Porticos Creates Dell Convertible Computer Concepts

 

Dell, a longtime leader in technology and the fast production of hardware and software that provide quality products for businesses and consumers alike, recently sought ideation and creative brainstorming for a new project. This project aimed to generate multiple concepts for a convertible-type computing device that would be larger than a traditional smartphone, but different from typical tablet devices and other convertible products currently on the market. Porticos, a product design and product development engineering consulting firm in Morrisville, NC, held multiple brainstorming sessions with Dell, which resulted in more than 14 concept designs being picked for further refinement to create the final product.

Dell Convertible Concepts diagram

Brainstorming and Concept Development in Support of Product Differentiation

Porticos’s hardware engineers were requested to generate multiple concepts for a convertible-type computing device by Dell, that would be larger than a traditional smartphone, but different from typical tablet PC devices or other convertible products currently on the market. There was emphasis placed on developing concepts for a differentiated input method, and convertibility for multiple use cases and configurations.

To accomplish the requirements from Dell in the quick, efficient way that Porticos’ hardware engineers work in, they held multiple brainstorming sessions that generated more than 14 concept designs. These concept designs were then reviewed with Dell, to make sure all parties were aware and on board with down selection and refinement. Then, the selected concepts were refined, and Porticos’ hardware engineers worked with partners of Porticos to create highly cosmetic prototypes that Dell used to conduct internal reviews and user studies.

Dell Convertible Concepts prototype

Porticos is proud to have partnered with Dell on this project, and to have once again had a hand in driving new, innovative technology into the hands of businesses and consumers. Our hardware engineers’ commitment to fast, quality work and ensuring the needs of our partners are consistently and throughly met every time they are requested to work with another company is how we reiterate our love for technology and innovation.

QScout Farm Lab Production

Advanced Animal Diagnostics (AAD), a diagnostics center in Morrisville, NC recently partnered with Porticos, a product design and product development engineering consulting firm in Morrisville, NC,  to create an innovative, cutting edge device that tackles the common and costly disease called mastitis in dairy cows. It’s impossible to determine if a cow has subclinical mastitis because it cannot be detected by the naked eye—that’s where Porticos and AAD come in!

Porticos’ engineers listened to the needs and ideas of AAD, then collaboratively designed QScout MLD Test to search for and detect subclinical mastitis within minutes. Not only can it be used outside, on a farm, it’s powerful, rugged, and easy to transport, making it available to be used by dairy farmers around the world.

Subclinical mastitis infections  don’t cause any visible changes in milk or udder appearance, and can often times be insidious–harming the cow long before farmers are able to notice and remedy the problem. These infections reduce milk production, decrease milk quality, and suppress reproductive performance. With the QScout Farm Lab, farmers are able to diagnose, detect, and treat quickly and without the risk of losing over 1,500 pounds of milk per cow.

Learn more about this incredible device below!

They Made It! Congratulations to the successful Scott Expedition

On the morning of Friday, February 7th, Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere completed, for the first time ever, the ill-fated journey of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s iconic Terra Nova expedition. It took the Team 105 days to trek the 1,795 mile feat that Captain Scott and his men died attempting over 100 years ago.

The Team was able to share their journey with the world through their public blog at http://scottexpedition.com/blog. In order to publish from Antarctica, they needed unique satellite equipment. Porticos worked with Iridium to customize the Pilot™, a satellite antenna array dome that the Team used to share their progress live via real-time blog posts. To learn more about Porticos’s involvement with the expedition, see our original blog post, Following The Scott Expedition Through Antarctica: The Customized Satellite Project Worthy Of A South Pole Adventure.

Ben and Tarka created a video summarizing their journey, which can be viewed here: http://scottexpedition.com/blog/a-great-adventure-video.

Following The Scott Expedition through Antarctica: The Customized Satellite Project Worthy of a South Pole Adventure

Captain Scott’s Last Expedition—also known as the fateful Terra Nova Expedition—is a tragic but legendary part of Antarctic history. In 1912, along with his team of four brave men, Scott lost his life in a battle against the cold, isolated wilderness of the Antarctic while attempting to hike to the South Pole and back on foot. Scott and his men are iconic figures in exploratory history; from biographers to Boy Scouts, passionate historians and adventure enthusiasts alike have reveled in the amazing feat that was attempted by the brave Terra Nova explorers so many years ago.

Captain Scott writing in his journal in the Winterquarters hut, 7 October 1911. Image courtesy of The Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI).
Captain Scott writing in his journal in the Winterquarters hut, 7 October 1911. Image courtesy of The Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI).

To this day, Scott’s 1,800-mile return journey to the South Pole has never been completed. But starting this October, British adventurers Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere set out on foot to complete what the original Scott Expedition explorers lost their lives fighting for. Saunders and L’Herpiniere’s four-month, unsupported return journey from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back will follow Scott’s exact route, honoring the Captain’s legacy, showcasing incredible physical endurance, and proving that—with the right knowledge and skills—anything is possible. Thanks to these two brave 21st century explorers and their support team, the next chapter in Captain Scott’s historic story will be written more than 100 years after it began.

The original dome is shown on the left; on the right is a customized, lightweight piece used in the finished Pilot.
The original dome is shown on the left; on the right is a customized, lightweight piece used in the finished Pilot.

In an effort to allow the world to share in the experience of the Scott Expedition, Saunders and L’Herpiniere have taken on the ambitious task of sharing their progress live via real-time blog posts. The success of those communications hinges on a customized version of Iridium’s satellite antenna array dome, known as the Pilot™ connected to a Sony Vaio Pro ultrabook using Intel’s latest 4th Generation technology. The Pilot™ provides mobile solutions that reach across oceans and through airways for a myriad of maritime, government, emergency, and transportation agencies.

Once Iridium learned of the need to customize the Pilot™, to make it practical for Saunders and L’Herpiniere to hike with it across the Antarctic, they recommended the Team contact the product development and engineering firm responsible for the original Pilot™: Porticos. The Iridium recommendation recognizes a long-standing relationship between the two companies that has resulted in many products, including the satellite phone known as the Extreme™, which is also being used by the Scott Expedition Team during their trek.

The overall goal of this customization project was to reduce the weight of the unit as much as possible, from 11.8kg to no more than 6kg. By re-engineering the main ADE components, Porticos engineers were able to reduce the overall weight by 55%, bringing the total weight down to approximately 5.3kg.

Porticos Engineer Mike Kiplinger testing the customized device.
Porticos Engineer Mike Kiplinger testing the customized device.

The drastic weight reduction was not the only difficult aspect of this project; Porticos engineers were asked to meet a tight project schedule that accommodated the crew’s hard launch deadline. Not only did Porticos meet the deadline, but our engineers also customized the necessary parts, did the assembly, and tested the unit extensively in the total system to ensure it would function properly during the expedition.

To this day, there is a monument in Antarctica dedicated to the memory of those brave original explorers. High on Observation Hill, a 754-foot hill adjacent to Antarctica’s McMurdo Station, is a large wooden cross that was erected by the carpenters of the Terra Nova in 1913. The carpenters inscribed the cross with the names of the lost party and with Tennyson’s line from his poem Ulysses: “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” The now-legendary Captain Scott and his crew never completed their ill-fated expedition in 1912. But in 2013, two men and their team members hope to extend our imagination for what’s possible, to close one of the greatest chapters in polar exploration, and to not yield.

For more about The Scott Expedition: 

Mechanical Engineering and Design Firm Redesigns… Itself.

Ten years ago, a small group of accomplished mechanical engineers at Sony Ericsson were drawn together by a passion for leading-edge product development. The freethinking engineers shared a vision to create a product development and design environment where creativity and innovation could prosper. Continue reading “Mechanical Engineering and Design Firm Redesigns… Itself.”

Porticos Delivers Critical Support for Animal Diagnostic Device

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – Recently Porticos engineers were successful in providing the mechanical design and a fully functional prototype of a device that is anticipated to save the dairy industry billions of dollars annually which is lost due to mastitis. What is mastitis and how did Porticos get involved?

Referring to the Advanced Animal Diagnostics website, mastitis is a mammary gland infection in cows that, in severe cases, requires immediate antibiotic treatment and removal of the cow from milk production. Even less severe infection (non-symptomatic stage) results in a reduction in the pounds of milk produced during each lactation cycle. Furthermore once a cow is diagnosed with mastitis, any milk from that cow or that has been in contact with that milk must be discarded. The key to controlling both categories of mastitis is accurate and sensitive detection within a critical period after calving and before salable milk begins.

Advanced Animal Diagnostics (AAD) recognized the need for a device that could identify if a cow suffered from the illness before the tainted milk was harvested; contaminating the entire lot and resulting in its destruction. They developed a proprietary system allowing cell analysis in a dry format along with software that optimizes and analyzes individual cells. This breakthrough allows detection of mastitis to be made on the farm, real time, rather than in a lab days later. After developing the algorithm, what AAD needed was a mechanical device that could automate this precise test while surviving in the harsh environmental conditions typical of a working farm. That is where Porticos got involved. “Designing a cost effective system with the precision typically seen only on lab instruments was a challenge in itself, but making it a portable yet rugged device was one of our biggest challenges” notes Jasper Pollard, the lead designer for the AAD project at Porticos.

The first prototype, affectionately known as “Bessie”, was developed by Porticos engineers working with the hardware and software teams at AAD. Although the initial unit was only intended to be capable of demonstrating the technology in the lab, it was so successful that it was able to be unveiled recently at a trade show and for the board of directors. According to David Calderwood, Vice President of Engineering and Manufacturing at AAD, “Porticos hit it out of the park with the design of this product. The board applauded when the demonstration unit finished running. I can honestly say I have never been in a board meeting where the members applauded.” The unit is currently being testing in controlled field applications while design refinements continue in support of a second round of fully field capable units.

About Porticos – Porticos, Inc. is a mechanical engineering and product development company located in Research Triangle Park, NC. Established in 2003, Porticos continues to produce innovative and effective solutions for its clients and the markets they serve. Porticos, Inc. provides mechanical design, analysis, research and development services to clients including Dell, Motorola, Raytheon, and many others. For more information on how Porticos “turns good ideas into great products,” please visit www.porticos.net.

About Advanced Animal Diagnostics – Started in 2001, Advanced Animal Diagnostics vision is to bring the power of rapid diagnostics on farm to benefit the under-served animal agricultural market. By providing vets and producers with valuable new information to monitor animals’ health without waiting days for results, AAD can improve profits for the industry and protect animal health and welfare while enhancing consumer confidence in the food source. Learn more at www.advancedanimaldiagnostics.com.

Iridium Force Announcement

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – On September 8, 2011 Iridium conducted a live webcast announcing the launch of a powerful new force in shaping the connected experience everywhere. Iridium ForceTM is Iridium’s unique vision for using the power of the world’s furthest reaching network to bring extended and enhanced personal communications to people and organizations, everywhere.

The cornerstone of the Iridium ForceTM vision is the new handset called Iridium ExtremeTM. Capable of working in harsh environments and designed to meet MIL-810 specifications, the ExtremeTM provides the user with a long list of features and services.

Porticos was proud to provide the mechanical design of the ExtremeTM handset and several of the supporting accessories and modules; including the Iridium Core 9523 which will allow Iridium partners to create new products and services that can operate on the Iridium network.

Porticos is a partner to Iridium providing mechanical engineering support including mechanical design, engineering analysis, mechanical project management, supplier quality audits and related support.

To see an archive of the Iridium ForceTM webcast go to www.iridiumannounces.com/force .

About Porticos — Porticos, Inc. is a mechanical engineering and product development company located in Research Triangle Park, NC. Established in 2003, Porticos continues to produce innovative and effective solutions for its clients and the markets they serve. Porticos, Inc. provides mechanical design, analysis, research and development services to clients including Dell, Motorola, Raytheon, and many others. For more information on how Porticos “turns good ideas into great products,” please visit www.porticos.net

About Iridium Communications Inc. (www.iridium.com) — Iridium is the only mobile satellite service (MSS) company offering coverage over the entire globe. The Iridium constellation of low-Earth orbiting (LEO) cross-linked satellites provides critical voice and data services for areas not served by terrestrial communication networks. Iridium serves commercial markets through a worldwide network of distributors, and provides services to the U.S. Department of Defense and other U.S. and international government agencies. The Company’s customers represent a broad spectrum of industry, including maritime, aeronautical, government/defense, public safety, utilities, oil/gas, mining, forestry, heavy equipment and transportation. Iridium has launched a major development program for its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT. The Company is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A. and trades on the NASDAQ Global Market.

Porticool Vest Unveiled at ASSE 2011

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — The Porticool II, one of our most innovative product designs,  was unveiled this week at the American Society of Safety Engineers 2011 conference held at the McCormick Center in Chicago Illinois. At under 800 grams (1.8 lbs) the Porticool II is the “World’s lightest untethered active cooling garment;” making it ideally suited for demanding applications where phase change, water cooled or portable heat pump solutions are not a viable option. Examples include HAZMAT, fire fighters, industrial (nuclear, welding, etc.) and military applications.

The Advantages of Porticool

One advantage to the Porticool II system is that it is modular; providing complete flexibility to the customer allowing optimization between:

  • cooling time
  • cooling rate
  • weight
  • and system cost

to meet their specific need.

The secret to the Porticool II is its patented two-phase liquid CO2 approach.

“By using readily available canisters of liquid CO2, a non-flammable, non-carcinogenic gas, the work and subsequent waste heat typical of portable heat pump systems is removed from the enclosed environment; allowing for a much lighter and more efficient system then others currently on the market,” according to Porticos president Greg Patterson.

The advantage compared to phase change solutions are several fold. Because it is an active system, the Porticool II can be turned on or off as needed by the user; eliminating the immediate “cold shock” of the phase change and allowing the system to sit dormant until it is needed.

The modular approach results in a garment that is extremely light (330 grams or 0.73 lbs), thin (1/8” max at the tubing) and flexible. No electrical or moving mechanical components allow for cooling in an intrinsically safe environment. Quick disconnects to the tank line allow for the garment, sewn of FR rated self-wicking cotton based material, to be worn comfortably even when cooling is not needed.

Independent Testing At The University of Alabama

Independent testing conducted at the University of Alabama and published in the Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health confirmed the superior performance of the Porticool II; extending the average work duration by 32% as compared to standard heat stress prevention methods.

According to the report, while other cooling solutions (ice vests, cooled air vests and liquid circulated garments) tested have shown favorable responses, none provide the flexibility and mobility afforded by the Porticool II. Nor could they compete with the light weight and thin garment size that the Porticool II has achieved.

“When we were first contacted by Porticos and made aware of the Porticool II technology we were intrigued by the potential” claims Tony Blackburn, VP of Sales and Marketing at Cool Shirt. “But after evaluating the prototypes along with some of our key customers we immediately realized that this technology could be a game changer in the industry and provide a great compliment to our existing systems.”

As a result, Cool Shirt entered into a licensing agreement with Porticool for the technology and trademarks. Working with Porticos, a product design and engineering services company that originally conceived and developed the technology, Cool Shirt is targeting November of this year to have production units available.

About Porticos — Porticos, Inc. is a mechanical engineering and product development company located in Research Triangle Park, NC.  Established in 2003, Porticos continues to produce innovative and effective solutions for its clients and the markets they serve.  Porticos, Inc. provides mechanical design, analysis, research and development services to clients including Dell, Motorola, Raytheon, and many others.  For more information on how Porticos “turns good ideas into great products,” please visit www.porticos.net

About Cool Shirt — Since 1987, Shafer Enterprises has grown exponentially to become the world leader in personal cooling systems for surgeons, racecar drivers, football players, fire/emergency services/hazmat, military and industrial workers. Using NASA study guidelines, Cool Shirt® active cooling systems help people manage body heat in extreme environments using circulating temperature-controlled liquids.
The employee / owners of Shafer Enterprises, LLC have over 70 years combined experience in the medical field, holding 24 different patents. The company operates from two facilities: a 65,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Loudon, Tennessee and a 12,000 square-foot distribution center in Stockbridge, Georgia.  For more information visit our website at www.coolshirt.net, email sales@coolshirt.net, or call 800-345-3176.

Porticos, Inc. Provides Engineering Support to Iridium

[Jan 10, 2011 9:26 AM ]

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — Porticos, Inc. Porticos, Inc. announced today that it is entering into its second year of providing mechanical engineering support to Iridium. Porticos activities include mechanical design, engineering analysis, mechanical project management, supplier quality audits and related support.

“Working with Iridium has been very rewarding,” said Kevin Carpenter, Chief Engineer at Porticos.  “Their products are sophisticated enough to require real innovation.  The range includes extremely compact transceivers, robust handheld devices, and much larger appliances mounted on ocean-going vessels.  It is truly a privilege to contribute engineering expertise to programs that are so novel and relevant.”

“We chose Porticos because of their experience in designing consumer, industrial and military wireless products and their reputation for providing superior customer service,” explained Conrad Geibel, VP of Product Engineering at Iridium. “The innovation and level of support we have received has exceeded our expectations.”

About Porticos — Porticos, Inc. is a mechanical engineering and product development company located in Research Triangle Park, NC.  Established in 2003, Porticos continues to produce innovative and effective solutions for its clients and the markets they serve.  Porticos, Inc. provides mechanical design, analysis, research and development services to clients including Dell, Motorola, Raytheon, and many others.  For more information on how Porticos “turns good ideas into great products,” please visit www.porticos.net.

About Iridium Communications Inc. — Iridium is the only mobile satellite service (MSS) company offering coverage over the entire globe. The Iridium constellation of low-Earth orbiting (LEO) cross-linked satellites provides critical voice and data services for areas not served by terrestrial communication networks. Iridium serves commercial markets through a worldwide network of distributors, and provides services to the U.S. Department of Defense and other U.S. and international government agencies. The Company’s customers represent a broad spectrum of industry, including maritime, aeronautical, government/defense, public safety, utilities, oil/gas, mining, forestry, heavy equipment and transportation. Iridium has launched a major development program for its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT. The Company is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A. and trades on the NASDAQ Global Market.

Motorola MT2000 Mobile Terminal Designed by Porticos Inc.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — Porticos, Inc. applauds the launch of the MT2000 Mobile Terminal by Motorola. The MT2000 combines a very versatile and robust scanner with the capabilities of a personal computer.  Review and Specifications.

Motorola commissioned Porticos, Inc. to provide mechanical design and engineering for the MT2000.  The product has been designed to be water- and dust-resistant and to resist repeated shocks.  It incorporates numerous innovative features that result in improved robustness, useability, and cost-effectiveness.

Porticos engineers are especially proud of the mechanical engineering patents that this project has generated for the client.  Per Porticos policy, ownership of intellectual property devolves to the client.  Porticos is pleased to have contributed to Motorola’s patent portfolio and looks forward to doing so in the future.

About Porticos — Porticos, Inc. is a mechanical engineering and product development company located in Research Triangle Park, NC. Established in 2003, Porticos continues to produce innovative and effective solutions for its clients and the markets they serve. Porticos, Inc. provides mechanical design, analysis, research and development services to clients including Dell, Motorola, Raytheon, Emerson, and many others. For more information on how Porticos “turns good ideas into great products,” please visit www.porticos.net.

About Motorola — Motorola is known around the world for innovation in communications and is focused on advancing the way the world connects. From broadband communications infrastructure, enterprise mobility and public safety solutions to high-definition video and mobile devices, Motorola is leading the next wave of innovations that enable people, enterprises and governments to be more connected and more mobile. Motorola (NYSE: MOT) had sales of US $30.1 billion in 2008. For more information, please visit www.motorola.com.