Drift Gear: Motorized Skates for Extreme Speed

A new kind of high-tech, motorized skating equipment, designed for speed and top-notch action.
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Julian Erickson
Sports
Fort Wayne, Indiana
United States
1 Team Member

For a nice visual and comprehensive overview of Drift Gear, check out the website at 

driftgear.info

Please feel free to follow the Drift Gear Facebook Page as well:

https://www.facebook.com/driftgear

Or the Google+ Page: google.com/+DriftgearInfohere

Let's Step Up the Speed.

Drift Gear is all about speed. The base technology has already been developed. (Lithium-ion batteries, external gear pumps, electric motors). Now the time has come to put it together in a machine that works with you, giving blood boiling action. Inline skating gives an unimaginably free and active feel. There are no handle bars or steering wheel. You can jump off the road any time without leaving a vehicle behind. Most importantly, you're standing. You're standing and piercing the wind with force directly from your stride. Drift Gear will allow skaters to increase the feeling of high speed and power without taking away the human effort.

Hint: You can make a contribution of any amount you want and you do not have to select a reward. If you want to help out but can't contribute anything, you actually can! Just share the campaign on Facebook, Google+, or any way you want.

What is it, really?

The Drift Gear Boot

Introducing the Drift Gear Boot! An air-pressure-driven actuator runs the back wheels of the left and right boots. The actuator looks small but it can be very powerful because thick, steel components can handle high pressure. An outer metallic shell gives it a fabulous look like no other skate and the interior inflates to fit your leg and foot very tightly. The ankle joint allows critical flexibility for skating. There is a pressure input connector and an electrical connector on the top of the boot. Both are used for connecting the Drift Gear Power Pack.

Don't worry about controls! The Drift Gear Control Gloves eliminate the need for a cumbersome remote. Simply slide your thumb on your point finger for precision speed control. An electrical connecter is located by the wrist to be hooked up to the Power Pack. Three additional switches on the back of each glove make it easy to control more functions. The glove is designed to be very thin and lightweight.

Right Glove additional controls:

  • Pressure to the right Boot. (on or off)
  • Back lights for both boots. (on or off)
  • Wheel Lock for both boots. (on or off)

Left Glove additional controls:

  • Pressure to the left Boot. (on or off)
  • Front lights for both boots (on or off)
  • Maximum allowed speed/pressure to both Boots. (variable)

The Power Pack

The Drift Gear Power Pack is the Equipment Harness that holds all the weight of Energy Banks (batteries) and a motor. A small computer interprets input from both the Control Gloves and the Boots to operate everything. Servos regulate a single source of pressure to each Boot individually. The batteries can be charged by plugging in an external device. The straps and equipment mounts are completely adjustable.


Drift Gear is intended to be highly modular so it's easily configured to fit the user. The list below consists of the main modules. The numbers in parentheses are the quantities of each that are required for a standard set of Drift Gear.

  • Drift Gear Boot (2) - Just the boot with no wheels or actuator.
  • Brake Mount  (1) - Holds the Brake Pad.
  • Brake Pad (1) - The main brake on the back of one Boot.
  • Control Glove (2) - Special gloves with interfaces.
  • Drive Frame (2) - The frame for holding the wheels and actuator.
  • Drive Hose (2) - Hydraulic hose from the Power Pack to the Boot. 
  • Electronics Cable (4) - Connects Control Gloves and Boots to the Power Pack.
  • Energy Bank (2) - The lithium-ion battery back.
  • Equipment Harness (1) - Straps and buckles of the Power Pack.
  • Lamp (4) - LED lights for the front and back of the Boots.
  • Mother Module (1) - The computer, motor, pump, and pressure regulators.
  • Wheel (4) - Just a larger than average wheel
  • Wheel Lock (2) - A set of components designed to fit in the Drive Frame as a method to completely lock up the wheels, controllable from the Control Gloves.

Developing the Gear

Hi, I'm Julian Erickson. Honestly, I'm the only one who has developed Drift Gear. But hey, that's why I'm running this campaign. Something this big needs more people involved for Drift Gear to become a reality. Before I cover my plan, lets look at whats been done so far.

Performance Calculations/Predictions

Using averaged out data on the properties of lithium-ion batteries, I have been able to determine the volume and weight for the energy storage target capacity. I selected an electric motor with a high power-to-weight ratio. The supplier provided it's KV value which indicates RPM output per volt supplied to the motor. This allowed me to design a viable transmission pump ratio and the max theoretical speed of Drift Gear. I included a reduced RPM due to load in these predictions. The supplier also provides the power rating of the motor which basically determines horsepower. Power is a rate at which energy is transformed. This made it easy to calculate how long Drift Gear will last at full throttle. Click here for more about performance.

Blueprints

Blueprints is what I call the computer aided design (CAD) files. As mentioned in the video, I have produced a digital 3D representation of each part and assembly specs for the whole machine. These parts include shells, bearings, frames, rubber pads, bolts, springs, axles, hooks, gears and so on. There are approximately over 280 different part files. The assembly specs include over 1000 occurrences of these parts.

Blueprint Example (one component of the drive pump)

Prototype

This was the fun part! An idea is just an idea until it's put to the test. I called the prototype the Iron Roller because its made of heavy metal and well... it rolls! As you can see, it looks nothing like Drift Gear. But it does in a functional sense. Its made of a hard outer shell with panels that pop open so the user can get their feet inside. Only four large wheels support the boots. This thing is a lot bulkier, heavier, and more crude than Drift Gear but it felt totally fabulous when I tried it out! There was no money to build a Power Pack or Control Gloves so as you can see in the video, I had a power cable connected to me during the tests. To make up for that, I have skated extensively with a backpack full of heavy books.

A Spark in the Back of a Mind...

To Tangible, Speed-Demon Equipment

This campaign is all about Drift Gear, but to understand how Drift Gear is going to become a reality, we need to talk about the over arching plan. It’s hard to convince people (let alone businesses) that something new will be a practical and profitable product. That’s why I’m going to start a limited liability company called Build Base to make sure Drift Gear gets manufactured and sold right. After all, who could do a better job of handling a work of art than the creator himself?

Mission: All products must be built to stand the test of time and perform admirably. The price will not be advertized as “low” because that suggests low quality. Drift Gear is about strength and speed, not low prices. The mission is to bring back the art of inline skating on a whole new level.

Build Base will sell Drift Gear online so as many people as possible will have access to the equipment. It will be easy for customers to customize their order for the components and configurations they desire.

Here is the simplified plan if the campaign succeeds:  

Step One  - Hire Professionals to Make a Plan: To greatly increase chances of success, professionals with business experience must perform market research, investigate safety and business regulations, and write a business plan.

Step Two - Enlist Prototyping Services: Step Three needs more concept representation. The models created here will not be usable like the Iron Roller prototype. They will demonstrate critical components such as the fluid transmission system.

Step Three - Obtain an Angel Investor(s): The market research, business plan, and demonstration models will come into play here. Investors need convincing that their money will turn a profit. Why are investors needed if this campaign is a success? Further development, prototyping, and production line set up will take a lot more funding. 

Step Four - Hire Design Services to Refine/Finalize Blueprints: I'm the only one who has worked on the Drift Gear blueprints. Anyone could have started this but only a team can finish it. Professionals need to come together to increase the potential performance of Drift Gear, eliminate design flaws, and plan the manufacturing process.

Step Five - Test, test, and retest! A fully functional prototype built to match every aspect of design must be tested for safety and performance. If there is a problem, then a new model will be built and the process repeats until all specifications are satisfied.

Step Six - Register Build Base as an LLC: This is when Build Base will become a registered Limited Liability Company with all required licenses and credentials.

Step Seven - Build the Build Base Website: The website will be the customers portal to Drift Gear. Parts will be sold individually and as full gear packages.

Step Eight - Hire Manufacturing Company for Mass Production: The product will be built for the customer with different colors and sizes.

Step Nine - Open the doors of business to customers! Get ready to Drift!

All plans are subject to change.


Me and Why I'm Qualified

Hey, I'm an Inventor.

When I say I'm an inventor, I'm using the word "inventor" in a very broad sense. I'm an artist, designer, engineer, scientist, or what ever you want to call me. Let's be honest, I'm just finishing high school for a 2014 graduation. Business investors/supporters won't typically trust a high school student with their money to develop motorized skates and bring up a new business. That's exactly what I'm trying to do. I've never been one to feel that I can't do something because I'm not "there yet." As a result, I've built autonomous robots, programmed video games, wrote short stories, produced digital paintings, edited video, and designed machines with professional grade CAD software. I was home schooled until I was fourteen years old. This gave me plenty of time to build strong skills and drives a typical kid never gets. Those years were full of encouragement to explore what ever I wanted to.

My Skills and Accomplishments

  • Java and C# Programmer (worked on games and micro controllers)
  • CAD Modeler (designed a module for a hot air balloon)
  • Robotics Engineer (Worked on FIRST Robotics Team 1501)
  • Machine Shop Experience (lathe and mill)
  • Digital Image Creation and Manipulation (The home page background on my website is a good example)
  • Traveled to Europe as a Student Ambassador with People to People

I will have no problem handling the technical side of the Drift Gear project. I've already ran into many problems with design work and prototyping but I've solved all of them. New problems will rise, including business issues but I will adapt and change my plans as needed to get the job done.

Rewards!


$5 - Photo Postcard of the Starters

$24 - Drift Gear Poster

$32 - Drift Gear T-shirt

$42 - Drift Gear Wheels (a total of 4) + bearings

Much more awesome rewards are listed on the upper side of the page!

Risks and Challenges.

Above, I have addressed the plan for completing this project and why I'm qualified to do so. Now lets cover what can go wrong and how the problems will be handled.
If I can't find an investor (Step 3), I will keep searching for one, weather its private investors or a corporation. But if I can't find any, here is what I'll do: I'll try everything I can to get any already standing business to produce Drift Gear. At this point, I will have a professional business plan, patents, and the strong design files on hand to prove Drift Gear can turn a profit.
Unforeseen design flaws and production errors could arise. That's why the plan calls for third party design, engineering, and prototyping specialists to be hired.
This is a risk associated with any start up: If all fails, perks that contain Drift Gear, components, or discounts may never be delivered.

Find This Campaign On
$103USD
raised in 1 month
0% funded
0 time left
$29,500 USD goal
Fixed Funding This campaign did not meet its $29,500USD funding goal by the deadline.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on March 27, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    Email of Your Greatness!

    Any amount is very much appreciated so you will receive a very energetic email of awesome in honor of your greatness!

    1 claimed
  • $5USD
    Photo Postcard of the Starters

    You are a starter and want to see Drift Gear come alive! You will receive one photo postcard to give you a special thanks. (includes more awesome than email) An image of this perk is listed near the bottom of the page.

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $24USD
    Drift Gear Poster

    One styling Drift Gear 11" x 17" poster. A nice bedroom piece. An image of this perk is listed near the bottom of the page.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $32USD
    Drift Gear T-shirt

    A brightly colored Drift Gear T-shirt with that I'm-ready-for-action look. An image of this perk is listed near the bottom of the page.

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $42USD
    Drift Gear Wheels

    Skaters often wear out wheels fast and new sets are expensive. Get one pack of Drift Gear wheels plus bearings for only $40. An image of this perk is listed near the bottom of the page. (estimated retail value for one pack: $50) 1 pack = 4 wheels for both Boots You will not receive this until the Build Base company has opened for business.

    0 claimed
  • $75USD
    Bronze Discount

    --Get $90 off any Drift Gear product when the Build Base company opens for business. This could be used to buy multiple small products as well. --You will also receive the Photo Postcard

    0 out of 200 claimed
  • $150USD
    Silver Discount

    --Get $170 off any Drift Gear product when the Build Base company opens for business. This could be used to buy multiple small products as well. --You will also receive the Photo Postcard

    0 out of 100 claimed
  • $300USD
    Gold Discount

    --Get $330 off any Drift Gear product when the Build Base company opens for business. This could be used to buy multiple small products as well. --Your name and business printed on the Build Base website and Drift Gear packaging/manuals honoring your contribution.

    0 out of 50 claimed
  • $500USD
    Champion Discount

    --Get $600 off any Drift Gear product when the Build Base company opens for business. This could be used to buy multiple small products as well. --Your name and business printed on the Build Base website and Drift Gear packaging/manuals honoring your contribution.

    0 out of 50 claimed
  • $650USD
    Champion Artist Discount

    --Get $700 off any Drift Gear product when the Build Base company opens for business. This could be used to buy multiple small products as well. --Work with me to design a color scheme that you would like to see hit the market.

    0 out of 2 claimed
  • $840USD
    Drift Gear

    A full set of Drift Gear with the color and configuration of your choice when the Build Base business launches. (estimated retail value: $970)

    0 out of 50 claimed
  • $5,000USD
    The Perk of Heros

    --One full set of Drift Gear. --Extra pack of Wheels. --Extra Energy Bank --Drift Gear T-Shirt --Drift Gear Poster --Photo Post Card --Your name and business printed on the Build Base website and Drift Gear packaging/manuals honoring your contribution. (larger print on top of the list) --Meet me in person to discuss anything you want regarding Drift Gear. (or video call if long distance)

    0 out of 5 claimed
  • $5,500USD
    Perk of the Artistic Hero

    --Work with me to design a color scheme that you would like to see hit the market. --One full set of Drift Gear. --Extra pack of Wheels. --Extra Energy Bank --Drift Gear T-Shirt --Drift Gear Poster --Photo Post Card --Your name and business printed on the Build Base website and Drift Gear packaging/manuals honoring your contribution. (larger print on top of the list) --Meet me in person to discuss anything you want regarding Drift Gear. (or video call if long distance)

    0 out of 2 claimed
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