Juice Box

Juice Box is an open energy system concept that allows people to capture energy from multiple sources, store and transport it to where it is needed, and power devices even in the remotest locations.

In September 2013 I had the opportunity to work on a collaborative project with ARTEFACT / Wired magazine and Bill Gates as guest editor of the magazine.
For this occasion, B.Gates put together a list of 10 ideas that could improve lives for the developping countries WIRED approached the Seattle based design firm ARTEFACT to turn some of his ideas into full-blown prototypes, in only 4 weeks.
 
Gates idea about energy was simple and eye opening for us but was also bringing more questions than answers .
Only 10 watts of energy per day could greatly improve lifes in the developping countries .
 
 
In this post  I'll do my best to guide you through our quick journey that led us to Juice box : an open energy system 
 
What is Juicebox:
Juice Box is an open energy system that allows people to capture energy from multiple sources, store and transport it to where it is needed, and power devices even in the remotest locations.
• It is context independent and supports multiple sources—from the electrical grid, to solar, car battery or even kinetic.
• It centers on human needs and improves ability to work, learn, get access to information, create better living conditions or new business opportunities.
• It gives people, regardless of where they live, safe and reliable access to much-needed power to make their lives better.
A quick run through our process:
Analysis and early Ideation
-The process of inquiry involved analysis of our own experiences abroad and secondary research intermingled with early ideation. These exploratory activities were done with the core design team but also extended stakeholders at Artefact.
-The insights our inquiry produced helped us prioritize general strategic directions as well as specific product features, all based on the tenants of context independence and universal applicability with a goal of the greatest positive social impact to the largest number of people.
Ideating-Sketching
-Initial sketches explored the general form orientation as well as specific form gestures and accents. These explorations led us to a more iconic visual language that was approachable and exciting, but balanced an image of reliability and trustworthiness.
-The second order of sketching investigated system configuration and component breakdown so we could understand the technical constraints of the directions and make sure the concept was functionally appropriate for the context and community of use.
Physical mock-Ups
-We evolved physical prototypes based on our own internal team discussions and group learnings.
We created proof-of-concept mechanical breadboards to explore the technical constraints and viability of core components of the Juice Box system. The dynamo in particular was an area of exploration and investigation, since it related directly to the strategy of open energy sources and delivering the ability to power devices in an emergency situation.
Exploring a range of concepts in rough physical form allowed us to truly experience the design directions for ourselves, as well as to get input from users. Mock-ups help facilitate discussions, both internally with the team and externally research participants.
Physical mock-ups also help us to project and recreate very specific scenarios of how the product would fit into the environment and how people would accomplish tasks with individual components. For example, the mock-ups helped us understand the advantages of a detachable but corded light.
User evaluation
Conducting quick evaluations of early concept directions with representatives from the target communities of use helped us gain a deeper understanding of what the product should be and how it would be used.
This research participant told us how the dynamo would be used in India. He sketched us a picture of manual laundry washing machines (human powered via stationary bicycle) and how he could see the dynamo being connected
Juicebox: A Concept to Empower the Developing World
Juice Box is an open energy system concept that allows people to capture energy from multiple sources, store and transport it to where it is needed, and power devices even in the remotest locations.
LED Light with dual illumination settings for focused tasks as well as ambient lighting.
Magnetic Light Fixture enables flexible positioning of the light on the unit.
Detachable Light Cable allows the light to be used with different swappable batteries directly, affords the ability for the light to be hung from above, and frees an additional USB connection when needed,
Energy Input Panel can be used with a variety of manufactured connectors as well as with raw cable or different sized alligator clips.
Safety Blades force raw wire to be made with distinct intention. Recessed connector locations offer additional safety.
Connector Color Indicators give clear indication of where to place cables.
Energy Output Panel offers USB ports (four total) as well as 12V car plug (one) for powering multiple devices at once.
Swappable Batteries are expandable to enable larger storage capacity. Single battery is 14.8 V Li-Ion of made of 6 cylindrical cell pieces.
USB Port On Battery
Bi-stable LCD Display has low power draw when not connected to devices and offers ruggedness and durability.
Dual Display Modes communicates time left (hours: minutes) depending on number of devices currently connected as well as total battery charge (% full).
The dynamo:
Traction Treads for connecting different types of belts from different capture systems (wind and hydropower).
Counterweight Opening and Handle
for attaching weights to the Dynamo and swinging them by hand to generate light in case of emergency situations.
Sloped Traction Channel which accommodates surface contact with a number of different sized tires on bicycles, motorbikes, and carts.
Attachment Plates enable the Dynamo to be permanently attached to installed infrastructure for continual energy capture from kinetic renewable resources.
Connection Indicators highlight the type of cables existing the Dynamo so they can be safely connected to the Open E Input Panel.
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