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jumpingrock


Sep 14, 2006, 1:02 PM
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Gear Ideas
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My Fiance is doing a fourth year design project for her Engineering degree and I thought that it would be cool for her to design a piece of climbing gear. Anybody have any ideas about something that you think would be either a cool addition to an existing piece of gear or a new piece of gear entirely?


hugin


Sep 14, 2006, 2:53 PM
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Depends. They're not going to be giving her a chem-e degree if she goes and designs some mechanical device.

So, first we need to know what *kind* of engineer she aspires to.


iamthewallress


Sep 14, 2006, 3:22 PM
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I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that the OP wasn't soliciting ideas for chemicals or electronics to enhance the climbing experience (although neither is necessarily a bad idea...)


jumpingrock


Sep 14, 2006, 3:33 PM
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I am talking system design engineering. So when I say gear I actually mean gear. As in little pieces of metal that we stick in rocks and it helps keep our asses off the ground.

My thoughts were to design some sort of cam add-on that would prevent or significantly reduce the threat of walking. Any other ideas along those lines. I'm not sure, but I imagine that electronic devices wouldn't neccesarily be out of the question.


iamthewallress


Sep 14, 2006, 3:48 PM
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My thoughts were to design some sort of cam add-on that would prevent or significantly reduce the threat of walking.

Considering cost, weight, and effectiveness, you'll be hard pressed to beat the sewn runner for this job.

How 'bout an active cam hook? Imagine a stiff-stemmed cam-hook shaped ball nut. The active bit would help hold it in place so you could clip it for (dubious) protection.


extremrocker12


Sep 14, 2006, 3:48 PM
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I had an idea for a rubber type thing that would slip onto a cam head that would add more friction. I have experimented with this idea and it seems great for dry conditions. I dont have the skills, knowhow or things to try and make it though. If you want more info I would be happy to help.
-Extremrocker12


gunkiemike


Sep 14, 2006, 3:50 PM
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How about a Big Bro-like tube device, except instead of having it telescope, there'd be a set of cam lobes at one end.

Or a Valley Giant-type 10 inch camming unit. Should be easy enough (since it already exists).


iamthewallress


Sep 14, 2006, 3:53 PM
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I just had the wackiest wide crack pro idea...You know those spikes that slice your tires if you go through a gate the wrong way, but just collaps out of the way if you go the right way. You could make some sort of body cam that functions on a similar principle...You slither upwards, the grabbers retract. You slip downwards, they dig into the rock. Whadya think?


jimfix


Sep 14, 2006, 3:59 PM
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How about a Big Bro-like tube device, except instead of having it telescope, there'd be a set of cam lobes at one end.

Have a look at the origonal patent. That's included, and since it's not produced, probably isn't a good idea.


rocksonthebrain


Sep 14, 2006, 3:59 PM
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How about an alternate to the now almost unavailable HB offsets.


jimfix


Sep 14, 2006, 4:01 PM
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You slither upwards, the grabbers retract. You slip downwards, they dig into the rock. Whadya think?

Ummm, kinda like a cam?


iamthewallress


Sep 14, 2006, 4:03 PM
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You slither upwards, the grabbers retract. You slip downwards, they dig into the rock. Whadya think?

Ummm, kinda like a cam?

Um, yeah...Like a cam suit for full body cracks.

And, um, it was just a joke.

In reply to:
You could make some sort of body cam


jimfix


Sep 14, 2006, 4:05 PM
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The irony of this thread is this thread was on the home page when the OP was made.


Partner angry


Sep 14, 2006, 6:04 PM
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I'm not going to do your homework for you. Isn't the ability to come up with and design things like this why your GF is (almost) an engineer and I'm not?


gunkiemike


Sep 14, 2006, 6:45 PM
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I'm not going to do your homework for you. Isn't the ability to come up with and design things like this why your GF is (almost) an engineer and I'm not?

In the OP's defense, creating an idea and reducing it to practice are generally two different mental skillsets. The engineers I've worked with were as a group not very creative. The idea-generating professionals OTOH, well, to say they weren't especially practical would be a nice way to put it.


Partner blazesod


Sep 14, 2006, 8:31 PM
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Re-design the ball-nut based on chinese finger cuffs:

Weave kevlar (or nylon) around a "sized" ball with a pull wire for release. Simple in theory, I'll buy 2 if they work.

Cheers, :)
-Dave


extremrocker12


Sep 15, 2006, 12:59 PM
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I'm not going to do your homework for you. Isn't the ability to come up with and design things like this why your GF is (almost) an engineer and I'm not?

Ok I am in an engineering class and I know that engineers dont just make things that become widely used. Your comment pisses me off because engineers need to research things that are wanted by people not just make things they think will work well.


rad_dog


Sep 15, 2006, 1:43 PM
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I've got one for you, but I want royalties if you they go into production :) ...

How about a flake pincher. Kinda like a vise grip that you could use to pinch a flake like formation, but made so that the increasing load would tighten the grip.

Probably would turn out to be too heavy to be practical to carry around, and limited use, but it might be a fun project.


hugin


Sep 15, 2006, 3:13 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I'm not going to do your homework for you. Isn't the ability to come up with and design things like this why your GF is (almost) an engineer and I'm not?

In the OP's defense, creating an idea and reducing it to practice are generally two different mental skillsets. The engineers I've worked with were as a group not very creative. The idea-generating professionals OTOH, well, to say they weren't especially practical would be a nice way to put it.

If you're not creative as an engineer, you're going to be a bad engineer. Problem solving is a very creative and intuitive process, despite all that falderall you hear about objective thinking. AS a climber, you should understand that.

The distinction you're probably looking for here is one of knowing the requirements for a part vs meeting those requirements. An engineer that tries to write the requirements without understanding the uses for the system they're designing is going to end up with a bad system, so you go to the user (feeding into extremrocker's comment, which is spot on - we're not doing her homework for her, but rather providing problems that need solutions ... her homework is to come up with the solution).

iamthewallress:

In reply to:
I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that the OP wasn't soliciting ideas for chemicals or electronics to enhance the climbing experience (although neither is necessarily a bad idea...)

That's not necessarily true. If she's a chem-e, she could come up with a material that would surpass the capabilities of what we have available. As a EE, she could design navigation or communication devices to help on those big expeditions or walls. IF she was EE with a biomedical bent, she could design a body monitoring system to help evaluate how you're reacting to altitude. Since she's a systems person, though, any of those are probably game.


Jumpingrock - I'm still not clear as to what you mean by "system design engineering". Is she just defining a system, to hand off to a mech-e to build, or is she doing the detailed design (down to parts and materials) herself? If it's the former, then she might have a lot more room to come up with some interesting stuff (note that I'm a EE by training and a systems engineer by trade, so I'm probably a bit more concerned than most others about properly bounding the question to get her a good idea).

What about the aforementioned communications device someone brought this up in another thread? IT's an interesting systems task, too, because it involves size restrictions (light and small as posisble), usage restrictions (needs to be usable while clinging to a wall hundreds of feet up, and have a significantly long battery life), and environmental stresses (weather and atmosphere affect how well it works, banged around during climbing is a durability issue). If it's an exercise in requirements definition for her, that would be a great project.


devils_advocate


Sep 15, 2006, 4:10 PM
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I'm not going to do your homework for you. Isn't the ability to come up with and design things like this why your GF is (almost) an engineer and I'm not?

In the OP's defense, creating an idea and reducing it to practice are generally two different mental skillsets. The engineers I've worked with were as a group not very creative. The idea-generating professionals OTOH, well, to say they weren't especially practical would be a nice way to put it.

If you're not creative as an engineer, you're going to be a bad engineer. Problem solving is a very creative and intuitive process, despite all that falderall you hear about objective thinking. AS a climber, you should understand that.

That's not necessarily true, there are plenty - in fact the majority - of engineers that are just work horses, number cruncher, etc. A lot of them are even happy doing that, it's a secure job without any surprises.

Of course there are us engineers that get bored with that kind of crap - most of us choose to work for small companies.

Back to Angry's post and the discussion that followed - there's a lot more that goes into the engineers Senior Design project then just the initial idea. In fact, most of your teachers will give you a whole list of ideas that you could do. Its the process and development that comes after that they're looking for, not some wildly creative idea. Basically, it's a project that should take you an entire year to complete - and that doesn't mean wait until the last week. They want you to run through all the steps, from brainstorming various design concepts, to prototyping, to building and testing, to troubleshooting, to completion, to presentation. It's a lot, that's why they usually encourage group projects so that a significant enough project can be undertaken that provides the whole design process. At my school one group built a dune buggy for a baja race they have every year, another built a formula one style go-cart (it wasn't your usual go-cart), and I think one had some sort of boat.

I don't think some sort of cam is really what they're looking for. Although, if she happens to have taken a dynamic mechanics class (unlikely) there is something called a Four Bar Linkage which is pretty neat and new to the design arena. Basically it can do complex movements that usually require two or three different movements in a single smooth path. I could see some original thinking finding a use in some sort of camming device. However, like I said earlier, usually these projects aren't so much about a single genius idea, it's about making a project. good luck.


jumpingrock


Sep 15, 2006, 4:57 PM
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Thanks everybody for all the fantastic ideas. Emilie is quite happy with the response and her team will go through and possibly choose one that they feel is interesting and achievable.

To be perfectly honest, I don't even really know what System Design Engineering is all about. It is a University of Waterloo (Canada) specific degree which gives a multidiciplinary degree focused on System design. Each System Design student will have choosen (or perhaps not) a focus. So you will have some students that have taken alot of Comp E courses in addition to their core courses, others will have focused on Mec E, while yet others will have focused on Electrical or really any other discipline. This allows the people with the a System's Design Engineering degree to focus on what interests them, while getting an education in the overall design of a system. I do not know what kind of focus the members of Emilie's teams have.

Yes, it is correct that the project is a full year project that should go through all the phases of design and implementation.

Cheers,

David


hugin


Sep 15, 2006, 5:53 PM
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That's not necessarily true, there are plenty - in fact the majority - of engineers that are just work horses, number cruncher, etc. A lot of them are even happy doing that, it's a secure job without any surprises.

Of course there are us engineers that get bored with that kind of crap - most of us choose to work for small companies.


I suppose I can't really argue with that too much. It's usually just that those are the young engineers that don't grow up to be old engineers ... they end up in sales, management, or an entirely orthogonal discipline. So ... I tend to not think of them so much as engineers, and more as dabblers. :)

I'm biased though, because my little niche tends to seek out the real thinkers.

In reply to:
To be perfectly honest, I don't even really know what System Design Engineering is all about. It is a University of Waterloo (Canada) specific degree which gives a multidiciplinary degree focused on System design. Each System Design student will have choosen (or perhaps not) a focus. So you will have some students that have taken alot of Comp E courses in addition to their core courses, others will have focused on Mec E, while yet others will have focused on Electrical or really any other discipline. This allows the people with the a System's Design Engineering degree to focus on what interests them, while getting an education in the overall design of a system. I do not know what kind of focus the members of Emilie's teams have.

I understand exactly what she's doing, then- pretty much exactly what I do every day :) . If she has a truly multidisciplinary team, maybe something neat and gimicky like a cam that can produce a digital readout of the force exerted on it.

Remind her that, so long as they can meet the core requirements of the project, which is generally process-based instead of success-based (though, a successful project is generally indicative of a successful process), so they have a lot of freedom to get goofy and have fun with it. My senior project was a computer that could read brain waves and produce movement on an arm based on visual cortex activity. We *almost* had it working, but never quite got there. But, we had fun doing it, and we got the core of the project working, which was to build a prototype computer system, so it was all good.


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