Tuesday, September 30, 2008

TBs TechPoll 04 (Results) - Which type of new PF elements, would you like to have next?

TBs poll for 'Which type of new PF elements, would you like to have next?' have finished, after three months running and above 900 votes. See poll screenshot below, for the results.

It seems everybody is eagerly waiting to have new PF parts and surprisingly more than half are with the idea of a 'PF Electric Pneumatic Valve' (whether it is feasible in a reasonable size or not...).
This was a surprise for, because I imagined most of you would vote for a PF 'S-Motor' at first, despite many have voted in both for sure.
It was nice also to find out that an hypothetical 'Integrated Pneumatic PF Compressor', is a fairly well desired part, despite the idea for such kind of element being criticized by some (too much specialized part).

Results came mostly around the proposed PF parts on the original poll. However some of you voted in "...other" and came with your own proposals, either in post comments or directly to me via e-mail.
So I'd like to summarize below, some of the PF gadgets which you came up with guys (for a more complete listing, read comments made to the original pool):

- Age van der Ploeg
"Instead of controlling a motor: controlling a double action switch:
pushing controller forward : activating or deactivating switch A
pushing controller backward: activating or deactivating switch B"
If I understood the idea correctly, believe this to be an unlikely part to get as it may already be achieved with independent controls.

- Age van der Ploeg
"A good thing should be a LEGO developed sound block. Being able to not only produce a range a different sounds. But also an import option should be possible to import sounds in the block. The output should be triggerable. For example the faster the truck drives the louder or higher/lower pitch of the sound. The ultimate would be the possibility of speach ( kind of NXT like ) robot possibilities."
It looks cool, but probably not with the functionality you mentioned. Features like import of sounds, pitch control and speech seem to me, more targeted/feasible for an environment like the NXT.
However we don't know yet, for instance what the new WeDo platform will allow to control from the PC.

- Gavin Lock
"a compact gearset with a very high gear ratio in a small amount of space.
For example, most rack-and-pinion steering system using an 8-tooth gear have a total range of less than 1 revolution of that gear to turn from all the way left to all the way right. To gear a PF motor down to that range takes a lot of gears at the moment, which takes a lot of space. A compact, high ratio gearset would fix this and other problems."
It seams the idea here is to have something like x186 from late 70s, but with a design compatible with new PF motors. Interesting but unlikely I believe. At those times, motors were more rotative and actual PF motors have already some internal gear reduction.

- Gavin Lock
"Although - for steering specifically, a PF servo (with analogue sticks on the remote) would be reeeeeaaalllly nice :)
I want both of these, the gearset AND the servo. I can't decide which I want more, though.

- AVCampos (PT)
"Radio Communication. Bluetooth would be great (and a way to cater kids fans of computers, like LEGO tried to do with some TECHNIC sets), but maybe, because of licenses and such, the end price of the pieces would be too high. Failing that, why not re-using the Cybermaster protocol, just like current PF communication re-used infrared?
IR is cheap but has the huge disadvantage of line-of-sight: people operating big PF train layouts have to aim the remote for the distant train, and at an exhibition I had to do some gymnastics to be able to control my PF Bulldozer with a lot of people between me and it."
Liked the BT idea and integration with PF, but guess this is not feasible cost wise to be enough profitable for TLG.
Also BT is not so easy to work sometimes, as it should be. Who have never had problems setting up a BT connection...

- Parax (UK)
"I was thinking... a combination compressor switch unit is what is actually required... That would give air to one of two outputs, depending on voltage direction. (a built-in pressure cutoff would make it perfect!) that way effectively a Pole reverser switch can control one (or more) cylinders in both directions. Or two Pneumatics devices from one remote receiver.
The built in cutoff would mean it could be left powered without needing a mechanism to sense and switch. (if the pressure was adjustable via grub screw it would be better still!)"
Guy, you are even crazier than I do... :)
Guess it would be unusable big for usual applications... :P

- Parax (UK)
"As for Motors I would also like to see a micro motor with the same form factor as the end of the LA, (that could accept the LA adapter) or be directly attached to the LA."
And I would love it gets available with something like this too. Not the gearing down, but that it changes the axle direction in a very compact and effective manner.

- Anonymous
"Definitely a double acting ( or at least single acting ) 3 stage telescopic pneumatic cylinder.
it would be great to see one of those on a dump truck."
Cool but not necessarily a PF element. Anyway, keep dreaming, as I do. ;)

"If not that than some sort of flexible wire to transfer rotation and translation movement (something like an upgraded FLEX system )"

- Anonymous
"Compessor. Yes I'd love one of those too. Especially one that fits right onto the front of a PF motor.
Double ended pneumatic with spring return central position.
Longer pneumatics.
Smoother/remote/sequential gear change elements/linkages
I'd love these too! At least something to consider and check feasibility, I'd say.

Now lets hope TLG to be taking notes from some of these ideas...


Parax said...

following your comment on my comment..
'Guess it would be unusable big for usual applications'

I think it might be possible to fit inside a XL motor size casing.. it doesn't have to be rams inside the case! as long as it delivers the goods, in this case air pressure differential...

Parax said...

"And I would love something like this too, that changes the axle direction in a very compact and effective manner."

perhaps a studless version of this piece?

Parax said...

Ooops try again..

perhaps a studless version of this piece?

TechnicBRICKs said...

To Parax 1st comment,
Yes it would be better to not include the rams together with such device.
I just imagined it to be quite big for several applications.
Are you imagining one 8455 made with these?... ;)

To Parax 2nd/3rd comments,
I was thinking on a much smaller version that fits in front of an eventual S-Motor, but imagine it to be an M-Motor.
Of course it would need to be(at leas the way I imagined it) made of non standard TECHNIC gears internally, but something much smaller and with a different design.
Otherwise it could be implemented with regular discrete elements like that you mentioned.

TechnicBRICKs said...

Of course I mentioned the 8455, because of its 7 pneumatic valves inside an astonishing and compact design.

Parax said...

yes a remote 8455 would be amazing but I don't see it happening as stated any control gear would be too big, you could not fit 4+ XL motor sized lumps and batteries in that model...

Inside the motors is a very compact planetary system I would discount the idea of another plug on gearbox unit, it could be very easy to make... I wonder if the medium motors re the same??

Anonymous said...

Above everything else (even an S Motor), I would love to see a lightweight, rechargeable battery. I don't know how important small Technic models are to LEGO when it comes to motors, but the bulk of six AA batteries is a tough hurdle to overcome.

TechnicBRICKs said...

Don't now how light it will be or not, but at least we are going to get a rechargeable PF Battery in 2009, with the new PF trains, as announced before.
So, no AA batteries this time. :)

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