Thoughts from the Wobbly Edge

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lane Splitter Bi-Car Concept

Mark Wilson from FastCo Called

He wanted to know if I could help him out with a quick turnaround design for this article. So, the folks at argodesign, (including Ian MacDowell, Charles Hurst, Brian Seiler and of course Mark Rolston) and I started brainstorming. We ended up with this.


The Lane Splitter has hubless steering. When in bi-mode, the front tires split and expand to provide more stability and better longitudinal center of gravity. When in quad-mode the front tires collapse outwardly to traditional standard width tires for better separation.

The rear wheels are powered by separate electric motors. Both front and rear wheels use roll axis longitudinal steering to decrease the turning radius and mitigate the limited steering of the front hubless axle. The docking connectors are situated fore and aft of the vehicle on the docking side lower body panel. The automated docking mechanism allows for automated and quick connection.

A small landing wheel assembly deploys at low speeds to help stabilize the vehicle in bi-mode and augment the auto-alignment during vehicle-to-vehicle docking. The vehicle is 128" long. Overall cost as designed would seem prohibitive at this time. There would need to be more iteration on concept design along with a substantial engineering effort to realize the technology and promise of a vehicle which separates into two as shown.

Cool Name

Our COO, Renae Alsobrook, came up with the name Better Half which I thought was a great name!


Humanoid NURBs Model for MoI and Rhino

Download PAT the NURBS Humanoid 3D Model.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Drone Animation

The Fast Company ambulance drone really took off! It was shared from FastCoDesign over 6000 times and picked up by news organizations around the world. We’ve received lots of comments and questions over the past few weeks, and it’s even led to a few project inquiries.
The Discovery Channel asked if we could render the ambulance drone landing and taking off, which I did over this past weekend. Mark Rolston added some particle and other effects resulting in the video below.
Monday, February 9, 2015

MoI GUI Builder (MGB)

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I probably already mentioned it, but I really like MoI3D. It’s been really fun to work with and has an ultra simple interface– in fact, maybe too simple. I prefer a darker and more technical workspace, and Michael Gibson uses an html framework for building the GUI for MoI.
That’s cool because anyone with some knowledge of HTML, Javascript and CSS can now modify the old interface to create a new one. Pretty cool!
The only problem is it’s quite a chore digging through the different selectors in CSS and trying to match them up with the interface– especially without any sort of firebug inspection utility. There have been a few who have tried, and it’s quite the challenge to modify any of their generous offerings.
Michael Gibson has said it’s on his to do list, but, selfishly, I’d rather him focus on more important stuff, like 64-bit compatibility.
So, I sat down Friday night and decided it was time to help Michael out a bit by creating a free tool which allows anyone who can point and click to modify MoI’s interface. I built it in LiveCode, an extreme rapid development tool and just released it Sunday evening. For those of you who use MoI, please enjoy!

Here are instructions on how to use it and the download locations.
And a video describing how it works.

Medical Drone

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I really like doing these quick turnaround projects with the argo team. The challenge was to create a future vision for the medical industry and one of the concepts (Ian MacDowell) involved using drone technology to bring an emergency attendant to the scene of an accident in a car-sized drone. You may want to read the finished article at FastCoDesign.

We had less than a week to complete this, so I started in SketchUp and created some quick sketches directions:

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Wearables Designs

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Recently I was asked to help design some wearables products for an article at FastCoDesign.

The team at argodesign came up with some nifty ideas, and my job was to quickly turn them around into believable designs, complete with photorealistic renders.

Here are some of the concept sketches– all done on an iPad using neu.Notes+:

Ouija Band

Ouija Band 2

New Set Of MoI3D tutorials

I’ve been spending a lot of time using 3D apps lately. My new goto app for hard surface modeling is the spline based MoI 3D app by Michael Gibson. Not only is this application a full-on solids modeler, but it’s super easy to use as well. Those of us coming from poly/SubD backgrounds need to rethink some basic strategies, but for the most part things couldn’t be simpler.

I created a few tutorials which I hope will help others understand the power and ease of use this program has.