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View Full Version : pic: JVN and CJC's Office at IFI


JVN
06-20-2005, 05:55 PM
[cdm-description=photo]21777[/cdm-description]

Billfred
06-20-2005, 05:57 PM
Well, going from the obvious to the minute...

-Segway HT
-2005-era Kitbot
-Vex parts galore
-IFI Operator Interface (on the whiteboard)
-What appears to be several devices from RackSolutions (which is part of IFI as best as I can tell) strapped to the computers and lying around

Someone will have to enlighten me as to what the white box to the left is.

<Edit> After looking at the hi-res version of the picture, I noted a few other things...

-"Wash Porsche" under the IFI section on the white board.
-"Babysit Intern" under the "Misc." section on the white board.
-What appears to be an underwater Victor speed controller (water game?!)
-What appears to be a Vex robot with a cup and a cold beverage of some sort to be determined
-A Yahoo! rack of some variety.
-A wastebasket.

Joel J
06-20-2005, 06:02 PM
Well, going from the obvious to the minute...

-Segway HT
-2005-era Kitbot
-Vex parts galore
-IFI Operator Interface (on the whiteboard)
-What appears to be several devices from RackSolutions (which is part of IFI as best as I can tell) strapped to the computers and lying around

Someone will have to enlighten me as to what the white box to the left is.
My gut's telling me a stereo lithography machine, but I don't know.. I also notice the red cup in the upper centerline of the photo, and a glass bottle.. they are set up in an automatic pourer-looking contraption.

JVN
06-20-2005, 06:04 PM
Link to high-res:
http://www.innovationfirst.com/images/jvns-office.jpg

EricH
06-20-2005, 06:05 PM
Well, going from the obvious to the minute...

-Segway HT
-2005-era Kitbot
-Vex parts galore
-IFI Operator Interface (on the whiteboard)
-What appears to be several devices from RackSolutions (which is part of IFI as best as I can tell) strapped to the computers and lying around

Someone will have to enlighten me as to what the white box to the left is.

<Edit> After looking at the hi-res version of the picture, I noted a few other things...

-"Wash Porsche" under the IFI section on the white board.
-"Babysit Intern" under the "Misc." section on the white board.
-What appears to be an underwater Victor speed controller (water game?!)
-What appears to be a Vex robot with a cup and a cold beverage of some sort to be determined
-A Yahoo! rack of some variety.
-A wastebasket.

I think you missed what appears to be a tether. It's next to/behind the yellow rack-like thing.

Daniel Brim
06-20-2005, 06:07 PM
John,

I am truly in envy of your office. It is amazingly cool. Congratulations on getting a job at IFI.

-Daniel

PS: It appears that your hair is growing back nicely :)

dez250
06-20-2005, 06:09 PM
As far as my wild guess for the big white machine would be a rapid prototyping machine. If you look on top, you will see what appears to be the "new" victor design which has the fan snaps on it, in white and black. White being the rapid prototype model.

EricH
06-20-2005, 06:10 PM
My gut's telling me a stereo lithography machine, but I don't know..

Hmm...Looks a bit small, but it could be. Might also be a combination microwave/refrigerator.

Adrienne E.
06-20-2005, 06:12 PM
The coolest thing that I can see is that Chris has a book open and actully appears to be doing work. I've never seen that before! ;)

NoodleKnight
06-20-2005, 06:15 PM
That thing is a 3D printer (a rapid prototype machine like what dez250 said). The company is Dimension Printing -- some of our team members talked to the Dimension Printing reps at the 2004 RoboNexus event.
Here's their website. (http://www.dimensionprinting.com/)

Arefin Bari
06-20-2005, 06:33 PM
Hey john... I need to build a vex bot, can I "borrow" your VEX kits? :p

Joe Menassa
06-20-2005, 06:49 PM
I think I see an MGD. Looks like an interesting job.

John Wanninger
06-20-2005, 07:30 PM
Looks like a fun place to "work". Is that some sort of omni-wheel behind the black piece with the axle (shaft) thru it?

sanddrag
06-20-2005, 07:59 PM
Wow, I would love to work in a place like that.

On the whiteboards appears to be a rough drawing of the 2006 Robot controller which (by the writing underneath) seems to have an LCD instead of LEDs.

Jeff Rodriguez
06-20-2005, 08:13 PM
I see some stains on the floor. :D

Billfred
06-20-2005, 08:20 PM
Wow, I would love to work in a place like that.

On the whiteboards appears to be a rough drawing of the 2006 Robot controller which (by the writing underneath) seems to have an LCD instead of LEDs.
A 19" LCD screen? That seems a little big.

sanddrag
06-20-2005, 08:24 PM
A 19" LCD screen? That seems a little big.
I missed the 19". So maybe it is not the 2006 RC, maybe it is monitor in the 2006 drivers' stations to get live video back from the robot to perform intricate tasks more easily.

Adam Richards
06-20-2005, 09:08 PM
I also see the following (after I screwed around with the hidef image in photoshop a bit):

Rack Solutions
- KMA-05-24
- ????? ??? Wall Mount
- Navy ???? Survey
- Navy 19" LCD Rack w/ ??????? ???
-
-

IFI Robotics
-
-
- For Lunch
-
-
- Kit Analysis
- Wash Porsche
-
- FF revision/2003 (not sure on revision, could be precision)
-

That's all I can decipher... whoever wrote that stuff has horrible handwriting... :D

The LCD isn't for us though... :(

spears312
06-20-2005, 09:13 PM
Looks like an awesome office, looks a lot better than the "case of the Mondays" cubical I work in :D .

dlavery
06-20-2005, 10:37 PM
-What appears to be several devices from RackSolutions (which is part of IFI as best as I can tell) strapped to the computers and lying around

Not to make too fine a point of it, but it might be more accurate to say that IFI is a part of Rack Solutions. Talk to Tony some time while consuming several instances of the same item being hoisted by the little robot in JVN's office, and you will learn that the vast majority of their business is dealing with the stamped metal pieces that RS punches out. The FIRST community primarily knows them only for their speed controllers, RC and operator interface systems, but Rack Solutions is a significant supplier to the biggest computer companies around. That part of their business is much larger than the FIRST-related portion, and is what allows them to subsidize their FIRST-related developments.

-dave

Rich Kressly
06-21-2005, 06:36 AM
Is this a bad time to point out that the young JVN appears to have more workspace (and less hair) than the esteemed Mr. Lavery?
http://ranier.hq.nasa.gov/Staff/davecam.shtm

From this little comparative study one could conclude:
-EVERYTHING's bigger in Texas, or
-Working for Tony is better than working for the government, or
-IFI isn't really paying JVN at all so they could afford the extra space, or
-Dave's out of the office so much that any space he is alloted is a waste, or
-JVN never bothered to rent an apartment and he's so excited to be working for IFI, he just moved in

Tom Bottiglieri
06-21-2005, 08:04 AM
Omni wheels in the kit next year?

Joe Ross
06-21-2005, 08:43 AM
I missed the 19". So maybe it is not the 2006 RC, maybe it is monitor in the 2006 drivers' stations to get live video back from the robot to perform intricate tasks more easily.

Or, more likely, it is a design for Racksoulutions. Integrating an LCD into a rack isn't uncommon.

Dave Scheck
06-21-2005, 10:57 AM
I think Tom's on to something...

Hey JVN - are you leaving hints for us on your whiteboard?
"111 Caster" == BUPOD (Omni Wheel)? ;)

Andy Baker
06-21-2005, 11:38 AM
Let's see, there is a slew of fun stuff here. Nice office, John. I especially like that your personal assistant is so close and readily available.

That appears to be a Spaceball to the left of the dual monitors. I have a 40000 FLX model, but it is a few years old. I assume that yours is newer.

The 4 volume stack of Ingenious Mechanisms for Designers (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0831110848/103-2146867-8832652?v=glance) is sitting on a black box to the left of your computer. A good friend of mine gave me a set of these. Thank you, btw. Also, legend says that Dean had one of his volumes of this book triggered to open his secret door in his library.

The Segay P model must be Chris', since it has a 200# weight limit.

Speaking of weight limits, that bracket with 2 casters on it must've seen a heavy load. Was that from a caster-bot after a meeting with a brick on wheels?

The beverage-pouring Vex bot is nice. It is good to see this hardware being put to a noble use.

The white covering over the desk area between you and Chris seems interesting. Chris is leaning on it, and there are white board markers strewn about. That must be a white board. You guys can color on your desks. I bet your tic-tac-toe games are fun.

The omni-wheel-looking thing behind the yahoo rack is interesting.

Your cubicle is way bigger than mine. sigh.

Andy B.

Mike AA
06-22-2005, 01:13 AM
Not to make too fine a point of it, but it might be more accurate to say that IFI is a part of Rack Solutions. Talk to Tony some time while consuming several instances of the same item being hoisted by the little robot in JVN's office, and you will learn that the vast majority of their business is dealing with the stamped metal pieces that RS punches out. The FIRST community primarily knows them only for their speed controllers, RC and operator interface systems, but Rack Solutions is a significant supplier to the biggest computer companies around. That part of their business is much larger than the FIRST-related portion, and is what allows them to subsidize their FIRST-related developments.

-dave


OHHH I get it. Interesting pair.

-Mike

Jay Trzaskos
06-22-2005, 06:48 PM
John's attempt at re-inventing the wheel perhaps?

techtiger1
06-26-2005, 07:46 PM
John's attempt at re-inventing the wheel perhaps?


Well I dunno about reinventing it but I am sure he could JVN is the man. ;) Nice stuff John that is any FIRSTERS dream job right there very sweet. Just one thing I gotta know exactly how many vex kits do you have. :yikes:

lol G/l with the job,
-Drew

KarenH
06-26-2005, 09:24 PM
That thing is a 3D printer (a rapid prototype machine like what dez250 said). The company is Dimension Printing -- some of our team members talked to the Dimension Printing reps at the 2004 RoboNexus event.
Here's their website. (http://www.dimensionprinting.com/)
WHEW!! I was afraid it was an office-size version of a Krispy Kreme donut making machine. :D

JVN
06-27-2005, 04:13 PM
Sharp eyes!
I’m going to just respond to the observations made in the thread. It would take WAY to long to respond to everyone individually, but kudos to all those who found something.

Here we go…

Yes, that is a Segway sitting there. We have a few of those in the office. Very convenient for “gliding” between the office and our new metal shop, or just a fun way to go grab a cup of coffee from the break room. (Coming in I didn’t understand either… but when there are three of them just sitting there… “why walk, when segging is more fun?”)

There are definitely a few kitbot pieces laying around, though most of these are just prototypes from last year.
I am searching for improvements to make. (More on this later.)

Lots and lots of Vex stuff. IFI helped with the development of the Vex product line (using our EDU technology) and we’re still involved. It’s pretty cool, we’ve had lots of fun challenges to solve. The more I play with Vex, the more excited I am about it. All those Vex boxes decorating my office are empty. We go through ‘em pretty quickly.
Check out: http://www.vexlabs.com/vex-ribbon-cutter.shtml to see an example of one of the robots RadioShack has asked us to build.

Yes, I’ve got some IFI products sitting around… Annual product review meetings have been happening, mostly electrical but sometimes they let us MechE’s participate.

The whiteboard is my task list, and it is mostly accurate. We did throw a couple of jokes on there. No, I’m not really in charge of washing the boss’ Porsche, but I DO frequently need to babysit the intern. There are a couple more up there that no one saw. I guess the picture was blurry... weird.

Underwater Victor? Why would we need something like that? I mean… certainly there are many applications, but we wouldn’t need it for FRC… right? ;)

Yes, the “refrigerator” is actually a 3D printer. It prints in real ABS plastic, so we can make all kinds of stuff. I don’t know why it got stuck in my office, but I’m not complaining. One of the coolest things I’ve done is print out some custom handlebar plugs for a Co-workers’ Ducati.

Yes, there is lots of Rack Solutions stuff; Rack Solutions is actually what I spend most of my time on. (Not too much Mechanical Engineering required for a Robot Controller.) Our company originally started with the Victor Speed Controller, but since then the Rack Solutions side of the business has started, and grown exponentially.
As Dave said, at this point the Rack Solutions side of the business is bigger than the IFI-Robotics side. If you check out www.racksolutions.com (http://www.racksolutions.com/) you can see some of the products we make. I definitely have a lot of fun; all kinds of challenging design problems to solve. On the table, there is a 19” LCD mount we make for the Navy, a simple keyboard shelf we made for Yahoo, and also a PC wall-mount bracket.

The 19” LCD sketch on the whiteboard is actually a rack-mount for the Navy, not a new IFI-Robotics project. (Sorry folks.)

Rack-111 (Custom Rack) & Rack-111-Caster (Caster Kit)
http://www.racksolutions.com/server-racks-cabinets-enclosures-custom.shtml
Sorry Stangers…
That bent caster plate sitting on my desk is actually a customer return of a Rack-111-Caster. We have no idea how much weight they put on it, but it definitely exceeds the specs.

My design station is a real monster, like Baker noticed I do have a dual-monitor setup with a spaceball.
That machine is faaaaaaaaaaaaast... It is sad; when I sit down at my home computer I find myself missing my work setup. (Ever find yourself reaching for a spaceball that isn’t there?)

Ingenious Mechanisms for Designers and Inventors is a pretty cool series of books. You guys should check it out. The illustrations are amazing (done back before CAD). I heard the rumor about Dean’s secret passage; believe it or not, by pulling volume 2 off my desk, it opens up my CD-ROM drive (no joke!). :ahh:

Yes, the middle desk is a giant whiteboard. It comes in very handy for brainstorming and product design meetings. It is also handy for immature practical jokes on our intern. We haven’t tried tic-tac-toe yet… good idea Baker. I can see your years of work experience have taught you much. I am but a young grasshopper, eager to learn.

My “personal assistant” Chris has been working his butt off. He is IFI’s summer Mechanical Engineering intern, and we’ve kept him VERY busy. I guess after spending 3 years on a FIRST team together, he knows how to deal with me by now. I’m sure he can/will comment more on his 'summer-o-fun' later.

The Omni-Wheel:
Though I have greatly enjoyed the speculation posted on here, I’m going to come out and admit it; that isn’t an omni-wheel. It is actually a giant DC motor mounted to a piece of rack-solutions steel. It was used for the testing of the high-voltage Victor. The “rollers” are actually the cooling fins on the side of the motor. I must admit, it looks a lot like an omni. The only omni-wheels in this picture, are little ones for Vex.
There are actually two such “Test” motors in the picture, one of which has the red leads on it which were confused for a tether.

The “Pouring” Robot:
Another little creation whipped up for RadioShack. More details to come…
(I am especially proud of that little guy. Yes, they let us test it in the office.)


I’m impressed with some of the sharp eyes from this group. Though, you did miss a few fun things. If there is some interest, we may begin doing more “Inside Innovation First” features. Anyone ever wonder what is lying around on Mark Lambert’s desk? ;)

Another day at the office,
John

Mike
06-29-2005, 08:44 PM
Thank god for Google, they have 493 pages of Ingenious Mechanisms for Designers and Inventors online!
Link (http://print.google.com/print?id=W9u_6udWVn0C&dq=%22Ingenious+Mechanisms+for+Designers+and+Inven tors%22&oi=print&pg=1&sig=8h9A_RyXq--a657xYmIpPRBbboc&prev=http://www.google.com/search%3Fq%3D%2522Ingenious%2BMechanisms%2Bfor%2BD esigners%2Band%2BInventors%2522%26sourceid%3Dmozil la-search%26start%3D0%26start%3D0%26ie%3Dutf-8%26oe%3Dutf-8%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US%3Cimg%20src=%22images/smilies/redface.gif%22%20border=%220%22%20alt=%22%22%20tit le=%22embarrasment%22%20smilieid=%223%22%20class=% 22inlineimg%22%20/%3Efficial)

EDIT: Misleading, the book is 493 pages, Google only has 3 pages online.