Trying desperately to reach Ben Heck.
My name is Steven McMahon and I registered for this site so that I could send you a message. I came up with the idea for autonomous luggage some time ago and I'm not looking for any credit or anything for it. I actually sent the idea in to Apple Computer and Steve Wozniak and have the emails still in my sent folder from last year, and will be happy to share them with you. I am disabled with 8 herniated discs and migraine headaches and other issues which I prefer not to discuss here. My idea differs from yours a bit. I wanted a seat that one could flip out on the top and ipad-type batteries or maybe laptop batteries inside. I thought that iPad batteries would be thin, light and powerful. I also wanted to incorporate plugs and USB for charging one's devices while waiting for their plane. So someone traveling through an airport would have their own seat, their own plugs and when they got to their destination or an available outlet, they could plug in their luggage to recharge it. I thought it would be important for a commercial product to have enough power to recharge peoples' iPads, tablets, iPhones, etc. And I also thought that a solar panel would be a great thing to sell as an accessory to recharge when in between trips.
I noticed you are giving this one away. I've sent you a message on the comments thread for the video on element's site last night, but I don't know if you received it. I've been disabled for several years, but I had a union job in health care as an admin before that so I have a pension. I know you are really smart and stuff, but this is my dream idea, and your incorporation of this is as close to my original idea as I'm ever going to see. If there is any way I could get you to create one for me, I would be grateful forever. I will pay for it. I have a pension and this is extremely important to me. I can prove this is my idea. Every neighbor of mine and friend knows about it and I have the emails I sent Apple and Woz. I never thought I would gain anything from it, but I did think it was a genius idea and you having come up with the same idea proves that indeed it was a great idea. Having a working autonomous luggage for me would be a miracle and a dream come true. I am willing to pay for it, please just consider my request.
Of course, in the back of my mind I thought it would have been wonderful if Woz or Apple had written back and decided to run with this idea, creating the iLuggage (or the Griffin as I had named it after my cat), and made a really polished, mass produced luggage that was as recognizable as the iPhone. But I'm still very stoked that you have created a working version of my idea and come up with the idea yourself.
A few differences between ours: My idea (and I am a layperson who has no clue how to do more than use a screwdriver) was to have 4 wheels on the bottom which would work like a remote control car or a roomba/scooba except faster. The chair being built into the luggage isn't a neccessity but I thought it was a great thing to have for something that would basically make the luggage alllow it's owner to not need a seat nor an outlet. And of course built in outlets and USB ports for charging devices from the batteries on board. Also, better battery tech and power. I realize you've created a luggage that is a proof of concept, but I thought that if a company were to sell a product for say $250, they would want to include all of these features. I thought that bluetooth would be how the device followed a person around so that one could download an app to their phone and the luggage would follow them that way. Once again, I have no idea how to put anything from idea to reality. But I did come up with this idea and it would be the most exciting thing that's happened to me in years to have a working model and show people that something I thought of actually works in practice.
Another potential idea would be to create one using an iPad dock integrated somehow which would allow for the battery and the camera of the iPad to be used in the operation of the luggage, pulled out when one reaches TSA checkpoint. It seems to me that if the battery were part of the iPad and popped out when the iPad were removed, one would have a luggage that passed through TSA without an issue, especially if there were an app that used the camera function to follow some special marker one would wear on their back pocket.
I know you don't know me and have no reason to help me. I'm willing to pay whatever you want for a working iLuggage to have, even if I'm not allowed to use it for my trips. I travel bi monthly on an airplane for medical treatment related to my back and neck injuries. firstname.lastname@example.org is my email and I'm very excited to see this and very very hopeful that you might consider making one for me. I don't have much money but I will come up with whatever you charge me for it because really, to see one of my ideas turned into a real product proves to me that I have valid ideas, even if I don't have the knowledge required to make them into reality.
Regardless of what you decide Mr. Heck, I do thank you for making this luggage and I'm very very happy to see that even though it's not exactly what I thought of, it's pretty close.
This is a quick project I built in about 4 days, from idea (concept) coming to mind, to a working product..well product might far fetched
I purchased an older (1985 from the service check tag) Bell payphone for $20 at an auction. I had it sitting around for a while before I looked at it, I wanted to do something with it, I just didn't know what. Since I don't have a landline in my apartment, as I use my cell as a primary line, the ideas narrowed down. I thought, HEY!!, Wireless payphone. I decided to use an older style cellphone, to connect to the payphone as it would be a lot easier. The pay/cellphone is a one a cheap secondary account and is now used as the door buzzer to my apartment. So when someone calls from downstairs the payphone rings and I buzz them in. If someone comes over and they need to use the phone, I point them in the right direction. Video is a bit weird since the PIP was recorded at a different time, since you really couldn't see the lcd in full view. (didn't proof read, if typos found, please ignore )
Actually this would be pretty simple to do, in principle.
All you would really need is a momentary switch, or even a microswitch wired with NC. I would jack that into the Power/Reset pin on the computer mobo (follow the pinout, should be labeled). In windows choose an action you would like windows to perform when the power button is "pressed" (since it's NC it will "press" on open). Than stick it on your chair, so when you sit down it powers on, and when you stand up it goes off, not a bad idea.
The wiring might be backwards, but the idea is there.
Dear Ben Heck,
I have had the idea of building a 360 laptop but I do not have the tool nor the money to buy them. I am not
very electronically inclined but I have built a computer tower when I was twelve with the help of my great uncles.
I was wondering if you could build me a 360 laptop with hdmi. how much would it cost to make? i would apreciate
your opinion. Thank you.
Hi, Ben! I know you are great at making projects for laziness, and I have a challenge for you!
Have you ever noticed that the boom of your headset gets in the way? You should create some sort of project to solve this issue, like when it detects something in front of the mic, it automatically raises it so you can take a bite of your food!
I wonder how the wheelchair update is comping along. It seemed odd to me that the motors were so noisy -- like the PWM frequency was out of whack.
I design circuits and code (for the Parallax Propeller chip) for a friend who makes pan/tilt controllers. One of the things I do on start-up is read the raw values from the X and Y sticks and call these the "idle" position. The deadband is surrounds that. What this can lead to, especially with low-cost joysticks is an offset idle value (i.e., not in the center of the pot range). What I do then is re-scale the new values on either side of the pot with a simple method (for those that have never seen Spin, the operators for less-than-or-equal and greater-than-or-equal are different from what you're used to).
pub scale(raw, range, minout, maxout)
'' Scales raw (0 to range) value to new range: minout to maxout
if (raw =< 0)
elseif (raw => range)
return ((raw * (maxout - minout)) / range) + minout
This is just a simple mx+b thing but helps take care of all the oddites of inexpensive joysticks and the use of a deadband.
That was a nice thing to do for that couple. If they have boy, will they name him Ben?
I don't know much about internet forum etiquette, so I'll just describe my challenge:
I challenge Ben Heck to mount solar panels on a backpack, have them charge a rechargeable battery (or battery pack), and subsequently have the battery be used to power a small, low power-consumption Linux PC (such as the Raspberry Pi), with the option to switch to powering a USB hub (for charging other devices). The backpack would need to be relatively small (for easy mobility) and not too heavy (less than 15 pounds would probably be good). If possible, he could add a screen and keyboard (and speakers?) in one of the larger pockets. I am currently 14, and I'm going to be moving to a place with a lot or sunlight, but not as much in the way of electrical outlets, and it would be nice if I could continue my random computing projects and such. If Ben ever reads this, just private-message me through Element14.
I'll be posting this as both a discussion and a reply to "Show Off Your Build."
That's a cool idea Kevin! There's actually an upcoming episode along those lines, but the headset one might be good for the future too. Cheese dip on your mic for the last time!
Jon, yes the issue was we used the Arduino PWM giving us a pulse in the audible range.
Something like the Propeller frequency counters would be awesome. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten the Prop! (or the Prop 2, should it ever arrive!)
Halloween Costume- Insanely Geeky!!
Mr Arcade Halloween Costume on youtube!!
I made it! Full description is in the video description on Youtube including a quick video of how I made it!!
Could you make it with a Rasberry Pi and make it better, cheaper and lighter?
(Like a repeat episode of the improving the portable Atari!!)
Let me know ... time is short until Halloween!!
Happy Halloween! >>>>>>>>>
Hello, since I know nothing about internet manners, I'll get straight to the point. Would it be possible for you to do something along the lines of Yoshi's Boxx? Yoshi's Boxx was a ATX computer case with a GameCube, PS2, XBox, and Gaming PC in it. Could it be possible to do this with modern consoles? I know it would require quite a bit of cooling, but I think it might be possible.
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