Engineering Big Ideas – Episode 3 | Empowering Innovation Together – Mouser Electronics

So far on the road to engineering big ideas, we’ve traveled from the discovery phase
to building a working prototype. Now I’m in Portland to explore the crucial
next step: refining an initial design to prep it for
manufacture. This is “Engineering Big Ideas.” Presented by Mouser Electronics, Molex, Intel, Analog Devices and Microchip Technology. Refining a concept for manufacture is a critical
step in the innovation process, where funding either happens or it doesn’t. So, let’s ask an expert: what resources are available to engineers who want to make sure that their concepts
actually make it to market? Tell me about Crowd Supply. What do you do? JOSH:
Crowd Supply is a crowd funding platform for
electronics, for open source hardware. We help market it to the world, let everyone
know about it and then they place their preorder. And then we give the creator that money, they
go off and they make it. This is a risk mitigation strategy. You don’t want to make 10,000 of something
only to find out nobody wants it. This is the air pup. It is a kite-balloon. GRANT:
Okay. JOSH:
So, it’s a helium-filled balloon but it
has the aerodynamics of a kite. This would go anywhere where a drone wouldn’t
be able to go. If you needed it in the air for, say, three
days at a time instead of 15 minutes, you’d send this. Or if it has to be quiet. GRANT:
Sure. It’s totally passive. JOSH:
Passive, yep. There’s no motors on it. But it does have a payload there, as you can see. The camera is on there. You can put weather sensors or other things on there too. Now we’re seeing a second-generation product coming out of technology that was born at Crowd Supply. There’s tens or hundreds of thousands of
people out there with a product they got at Crowd Supply. We’re interested in finding out what those
people are doing. What prompted them to buy this new product, and what are they doing with it now and what is it turning into? The OreSat project is a good example. They got a LimeSDR, and now they’re making
a satellite. So, this is actually a series of projects
by the same project creator: Lime Microsystems. They first came out with the LimeSDR, and
they actually make this chip. This is an RF transceiver, so it transmits
and receives radio. And then people started taking this chip and
making other things. So, another company called Fairwaves made
the XTRX, which is even tinier and quite powerful and meant for embedding into other products. And happily, Andrew and his team have used
this LimeSDR in a very interesting project called OreSat which is a satellite that will go into space
in 2020, and the LimeSDR is going to be used for the
ground base station. ANDREW:
So, this is a prototype of Oregon’s first
satellite. It’s called a CubeSat. GRANT:
So, how’s it been collaborating with Crowd
Supply ANDREW:
It’s been really great actually. So, we’re a team of interdisciplinary engineering
students at Portland State. And do not ask us to do STEM outreach or marketing. We do have business students which are great
at that, but we’re not very good at it. So, it’s nice to take the technology, develop
the technology and hand it off to Josh. GRANT:
To see a piece of technology that you had
a hand in bringing to life going to something else and then that becomes
something else. What’s it like to see that? JOSH:
That’s why we do this. I mean, it’s the most amazing thing to see
something that you helped and now it’s out in the world and doing
things that we couldn’t expect. GRANT:
Once a big idea has been designed, refined
and hopefully funded, there’s only one thing left to do: manufacture
it. In our next episode, we’ll finish our journey
through the innovation process by uncovering what it means to have a truly
scalable product. This has been the Design for Manufacture Phase
of Engineering Big Ideas.

One comment on “Engineering Big Ideas – Episode 3 | Empowering Innovation Together – Mouser Electronics”

  1. Nicolai Grymer says:

    Your host is insanely good. His way of speaking and his enthusiasm gets to me! Really nice to see!

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