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- Pune (MH), India
I worked on a project that aimed to develop a version of Stage Smoke Machines for private events.
I had some prior experience with Smoke Machines, from my internship with an event visualization Software company and from my time servicing Stage equipment.
I led a team to develop a special Smoke Machine for the consumer market. It had to be affordable, had to have features for independent users and be easy to use.
I first got in touch with several people in the entertainment industry and found opportunities to study how exactly Smoke Machines work, and how consumers would use them.
The machine basically vaporizes a special glycol solution (stored in an onboard tank) with a heater and releases it under pressure while dispersing it in the air with the help of a fan. Controlling the parameters of the fluid pumps and fan affects the density of the released 'Smoke'. The haze from this Smoke then enables crisp visualization of LED and Laser effects.
We conceptualized a series of 5 Machines, starting from a small handheld Machine to a large Fog Machine. The mid-sized 'M3' Machine was expected to be the fastest selling model.
Being a consumer oriented Machine, we added some features over the basic DMX Serial Interface. We added an RGB LED into the Machine, which could be controlled by the User. In addition to the on-board Tactile Interface, we added a Mobile App, that used BLE to control the Machine parameters. We also added a 'Party Mode', which made the Machine react to Music with Light effects.
We developed some prototypes and Beta Tested them on the field in local Entertainment Events and Shows. People enjoyed the Music-response feature very much.
An important part of marketing this machine was ensuring that the price point was practical for a consumer. Keeping the price down was a goal as well as a challenge.
I defined the overview of the product, and designed the Electricals+Electronics of the Device. I worked with a young team consisting of a Mechanical Engineer, a CAD Designer and a PCB Developer. We worked with local Pump, Heater and Fan suppliers to develop the Machine.
This project gave me the chance to work on Control Systems that interfaced with Mechanical devices. I realized the importance of error handling, especially when mechanical systems were involved. We used various Sensors to constantly monitor the temperature, fuid leakage, and other parameters and feed them back to the Microcontroller.
While working on Floid, I had the idea of using entertainment devices with Lasers as a clean alternative to fireworks. I would love to explore this concept in the near future.