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.
Slabtown In Stumptown
A very clever guy came to FUSE with an idea. A better way to set up a grid of rebar that floats within a slab of concrete. This wasn’t a totally new idea, but Kerry, the guy, had a host of improvements he wanted to add and he had a plan to make these really sell. These concrete chairs turn the painful time eating chore of setting up a grid of rebar into literally a snap. The rebar just pops into place at just the right height.Our job was to make them super strong and super cool. We made them feel like the super utilitarian future by instituting this octogonal theme throughout the structure. The octogonal base not only provided visual branding but also helped with keeping the rebar layouts in the field straight. FUSE designed all 27 variations that accomodate different sized bar and different heights. FUSE also redesigned the BIP logo along the way.
With Great Control Comes Great Power.
HP came to FUSE to get help creating a control station for their almost battle shipped sized Page Wide Web Press , the T1100S. This super sized printing press uses arrays of HP’s patented Ink Jet technology and applies it to a web (paper substrate) that is up to 110″ wide by literally forever. This sort of printer creates the 4 color images one would see on a corrugated box. The print is laminated to corrugated or other substrates in a finishing operation.
Our job was to come up with a work station that would encompass an array of monitors that not only control the print job but also monitor multiple live views of the print/machine in progress and provide an expert system database if any adjustments or repairs are needed to the printer or the print.
The Pillar design includes a flip down keyboard tray if needed and is modular should an HP customer want more than 3 monitors. Of course, our design would need to compliment the T1100S and be built in materials and processes that reflect the relatively low production quantities.
We were told the operator of this printer would never be sitting so we created a Pillar of adjustable and replaceable touch screens. The Pillar design includes a spacer that can be added or omitted should the operator be short or tall in stature. To house the hardware that runs the control station, we created a cabinet with cleverly disguised filter vents to avoid the accumulation of the paper particles that live in this environment. This project premiered at the DRUPA show in Germany in 2016.
When we built Orp, the super smal really cool bike horn/ bike light, we built it to be Remote Ready. Meaning: make a small wired switch that cold be placed under thumb that could go wherever the rider wanted. This simple product makes the Orp experience that much better as you never need to lift a hand to actuate either of Orp’s horn sounds. The REMORP uses a slick dual action switch. Press lightly on REMORP’s bulbous swelling to fire Orp’s loud sound and then press a little harder to fire Orp’s 96dB loud sound. The other cool thing about the REMORP is it provided an update to the Orp product line that worked for all Orps and Orp owners. It’s super neat and you should go to Orpland.com to get one… now!
No Fogging Way.
If you’re a skier or snowboarder you know how frustrating it is when everything is right but your goggles are fogged. It was this problem that client Dave McCullough expressed to his friends Howard Russell and Jack Cornelius. These two friends were sort of the dynamic duo of Patent Atty, Howard and Engineer, Jack. The two did some research and came up with a solution that could address this problem: Heated ITO film. ITO is a transparent conductive material that is sputtered onto a clear substrate. By applying a a voltage across this film, the surface heats up and decimates the fog. Having a firm grasp on the physics of fog, Jack correctly theorized we only needed to get the temperature above dewpoint.
Jack built a quick proof of concept with a couple of large lithium ion batteries and a piece of of ITO film. Next, Jack and Howard came to FUSE with the plan to build a ski goggle and challenge the industry. Long story short, FUSE did the industrial design, brought in the electrical engineer, built two generations of prototypes and completed the database for the final production version goggle. We also found the manufacturer and key suppliers and creatives along the way, named the colorways and even named the the company founded to deliver this new piece of equipment. Abom sold out of their first years production.
Orp was developed after a spate of fatal right hook vehicle vs. bicycle accidents here in Portland, Oregon. It seemed like there had to be a way to make bikes more visible to drivers. It seemed a a loud horn could make this visibility happen. Also with this digital platform we could design our own sounds and have multiple sounds. We were really excited and started with just a dual tone horn but got a big “meh” from targeted users. When you look at the circuitry it got us thinking, it would be really easy to add LEDs wyhout adding a whole lot of volume.
Adding the lights made Orp much more intriguing. You ve got to have a light, right? With a slew of positive feedback we launched a Kickstarter campaign and it did fairly well. Our media coverage during the campaign and after production was amazing. Highlights included the TODAY show, Wired and the Wall Street Journal.
It took a year to get us to production Orps. We went to the factory twice during that year. About a year later we introduced the REMORP-Orp’s Remote. All Orps were built Remote Ready. First year sales were amazing and included the Museum of Modern Art Store. There are around 35,000 Orps in the world and still its growing.
A Friend Furever.
Furilla started life as a gift for a friend but then that friend’s friends also wanted Furillas. Next, FUSE had several projects to enter into the IDSA IDEA competition and we thought Furilla would be a welcome reprise from the more serious ID products the judges would evaluate. Unexpectedly, Furilla won a Bronze. With this small bit of notoriety it seemed like an OK idea to launch Furilla.com, a website that would sell Furillas. Soon enough Furillas ended up all over the world. Furilla was fortunate to slide into then unknown to us blossoming designer toy trend. Furilla got picked up by several media outlets and was sold at KIDROBOT and even had a premier at Chicago’s ROTOFUGI. Above is totally a cover story. The real story involves invitro fertilization and a freak accident.
Late in 2005 KIDROBOT decided they wanted to license Furilla and build production in Asia. We were on board but then the project hit a snag when the pricing swelled beyond feasibility.