This project started with a tragedy: while crossing the street, I was clipped by a car's sideview mirror and my arm was broken. While wearing a plastic, futuristic looking arm brace at a technology conference, many of the other attendees had ideas for tech I could rig up to it for added functionality. Among some blinking red LEDs, a class IIIA laser and an iPhone dock, was my original armband solar generator.
While out wearing the generator, which I named Apollo, out at New York Comic Con, I had many people asking me if I was selling it. The more friends I talked to, the more excitement I saw in having something like this available. I started to see how valuable it would be to have hours of extra energy for mobile devices with you as long as the sun shined. I worked to design a new Apollo, one that would be simple, aesthetically pleasing, light-weight and could be mass produced.
With the new third generation Apollo, that vision is complete. However, I can't mass produce a large amount of them on my own steam. If you've ever wanted an easy way to DOUBLE THE BATTERY LIFE for your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet, this is it. If there's 25 or more people committed to that reality, I can get these Apollos shipping out by next month. Let's make it happen!
Voltaic Systems, the company that manufactures the solar panel and battery for my project, have been very helpful in the pursuit of this goal. I use their 2 Watt, 6 Volt Panel, which retails for $25, as well as their USB Battery V11, which retails for $40.
While the solar panel is rugged, I further protect it with a quarter inch layer of clear acrylic sheet, which is laser cut to exactly fit the size and shape of the panel.
Additional costs include black Velcro strips, black nylon strapping with plastic buckles, a black cotton armband and some type of super glue. I've found Loctite All Temperature Repair Extreme to be the strongest and clearest of glues sampled.
I expect to produce 20 units per day, as the preferred choice glue takes 24 hours to reach full bonding strength.
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- (25 days)