Below is a selection of my non-vehicle inventions. I'm not offering build plans or kits for these at the moment, but who knows what the future holds? For the meantime, these live on as a memorial to my start as an inventor.
The Automatic Beverage Delivery System (AutoBeverage or ABDS) is a very unique invention. The system uses a model railroad 2-rail O-gauge track that is installed around the perimeter of a room or any desirable beverage delivery route. As people stand at various places along the delivery route or track, they can simply touch the rails of the track at their location when the delivery of a beverage is desired. An electronic control system, utilizing touch circuitry and a PLC, identifies the location that was touched and automatically loads a trolley with a refrigerated beverage in the form of a can or bottle. The trolley transports the beverage to the required location where it is removed by the thirsty requester. The empty container can be placed back on the trolley, where it will be ejected into a recycling bin.
This delivery system consists of four main components. The refrigerated beverage storage and dispensing unit, the trolley that delivers the beverage, the track system which provides the delivery route, and finally the electronic control system which is the brain of the system. Upon touching the track, the PLC in the electrical control box receives this input and opens a door to allow the beverage to exit from the refrigerated dispensing unit. The dispensing unit contains a magazine to store the beverages. An indexing mechanism allows just one can to exit at a time when the door is opened. This can or bottle is guided and loaded on the trolley where it is delivered to the location at which the track was touched. Watch the trolley go right through the middle of a fish tank! You can view the official demonstration video below. Forgive me for the poor quality, it was my first video! After viewing the demonstration video, you can also watch the gag/bloopers below.
An ABDS system is functional as well as novel. The system could be custom designed and installed in a private homeowner's game room, home theatre, sports bar or other theme bar, hotel lobbies or hotel bars, resorts, outdoor patios, along swimming pool perimeters, etc. The system you see here was installed in a previous home.
The SpecDrum is a tone changing drum. One day my son asked me to make him a set of Octobans. Octobans are a “tube” drum where the tube length is different for each individual Octoban. Octobans are commonly mounted in clusters of four, in a square pattern so they can be struck between quickly for tone changing affect. The difference in length is what gives each individual drum its different tone. He wanted the drums to be transparent for added cool factor. So I researched acrylic tubing and found it to be on the expensive side. Recognizing the only difference between each individual drum is its length, we thought maybe we could just change the length of the drum on the fly, therefore changing the tone. We selected two acrylic tube diameters that would slide inside each other, and used felt to provide the sliding surfaces. A foot pedal connected to a specially designed cam (printed on a 3D printer) provides the motion to extend the drum length, while a spring that’s mounted between them pulls the drum back to the collapsed position. The result is a tone changing drum that has infinite tones between the low and high tone, and is conveniently controlled by the foot pedal.
You can see pictures of this unique invention in the slideshow above, and also see the demonstration video below.
The Voltraxx is one of my most ambitious projects to date. You can see more about it in the Next Up page. Here, though, we have a gallery of photos for the Voltraxx prototype construction, and a video of the exclusive Free Hand Control System.