle, Tory Orzeck, then in the GE Plastics Advanced Design and Development Group worked with Carnegie Mellon Robotics technologist Alan Branch to develop this prototype. The product leveraged bleeding edge technology at the time and GE’s portfolio of engineering thermoplastics.
To use, the owner would take Florbot out of the box, charge him up and and set him against a wall. Like an old graphics fill program, Florbot would circumscribe the perimeter, then sweep the interior area and go back to its charging station when done.
Design-wise we knew the product would always be visible so the design was a combination or architectural and companion robot, think R2D2. We especially like that the dust bin’s handle doubles as a mouth. Additionally Florbot’s cap was made from translucent amber ULTEM. At the time, GE was pushing the idea that copper traces could be imaged directly onto heat resistant ULTEM so surface mount components could be attached directly.
OTC came to FUSE to essentially repackage a PC into an Automotive diagnotic tool. This main unit has a series of accessories that plug into the unit, testing a variety of automotive engine attributes. One of the major design improvement FUSE made to this category of product was to build in the toughness required into the housing. Typically this was a plastic box with external elastomer boot that was an ugly addition. Instead we built a super robust internal chassis and over molded a shock resistant thermoplastic external armor. In addition, the design featured symmetrical controls suitable for both right and left handed users.
FUSE also did an alternative cosmetic design branded as a MATCO unit.