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Recon Rail Updates

Hey folks, hope you are enjoying another week and getting your float on when and where able!

So there are about 10 Recon Rail sets out there being tested to date.  For all folks using my products, pre-production, I am going to keep you updated on parts as they are refined at no cost to you.  I’ve begun to receive tons of great feedback, and yes some negative, but that’s the point here!  The Onewheel industry is currently pretty small, but you and I know it’s going to get a lot bigger.  As I roll out new products, I want to keep it lean and community-feedback driven.  Having worked in product development for about 10 years, I have a real knack for getting designs updated, prototyped, and to production fairly quickly.  I want to continue incorporating community feedback into my design process, so here’s what I’ve received and acted on to date:

  • All black…
  • Better instructions for installation.
  • Clean up molded parts.

All Black.

As you can see below on the left, the first revision included black aluminum alloy picatinny mounts fixed to naturally finished 6061 Aluminum plates.  The combination of the two increased the product’s overall resistance to bending stress, even though that’s alleviated by mounting flat to the rail.  For consistency, I’ve built jigs for the tapping and assembly of the parts.  I anticipate someone will clip a curb with the front of one of these so I want to ensure it won’t grab and bend.  So far so good there.  I’ve had two requests in the same thread for all black.  While, of course, I’ll eventually be as smart as FM and release multiple colors; I’m going to switch to the all black murdered look until then.

Better Instructions for Installation.

Given that the install is VERY simple, I relied heavily on a simple render to show the steps.  While that does show it, feedback suggests that folks will need some more deets!  All good there, I’ve updated the installation instructions (see below) and created an overview video.

Cleaned up molded parts.

My intent is to field feedback on the functionality of the system and ease of installation.  Also, any durability issues or just general product feedback.  I have pushed a few mounting brackets and FF Adapters out that have aesthetic flaws.  I’m molding the parts using a Cast Urethane process and want to cover all changes necessary for a full launch.  I have a fantastic molder I’m on-boarding to start shooting these in a hard tool after they’re all tested out.  I expect prices will drop with the drop in COGS as I switch to Injection Molding.  Parts below show the before and after shots of parts that I’ve sent and changes made to the aesthetic since.  The ugly one was a prototype mount, the prettier ones on the right or bottom are what is currently shipping.  Also have feedback to increase the offset of the “mating” faces for a more secure hold (Thanks Cory).

 

What’s next for the Recon Rail?

I have a vendor producing custom 18″ picatinny rails for me.  I’ll transition to that once I off-ramp the assembly to the manufacturer so we aren’t using two different sizes per side.  This should reduce COGS and consequently cost.

My molder for the mounting brackets will also be doing the handle.  Fillets will be added for better comfort.  Currently, the handle is flat stock TPU cut with a water jet to eliminate Non-Recurring Expenses (NRE) in production until I feel it’s time to inject it.

Once the supply chain is ironed out with my manufacturer, I’ll start adding multiple color options.

What’s next for Elite Onewheel?

Well, hopefully no one cares that I have Onewheel in the name.  I’m sure I’ll hear if they do.

The Flight Fender Adapters (formerly Flight Fin Adapter) will be off-ramped to the molder for better parts pretty soon.  They will be molded in glass-filled Nylon for durability and resistance to the elements.

I have 3 types of pads going to production.  Not happy with the last sample, so no pics until they’re right.  One is a standard set of coarse grips, one is standard EVA for comfort cruising (would rather buy from an existing 3rd party vendor), and the “Shred Grip.”  The Shred Grip is unique in a couple of ways.  The front grip creates a concave footing and the rear grip has a hump in the arch of the foot.  This mimics parabolic stringers on a surfboard and doubles down on your cutting power.

I have a prototype for a set (front and rear) of pads.  It’s early in development, but currently functional.  These pads allow the changing of grips without tools or adhesive backing.  The base will be comprised of glass-filled nylon and an industrial TPU and will be lighter than the stock pads.

A Caddy system for Joon Kim, lol.  Actually, it’s a “Caddy” that will attached to the Recon Rail using the holes for the built-in rubber handle.  It is a frame-style device that will not interfere with fenders, Flight Fins, etc. and will be used for grabs, handle points, speaker mounts, long-range mod mounts, lights, and more.

Keep an eye on our social for daily use of our equipment and updates.

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Bioelectronics – The Next Revolution in Medicine

I was recently invited to attend a very special meeting at Case Western Reserve University. The topic was entitled “Bioelectronic Approaches to Personalized Medicine.” Roughly 100 Neuroscientists, Biomedical Engineers, and Clinicians gathered to share their progress in the new field known as “Bioelectronics,” or as some researchers like to call it – “Map and Zap.

bio-electronics
Sourced from GSK http://www.gsk.com/en-gb/research/what-we-are-working-on/bioelectronics-research/

Bioelectronic medicine has the potential to be superior to drugs in terms of efficacy, cost and safety because it directly modulates the natural language of the body’s nervous systems — electrical impulses and action potentials. To appreciate the full potential for bioelectronic medicine, consider that virtually all the cells in the body are directly or indirectly controlled by neural input and that peripheral neural circuits play a pivotal role in maintaining homeostasis.1

In the next ten years, miniature electronic devices no larger than a grain of rice will be implanted at selected nerve fibers (axons) to stimulate or block neural activity to treat conditions such as asthma, Type II Diabetes, and digestive disorders, thus reducing or eliminating the need for traditional “molecular” medicines (e.g. pills or injections).

It is interesting to consider that by converging neurophysiology with data analysis and disease biology, it will be feasible to develop bioelectronic devices that can record and analyze neural and physiological data in real time and modulate the neural electric input to the target organs.1

I recently met with some scientists that are beginning to use machine learning and big data to analyze huge amounts of acquired data to identify biomarkers that indicate the onset of certain conditions. For example, connected biosensors will soon be able to detect the onset of an asthmatic episode and immediately stimulate the appropriate nerves to open the airways, thus preventing an asthma attack before it happens. Similar progress is being made with cardiac disease and epilepsy.

Wearable devices that monitor physiological activity (blood pressure, ecg, and eeg, for example) along with the increasing computing power of smartphones, will provide a truly personalized approach to healthcare. Imagine the following scenario:

Your electronic personal health assistant (using artificial intelligence similar to IBM’s Watson) has been monitoring your ECG, blood pressure, body weight, activity, and caloric intake using wearable and implanted devices that monitor your heartbeat, blood pressure, weight and activity.  It notices that you have recently gained weight and your blood pressure is beginning to increase.  Based upon this sensor information, your assistant realizes that this could lead to heart disease or hypertension, so it reminds you to get some exercise (while monitoring your activity, of course), and suggests a meal plan to shed those extra pounds.  In addition to creating a menu, the assistant triggers an implant connected to nerves that control your appetite to help you feel full more quickly.  

logo-ibm-watson
Image sourced from http://www.healthterm.com/standardization-of-all-clinical-data-for-ibm-watson-health-globally/

While this sounds like science fiction, the technology is within reach. Breakthroughs in nanotechnology, neurophysiology, and information technology are occurring at a rapid pace; and collaboration between these researchers is increasing.  Just last month, GlaxoSmithKline and Alphabet (Google’s Parent Company) created a new company called “Galvani Bioelectronics”, and provided over $700 million in funding over the next 5 years.  The National Institutes of Health has initiated the “Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions” (or “SPARC”) is also funding research to treat cancer and other diseases. The SPARC initiative is designed to minimize the amount of “red tape” normally required to obtain funding for this type of research.

As an expert in making instruments to measure pulmonary and electrophysiological signals, I am excited to bring a small part of this initiative to the Cape Fear region.

1 – Chavan, 2014

Mike Bower, the man, the myth, the legend.  Electrical Engineer – Elite Innovations.

Prior to 2007, I worked for Vishay Micro-Measurements in the Triangle area as a software engineering manager.  Most of my focus was in experimental mechanics, and the measurement systems I developed were used on projects as diverse as the International Space Station to the Freedom Tower in New York City.

 Despite the fact that I had a rewarding and challenging career for over 20 years, the sea was calling. So my family and I decided to pack up and move to Wilmington from the Triangle area in 2007.  I joined a small company called Buxco Research Systems. It was then when I became involved with biomedical technology, and I developed software and hardware for preclinical pulmonary research.

 In January of 2014, Buxco was sold and moved out of the Wilmington area. I was given the opportunity to move to Minnesota, but by then my ties to Wilmington were too strong, so I joined a company based in Paris, France. Over the next several months, I built a small but very effective Research and Development lab over my garage, which included reflow ovens, microscopes, and 3D printing capability.  During that time, I developed implantable telemetry devices used to measure biopotentials (ECG, EEG), core body temperature, and blood pressure in preclinical research. These devices are used by researchers to measure the responses (pulmonary, cardiovascular, neurological) caused by various interventions, including conventional (molecular) and bioelectronics.

In 2015, the decision was to consolidate the R&D efforts to Paris, and Montreal. I was given the opportunity to move to Paris or Montreal, but once again, I chose to remain in Wilmington. Fortunately, I was asked to represent the company as a Biomedical Engineer and am currently involved in providing technical support to the researchers.

 These days, I travel throughout North America and work with a wide variety of researchers involved in the development of new therapies. A large part of my time is involved in training biomedical researchers in the use of  sophisticated software and hardware used to measure complex signals such as ECG, EEG, and pulmonary function.

Wile I am currently a “one man show”, as my involvement (and reputation) in the Bioelectronics field grows, I hope to eventually bring more of this technology to the Wilmington area.