Custom Electronics Projects

ClearCirKits - Electronics Construction Set

2015-06-05 15.35.34-3The ClearCirKits Electronics Construction Set is designed as an educational tool for teaching the fundamentals of electronics technology using snap together blocks that allow the user to see the component and the schematic diagram at the same time, Projects can be assembled without using confusing breadboards or dangerous soldering irons and other tools.

TechCare-TronLabs designed the plastic components, flexible printed circuits, and tooling using 3D CAD and had the parts fabricated to construct the working prototype cubes. The PHP, HTML, and MySQL programming for the ClearCirKits Learning Lab was also done and hosted by TechCare-TronLabs on their servers as well.

CMS - LED ceiling mount light fixture

light-01This ultra thin LED ceiling light panel is designed to replace conventional can lights for retrofit and new installations. It is only 6mm thick and 100g (3.5oz.), providing up to 1000 lumens at 12 watts.

It features 110 surface mount LED lights, and operates on low voltage to simplify wiring and installation.

The unit is available in multiple colors, with straight and angled lens configurations. TechCare-TronLabs was contracted to do the custom PCB layout for the design by CSE Product Development.

BeaconSeal - Electronic Tamper Proof Seal

beaconsealredTechCare-TronLabs developed the prototype  and production design of an electronic tamper seal using fiber optic and microcontroller technology. Partnered with another company they formed BeaconSeal LLC to manufacture, and market the revolutionary device. Rather than a purely mechanical device like most tamper seals, BeaconSeal used a microcontroller, electronic circuitry, fiber optics, and custom embedded firmware, to add additional levels of security and cargo tracking information.

GyroCam - Stabilized Camera System

gyrocamThe GyroCam 36X is a gyrostabilized broadcast video camera system with a 36:1 zoom lens. It maintains a stable picture on moving platforms such as helicopters, airplanes, dollys, and other moving platforms where vibration makes the use of conventional camera systems impossible. The device can also be equipped with other sensors such as infrared night vision systems and laser range finders. TechCare-TronLabs was contracted to design, assemble, install, and maintain the systems that were sold worldwide. We installed and maintained units that were sold in the USA, Argentina, and Japan,

GyroCam - Control Console

consoleThe GyroCam control console shown here allowed the operator to operate the camera in comfort while seated in the rear of the helicopter, Pan, Tilt, Roll, Zoom, Focus, and other camera controls  were at the operators fingertips. A plasma digital display showed the current orientation of the camera to the operator, The ergonomic design of the console was engineered by TechCare-TronLabs, and was an exclusive feature of the GyroCam system.

GyroCam - Helicopter Installation

n311sjThe GyroCam stabilized broadCast camera system designed by TechCare-TronLabs, is shown here installed on an Eurocopter AS350 helicopter, It was used by news broadcasters in cities all across the United States as well as Buenos Aries – Argentina, Tokyo, and Nagasaki – Japan. The videos taken by these cameras were seen by TV viewers across the world, The GyroCam system was used during the NBC New York news coverage of the TWA Flight 800 disaster among other nationwide news events.

Custom Electronics Design Services

We also offer custom electronics design, prototyping, and embedded system programming services.

Our facilities house a well equipped prototyping shop with capabilities to produce prototype parts made of steel, aluminum, plastics, or composite materials as well as electronic circuit boards, control panels, and wiring harnesses.

Whether you need your computer fixed, your robot repaired, or want a custom electronic gadget designed we are here to serve you.

Call Us At (269) 372-2626

To Discuss Your Special Project Needs!

Robot Projects

Tron III

2015-02-23 21.16.36Tron III, is designed as a demonstration robot for trade shows and special promotions, as well as an R&D platform for testing new software, sensors, and mechatronic devices.

Tron’s capabilities are: Base platform moves forward, backward, and turns,  waist rotates  neck turns and tilts, shoulders lift, rotate, elbows bend, left wrist rotates, both grippers open and close, head is a color LCD screen, he is battery operated, and has a variety of sensors and a camera.

Tron III is currently being refitted with custom designed motion control boards, upgraded software, and some mechanical upgrades. Planned upgrades include face and object recognition, as well as an internet based control interface.

Tron’s parts were designed and fabricated in-house using TechCare-TronLabs well equipped machine shop and prototyping tools. Tron III has been a work in progress for the past three decades, always getting the  latest in technology advancements.

L4DY8U6

2011-07-20 18.36.22The official designation for this robot is L4DY8U6 (Leetspeak for LADYBUG)

The L4DY8U6 Ladybug robot was conceived as a research project to test the feasibility of a six legged walking robotic lawnmower. While the project has been in the back of my mind for many years, Bll was recently inspired to start this project by the acquisition of a Ladybug Sandbox.

His belief is that robots should be visually attractive and friendly looking to allow them to better interface with, and be accepted by humans. The ladybug beetle is one of the few insects that most humans perceive as non-threatening and beneficial, and thus is a good choice for a robot body.

Bill decided that the ladybug sandbox would be the basis for a walking robot creature, and that incorporating the lawn mowing function would be a logical task for the robot to perform. The design goals were set up as guidelines for the project development to test L4DY8U6’s capabilities and functionality.

The original ladybug sandbox was constructed of all red plastic. In order to better represent a real ladybug beetle it has been painted with black spots and black head. Antennae, legs, and red lips (borrowed from a Mrs Potato Head toy) have now been added to enhance her appearance.

A sound system with a female voice has been added to allow the Ladybug robot to verbally report operational and diagnostic information, and will also enhance her personality for human operators. She currently has 32 words in her vocabulary that can be used to create sentences that report status, and greeting messages.

F4N

2015-02-25 18.50.21F4N (leetspeak for Fan) was conceived as a fantasy robot that would follow you around, keep you cool, and light your workspace, He was constructed from a conventional floor fan, a couple of flexible table lamps, and two monitor stands from Wyse 50 terminals that looked like great robot feet. While F4N doesn’t actually walk and follow you around (Yet), he does function perfectly as a fan and a light. You can find F4N hanging out at the customer counter at TechCare-TronLabs.

iSteve

isteveiSteve was inspired by Apple Inc’s unique designs for their computers while Steve Jobs (RIP) was the CEO. The iMac G4 had a stylish robot like articulated arm supporting the LCD screen atop a half sphere base that contained the computer, and the EMac sported a white shell that enclosed the CRT and computer. having several of the obsolete units laying around Bill decided to turn them into a robot that would be a tribute to the late Steve Jobs. The project went together from eight iMac G4’s, Two EMacs, and a iPad 2, the tablet has an assistant app that is voice controlled and will answer questions, remind you of appointments, and even tell jokes,play music and show videos. What more would you want from a personal assistant robot?

Tron I

tron_iTron I was built by TechCare-TronLabs owner Bill Forshey when he was a student in high school.

The 1965 TV series “Lost In Space” peaked young Bills imagination, and he desperately wanted a robot like Will Robinson had on the show.  he drew up plans for his robot design and set forth on building parts for it when he was in shop class in school.

His father asked a local sheet metal shop to construct the robot  body parts from his drawings.  When it was time to start putting together the mechanical parts. His father took Bill to a store that sold gears and belts, and the nice gentleman there helped him pick out what he needed to make the treads. The waist was made from parts of an old phonograph turntable and a lazy-susan bearing. Gear-motors were from vending machines, purchased surplus.

Parts scavenged from a convertible top car provided the hydraulic cylinders and pump to extend and retract the arms that were covered with drier vent hose,  solenoids operated the grippers that were mounted on round electrical boxes,  a cassette tape player was installed in the chest to play audio, a control box connected by 20 foot long one inch diameter flexible conduit had various switches to operate all of the functions. Everything ran off 120 volt AC wall current, no low voltage batteries.

The head was an inverted angel food cake pan with a clear plastic dome on top.  A  12″ circle line flourescent lamp was around its neck that was scavenged from the light fixture in my bedroom (which was finally replaced). An old film type camera was fitted in the head with a solenoid to activate the shutter to take pictures. Bill designed and etched a printed circuit board that had 10  red LED’s (they were new technology back in 1973)  in a circle that flashed in sequence that was under the dome.

Bill learned how to use an electric drill and other hand and power tools to fabricate parts for his design.  Bill did all of the construction himself including the wiring.  His father provided only advice and occasional transportation.

Bill named his robot “Tron”  this was long before the Disney movie of the same name.  He used Tron to hand out candy for Halloween that year (1975) people still talked about it years later.

Tron had a fall from a crack in the sidewalk on the way back to the garage that October evening and broke his grippers.  Bill was a Junior in high school that fall, and had classes in Electronics, Welding, and Machine shop. Back then he spent four hours a day in the vocational education wing taking shop classes.  He brought Tron to school that spring and built new and improved grippers for him in the welding shop, and upgraded the bulky control cord with a multi-conductor cable with connectors that could unplug in electronics lab.

While Tron was at the high school someone called the local newspaper, and a reporter and photographer came out to the school, interviewed Bill, and took pictures of Tron and Bill in the electronics classroom.  The newspaper article appeared several weeks later in the Kalamazoo Gazette Sunday paper with a picture of Tron on the front page. Suddenly Bill was a celebrity.

That was the start of Bills long career in electronics and robotics. He has built several other robots since.

E-Mail Us About Your Special Project

Contact us at (269) 372-2626 for your custom electronic project needs.

We offer the following services:
Design consultation
Electronic circuit design & engineering
Breadboard prototypes

Schematic design & capture
PCB layout
2D & 3D CAD design
3D printed plastic prototype models
Rigid and flexible PCB fabrication
Prototype PCB assembly
3D machining of metal & plastic
Injection molded plastic prototypes

When you want a custom electronic gadget designed we are here to serve you!