By backing this project, you are supporting development of a new kind of patented Torus Wheel with some amazing capabilities.
It creates energy-efficient vertical ascent, traverse, and descent, into an easy, safe, simple, elegant, "accessible to all", and "nearly everywhere" - experience.
AND for the focus of this Kickstarter, you are backing something even more important - stopping the #2 cause of global warming!
The Issue - Current lift methods for payloads usually employ ladders or rope-gear, jacks, scissor & bucket lifts, rappel gear, cranes, or other expensive, dangerous, and destructive methods.
Their disadvantages include: fall-risk; power-line hazard; toppling; deployment of heavy & large equipment with requisite access roads; a need to block traffic when in use; high initial & running costs; licensed operator expense & scheduling; property damage including forest lawn & trees; very high physical demand & risk; and increased costs with height.
The Solution - Ross Garside's US and globally-filed Patent, which is in final approval stages, creates a new type of Torus-wheel drive transmission that eliminates ALL of these climbing / lifting issues, and requires no brakes.
Ross paid Penn State Learning Factory to build the functional prototypes shown in the videos, and both have won awards there for Best Project, beating out 70+ major corporation's engineering projects, including NASA. http://bit.ly/18raYqY (search for PHOD).
Ross learned of the difficulties that the volunteers of www.rfcx.org (Rainforest Connection) were having in deploying solar-powered cellphones invented by Topher White.
These solar cellphones protect Rainforests from illegal logging and poaching, by detecting chain saw, truck, or gun sounds, and then texting the coordinates to the authorities.
Illegal logging of Rainforests is the #2 cause of atmospheric CO2 rise & global warming.
So our mutual cause is rather critical to the planet and our descendants; so much so that National Geographic has designated Topher a "Nat Geo Young Explorer", with many other environmental backers helping him.
In order for Topher's organization to protect most of the world's rainforests, a new tool is needed to drastically speed up, and make far safer, his solar-cellphone deployment process.
RainForest Elevator is that tool.
Ross realized that his back-packable, non-damaging climbing technology was just what Topher needs to cut their risk and deployment time down drastically, so he contacted Topher, who has agreed that he needs them and is assisting us.
The major risk is that his volunteers use climbing gear to deploy the solar-cellphones, sometimes 120+ ft. up the tree, plus the awkward method can sometimes take over a day per deployment.
The long deployment dwell time puts his volunteers at risk of being shot, as the illegal loggers often come armed.
We seek your funding for this Kickstarter, to create additional Climbers with optimized design changes that should permit our Climbers to deploy RFCX's cellphone arrays in minutes, rather than days, and leave his cellphone array attached to the tree.
The Climber will then be brought back down, reloaded for another tree, and repeated until the entire forest area is protected.
This should speed up deployment from 1 per day, to 10 or more, making Topher White's goal of protecting all rain forests globally, a reality.
RainForest Elevator should also be able to place the solar cellphones higher, which increases the solar-cellphones stealthiness and range.
Each deployed cellphone protects about a square mile of Rainforest.
Your support will permit Ross Garside to procure technical assistance from Penn State Learning Factory (PSU-LF) that creates those climbers with a newly designed Solar Cellphone attachment feature, optimized for use by RainForest Connection.
This project's money will likely be used for two simultaneous Penn State Learning Factory Projects in Dec. 2016, unless a another capability is developed before then.
One project will make at least three additional manufacturable designs, sending two to Rainforest Connection (RFCX) for testing and feedback.
The other project will develop the solar cellphone tree attachments which our climber will deploy for testing.
Our climbing technology is not limited to trees, as it can climb most any manner of column shape, beam, or pipe; even irregular, square, or angled ones, even going around curves in any direction, with minimal setup changes.
Since the payload and scale of our climber can be most any size or lift-capability, Ross has interested the US Forest Service for tree-pest and canopy studies; hunters for automatic tree stands; manhunt surveillance in woods (think - the $10M spent to find Eric Freind); temporary venue surveillance (e.g. Boston Marathon & HS Football TV highlights); NASA-Ames in a new type of mass-transit system that avoids a need to build roads (saving trees & also cutting CO2); and the 90+ other NAICs product markets which PHOD has potential to impact.
Although our current Kickstarter goal should meet our initial requirements from RFCX, additional funds beyond that will be used to get RFCX orders into production, and jump-start variations off that design into Temporary Venue Surveillance products, and the other 90+ products we've identified as potential product markets.
Please support our project!
Help Save the Planet!
Change it for the better!
Make accidental deadly falls a thing of the past.
Help Ross Garside develop the next focus product from this technology - Temporary Venue Surveillance.
Thank you for supporting Rainforest Elevator technology.
Risks and challenges
Although the rope-pull climber pictured is somewhat easy to replicate, our biggest challenge is to get more, and improved, copies made of the robotic version, which RainForest Connection (RFCX) prefers, and which runs faster.
Having just one robot, as is the case now, means that lone prototype must be 'babied', whereas with more copies, we can start testing on tasks that push our robot to its limits.
We can also try other capabilities that multiples make possible, that a single cannot perform alone.
Since PSU-LF projects run by semester, a delay may result from their 3-month development curve, plus any months to add due to the month submitted. Meeting 100%+ of this Kickstarter funding by Dec. 14th means we can submit a project to them for the upcoming Spring semester, rather than the following fall semester.
Their projects are fixed-cost at $4,000 each (about 1/10 of commercial development costs).
The PSU-LF versions will be capable of production replication by central Pa. Manufacturers.
Once RFCX is satisfied with performance and orders more, I will take this design info to local job shops for replication.
Past experience with quotes from local job shops makes this the expensive part, so I will need to solicit added funding - a task made much easier with firm orders from RFCX.
There may also be a need to switch over from the Arduino controller board, to a dedicated PCB that will need designed, to cut unit costs.
So finding talent and the debugging of the PCD design may cause unanticipated delays.
Any issues RFCX finds "in the field" using Rainforest Elevator, may cause minor redesign delays for the higher-quantity versions as well.
I have already established relationships with the local suppliers that can help.
Once RFCX's units are in production, our attention will switch to using that same design for sales into the market of temporary-venue surveillance.
Think - HS football game overhead highlights on your local news, or Police deploying them for, e.g., Boston Marathon route security, or for manhunts.
Progress updates will be posted weekly on www.nearthco.com.
Although I lack a degree in Engineering, I have over 25 years in the electro-mechanical realm, in drafting, performing blueprint takeoffs to cost-estimates, production instruction writing, tooling specifications, and final-product builds to customer-satisfaction levels.
In addition, I've performed 8-site successful Oracle ERP legacy-data implementations for all production modules and HR.
I am also certified in Lean Mfg. "Instruct the instructor" level, and created automated calculations for all aspects of Lean.
I was a Quickbooks Pro-Advisor, and currently develop HQ-level executive Business Intelligence reports and prospecting data workups for a dominant US Telecom.
I am also the original creator and programmer of Autosum for spreadsheets (Pg. 58, PC-World, July 1990), which helped Excel Sales in its early days. So, if anyone can get word to Bill Gates, perhaps he will help!
I will solicit help in the areas I am weak in, particularly legal, regulatory, political, and financing, and know the type of team to develop.
This is especially true given my personal time-constraints resulting from keeping my day-job until a solid funding stream develops, taking care of my disabled wife, and handing off my role as local Meals-on-Wheels Treasurer by finding and training another to take over.
- (45 days)