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Author Topic: Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics  (Read 8537 times)

Boddaker

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Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics
« on: December 03, 2010, 06:04:36 PM »

Hey everyone, You may have run across some of my mods before (737 airplane case, Mystique², Battlestar Galactica, Neptunes Trident), but my latest project pretty exciting.  It could revolutionize the teaching industry! :P  It was chosen as one of the top 4 designs to compete in Lenovo's Mod Contest. I've been working on this project for a few weeks now, so let's get you up to speed.  

Here is my concept/idea:

The Lenovo Sensei is an A700 IdeaCentre with a built-in HD projector underneath, creating an indispensable teaching aid that could replace the age-old dusty chalkboard. Having both components integrated together would enable the teacher to instruct his or her class more dynamically. Assignments could be projected onto a large screen or wall in front of the class. The teacher could run education software, play videos & DVDs, and keep track of all the students' progress, all in one compact unit. Think of it as the chalkboard of the future! Features include:

    * 23" widescreen LCD monitor with Touch Screen capability
    * Slot load blu ray drive
    * Integrated DLP projector 1280 x 800 Resolution
    * Hybrid laser/led technology, 3 low wattage power modes
    * HDMI connection between A700 and projector
    * Well-ventilated housing to keep system cool
    * Cabling kept to a minimum, with only power cords emerging out of unit
    * Buttons on projector relocated as well as other I/O ports to maintain functionality

With everything that the all-in-one Lenovo A700 offers, paired with the detailed display capabilities of the DLP projector, the teaching possibilities are virtually endless!





Here is the A700 set up on my desk.  Came with wireless keyboard, mouse, and an air remote control.


Removing the back panel, you can see the slot load blu ray drive and the computer cover.


Taking the computer cover off reveals the hard drive enclosure and the motherboard.  I was surprised to see a full-size drive and not an SSD.


Here is the DLP projector I'll be integrating.  It's a Casio A240.  I chose it for it's low profile and energy efficient lighting system.  It has 3 power modes: 270W (Eco Off) / 190W(Eco On Level 1) / 130W(Eco On Level 2)


Rough placement of the projector, centering the lens with the A700.


I'll take some measurements from here, and construct a cardboard template of the new base that will house both components.  I've been doing some design mockups in Sketchup, so once I finalize that, I'll post up some preview pics.
Thanks for looking! :D
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 03:33:47 AM by Boddaker »
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Boddaker

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Re: Lenovo Sensei
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2010, 06:05:14 PM »

Made a short video of my idea:

Lenovo Sensei Concept

Gives an idea of the overall concept & functionality.

Boddaker

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Re: Lenovo Sensei
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2010, 06:06:15 PM »


I've been playing around with different designs for the base, and finally settled on what I think will look the best and be functional at the same time.  The next step was to figure out what materials to use to make it.  The following is my first attempt, making it out of aluminum sheet.  It didn't work out too well, so I'm calling this a prototype. :P  The real deal will be made out of acrylic.  To save time (now that the contest deadline is quickly approaching), I sent drawings to Moddersmart to have cut from 1/4" acrylic.

In the mean time, here is my prototype construction:
I first printed the design out and taped it together, and down to the aluminum sheet.


I scored all the lines through the template, into the sheet.


I had provisions for 1/2" edges on the top and bottom of where the fins will go.  (more on fins in a moment)


I also allowed 1/16" for the folds.


A close up shot of the score lines.


The whole thing cut out, ready to be folded.


Got the sides folded, and here I'm bending the front.  I cut a piece of mdf to fit inside and run the length of the bend.


And we have a 3-sided box!  The back was to be bent upwards to match the curve of the side pieces.  This is where I stopped and after close examination of my (not-so) handy work, I decided it wasn't good enough and abandoned it. 


This is one of 30 or so fins that will be stacked on either side of the projector (15 on each side).  The projector gets extremely hot, and needs adequate ventilation.  These fins will help facilitate getting fresh air into and out of the base and projector.
[/quote]

The prototype, however, has been quite useful for testing placement, so it hasn't been a total loss.  Here I'm placing the fin to see how it will look.
[/quote]

And with the projector in place.  I designed the fin's shape to follow the projector's curves around the lens area.
[/quote]

Speaking of lens, I need some kind of center piece to bridge the gap between both stacks of fins.  I wanted to match the curvature of the projector, so I quickly whipped up a jig to bend a piece of acrylic.


The acrylic fits in it like so..


After clamping it down, I stuck the whole thing into the vice and used my heat gun on the acrylic piece while gently pulling it down.


For the second bend, I moved my backing block on the jig.


Clamped it down, stuck it back into the vice and bent away.


Checking my bends, and marking the ends for trimming.


Once trimmed, I knocked out a couple end caps and glued them in.


Looks about right!


Still need to cut an opening in the center where the projector lens is, but I'll wait until I know exactly where they will mate up.

While I'm waiting for the pieces of the base, I will be adding a bit more functionality to this computer.  That will be in my next update, so stay tuned!

Ok this brings you up to date.  I have less than two weeks to finish this for the contest, so I'll be working on it every day!

If you like this project, and think it deserves to be shown at CES in January at Lenovo's booth, please VOTE FOR THIS MOD!  Thank you!

Melancholinpolly

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Re: Lenovo Sensei
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2010, 06:53:40 PM »

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Boddaker

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Re: Lenovo Sensei
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2010, 07:21:25 PM »

http://smarttech.com/us/Solutions/Education+Solutions

Thanks for the link, Spexer!  That's exactly along the same lines as the Sensei.  It would have pretty much the same functionality as the interactive whiteboards, only the input would be at the unit itself, with it's touch screen.  Although one could use the air remote and point to the projection from anywhere in the room (I need to test this).

(Edit:  I rescind my statement that this could revolutionize the teaching industry lol)

« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 07:24:56 PM by Boddaker »
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urgannagru

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Re: Lenovo Sensei
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2010, 09:53:30 PM »

Actually my first reaction was that they already can do all of this, but the more I thought about it the more I realized how important the packaging is. Normally professors either to lug around a laptop and hook it up to a projector, or use an existing computer, and then they sit there for either 15 minutes or until they beg for help from a tech savy student. Once its all up and running, they then have to fiddle with input settings and switch back and forth between the computer projector, the overhead projector, the TV... you get the point. It's kind of brilliant to make something that would finally be able to do it all and be something that a professor could lug around between classrooms and/or lecture halls.

Now I know you're thinking that tablet PCs and some phones might have similar functionality. And its true. But the thing about that is the size. It's very important to be able to have an appropriately sized input device (touchscreen). The human arm's full range of motion can be very important in written or drawn communication.

(PS: this tool's usefulness isn't limited to just professors).
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Melancholinpolly

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Re: Lenovo Sensei
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2010, 02:57:06 PM »

my mother is a teacher at an international school in Germany and all the classrooms have those smarttech whiteboards, BUT they are incredibly expensive and require a computer/projector. if you can create a similar setup for a lot less money good for you.
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Boddaker

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Re: Lenovo Sensei
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2010, 04:44:20 AM »

Yeah, I had heard those whiteboards were pricey.  Very cool tho.  My son attends a small charter school that just recently started up a few years ago.  They have very little money to spend on extravagant A/V equipment, and the teachers must bring in their own supplies.  I was basically thinking of them when I came up with this idea, and I plan to donate this mod to my son's school once the contest is over.  :)

Boddaker

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Re: Lenovo Sensei
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2010, 04:45:45 AM »

Update!

I wanted to add some extra functionality to the case (you can never have too much functionality), so I decided that a built-in removable drive bay would suit this mod nicely.  If this was employed in a multi-user setting, each person could have their own drive to keep their files, rather than on the system itself.

I really like these Seagate Free Agent "Go-Flex" drives.  This one is a 1.5Tb drive, and is USB 3.0 (unfortunately, the A700 doesn't have USB 3.0 yet, but I can still use the backward compatible cable in a 2.0 port).


Out of the box, it is sleek and sexy!


Comes with the usb 3.0 cable and a detachable rear connector.


The detachable part is standard sata data and power.  This will be built into the pocket the drive will slide into.


Building the pocket:  Measured and cut all the pieces.


Gluing the pieces together to make a box.


End piece on.


Drive fits snug inside. 


Looking at the back end, I'll mark the area to be cut away.


Removing material to make way for the connector.


Fits ok.  Now to glue the connector in permanently to the pocket.


It's not glued yet, but this is how it will look once finished.


 And once I get the main base put together, I'll cut an opening in the side where this pocket will go, and glue it in place.

If you like this project, head over to my contest page and VOTE!  Only takes two clicks!  :D

Boddaker

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Re: Lenovo Sensei
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2010, 02:11:06 PM »

Work continues on the base. 

Transferring the contours from the A700 to the new base using tape.  I put a piece of tape over the raised edge and carefully cut around it, then stuck the negative part of the tape to the new base.


Then removed material following the tape line.  Cutting then filing.


cut and filed.


Now let's bring it in for a test fit.  Not bad!


Next was to get the lens glued in.  I cut a hole for the projector to shine through, and glued in a block for it to sit on, so the lower part sits flush with the bottom front piece.


I also added reinforcements to the corners.


An overall shot of the base so far.


Back shot of the lens.  You can see the extra block I put under the lens.


It's coming along, but I still have a lot to do!  Still gotta glue in the removable drive pocket and cut the hole for it, make a stand for the projector and figure out how to secure it to the base, round the edges, and cut holes for the power and ethernet extensions.  Then paint it!  Gonna be a long weekend lol.

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