Andreas Eliassen

I know a lot about mechanical engineering and product design, a combination that has led me to helping a 6m long blimp do loops, creating stone cubes and working on haptics for virtual reality.

I just finished an MEng in Product Design Engineering at the University of Glasgow and the Glasgow School of Art. I thoroughly enjoyed doing the degree, but now I am looking for what's next.

Do you know of any cool projects or interesting jobs where I could contribute? Hit me up at hi@aeliassen.com for a chat.

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Tennis in VR

Vibre - Better haptics for VR

University - 16/17

A controller that makes virtual objects feel more like real ones. Vibre uses electromagnets to create vibrations like those in the real world.

Advances in the area of virtual reality have focused mainly on improving visuals and audio, so for my final year project I explored what could be done with haptic feedback to improve immersion in VR. The most promising area of near-term improvement was feedback conveying indirect interaction. Feedback you get from holding an object that interacts with something, instead of the feedback you get from your fingertips.

The product uses a custom electromagnetic actuator that can produce much larger forces than conventional vibration actuators while still responding fast and vibrating at a high frequency. To make the feedback realistic, data measured in a tennis racket handle as it hit a ball was used to improve the vibration patterns used. Together with the larger actuator, the resulting sensation is convincing.

The possibilities are not limited to tennis nor ping pong. Indirect interactions of all kinds can be made more convincing, even ones that aren't based on real interactions. The technology represents a significant increase in the possibilities within haptics available to designers.

A more thorough summary of the project can be found in the summary booklet which was presented alongside my demo at the Glasgow School of Art Degree Show.


"Feels like a real ball."       "This just feels normal."

"The ball without feedback feels almost disgusting now."


- From degree show attendees.

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Below is a page on what was found throughout the testing of the different prototypes. From the summary booklet.

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Inner-city airport

Urban Air Travel

University - Spring 16

Inner-city airport. A team project in cooperation with German air travel think tank Bauhaus Luftfahrt.

As a 12-person team we developed a concept for a inner-city airport built on top of railway tracks leading into train stations. It uses multiple levels and a smaller planes to achieve a radically smaller footprint than a normal airport.

From the project's outcome a physical model was made (see below) and taken to ILA Berlin Airshow 2016. The concept recieved some positive media attention, mostly in German, but some in English too: Deutsche Welle.

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I had two roles in the project:

1. Illustrations.

This included assembling all CAD from different designers into a unified model, mediating the conceptual merging of different design ideas in the process. Finally, using 3ds Max and V-Ray (which I learnt for the role) to produce all the resulting illustrations for the project. I also produced some 360 degree photos of locations in the airport which were also shown on Gear VR headsets at the ILA Berlin Air Show.

2. Apron Concept

I developed an apron concept that would allow for rapid deboarding, boarding and fueling. I got an overview of the turn-around process in current airports and reduced this to the essentials that were needed in the urban airport. Lastly these essential processes were investigated and understood, then made more efficient and convinient for the passengers.

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Above: The apron concept with extendable walkways that lower down and automated servicing stations under the aircraft..
Below: A section view showing the runway, apron, passenger and rail levels, then two illustrations showing aircraft transferring.

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Physical Model

As a continuation of the Urban Air Travel project, I was employed together with one other student to assist a modelmaker in creating a model of our concept. It was exhibited on the 2016 Berlin Air Show. I was brought on due to my detailed knowledge of the concept and of laser cutting. It meant I prepared everything we laser cut (Floors, walls, tiny people, etc.), but I also helped out with everything from spraypainting and making tiny cars to figuring out the best way to build the model.

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100 Materials

100 Materials

University - Autumn 15

Different materials, all constrained to the shape of a cube, encouraging tactile play and appreciation of the differences between materials.

Brief: Create a product that will be appropriate in the Glasgow School of Art Shop.

An open brief that let me pursue two interests I have: Looking at differences between materials and geometrically simple shapes. I explored how this could become a product and the idea of 100 materials was the result.

100 Materials is the goal, I'm not yet there, but as an initial run 6 different materials was sold at the Glasgow School of Art Shop before christmas 2015.

I've continued the project and as of now I have made in total 16 different cubes, you can see them at 100materials.com.

Context

It’s not often you hold a heavy cube of steel and compare it to an equally sized but not quite equally heavy marble cube, afterwards stacking them both on top of a cork cube to feel the satisfying dampening provided by that material. The cubes ended up being things that were hard to not fiddle and play with, which was exactly what I wanted to achieve.

Presentation was a challenge. To make it possible to solve in the timeframe I focused on designing and making something which would present at least 3 cubes and invite tactility. Initially I tried shallow slots in a board, while this might be ideal for a large amount of cubes in a material library, it was restricting for small numbers of cubes.

As the cubes were of different materials, I sought a non-material for the plinth. Laser etched acrylic drew too much attention to itself, snowcrete felt too fragile for moving cubes around on and so I settled on a spray painted mdf as a friendly non-material.

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I've tried to leave five sides of each cube as it was after it was shaped, and finishing the last one. The finishing should still be minimal but give an indication of what the material can become. Sometimes the contrast is significant, as with polished steel or acrylic, and sometimes you have to touch the surface to notice the difference, which is the case for the woods, which have simply been sanded to a very smooth satisfying finish.

Packaging Packaging Packaging Packaging Packaging

This shows the packaging solution I developed. I decided on packaging the cubes individually to not restrict the buyer to a certain number or set of cubes. The packaging is laser cut and engraved card that folds around the cubes. The folding techinque enables simple production of the packaging, protects the cubes and displays them. Information about the material of the cube is included inside.

Blimp

Zeppaloon

Kongsberg Maritime - Summer 15

As part of a 9 person international and interdisciplinary team I designed thrusters that enabled a 6m long airship to do loops and barrel rolls.

I designed and 3d printed the 6 thrusters, all with variable azimuth and pitch that enabled the control we needed to perform the maneuvers with the blimp. Kongsberg Maritime is a company that delivers automation and position solutions for ships. The airship we created was to be the foundation for future summer projects looking into dynamic positioning.

This video shows part of the final presentation we did at the end of the project in front of the management, employees, other summer students and local media.

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I 3d printed the structure that allowed us to mount all the thruster electronics easily and securely. This included a variable pitch prop (with a pitch control servo) and a servo that controlled the azimuth of the thruster. Each thruster was self contained with an arduino board and battery. It was essential that the thrusters would react quickly for the control system to work. They did.

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This is the top part of the thruster I designed. It is compact, solid and makes it relatively easy to assemble the brushless motor in the front and the servo in the back.

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I think the diversity of our team really contributed to the projects success. There were many heated discussions, but this led to everyone understanding the mindset of others better, and ultimately a great result. We were a student team of engineers from a multitude of diciplines (from product design to control), two physicists and an economist.

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The thrusters were all self contained, but we had a "brain" (raspberry pi) direction them. While we didn't have time to try it, our system would support a multi-node configuration where there is no hierarchy.

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A fleet of blimps working together. This illustrates the idea that many blimps would be able to work together without a main "brain" in the same way as all the thruster should be able to cooperate.

Accessible Driverless Vehicle

Accessible Autonomous Taxis

University - Spring 15

Researching potential guideliens for accessible autonomous vehicles as they could revolutionize mobility for people who would not otherwise be able to use a car nor afford taxis.

“Disabled people feel that improvements in public transport would substantially contribute to improved quality of life”

The people who are the least accomodated for in public transport, the disabled and elderly, are also the ones who can benefit the most from these systems. Driverless cars are being developed, but there is no definite answer to how this upcoming paradigm shift in car design will look. These guidelines were developed to detail the most important aspects of designing a small accessible vehicle. Wider doors and large floor space does not only benefit the disabled and elderly, it will provide a more comfortable journey for everyone.

ASAV ASAV

Above: Showing how a car could easily reconfigure itself to different users.
Below: Detailed requirements.

ASAV ASAV ASAV
Lalape

Smaller things

Personal/Freelance

Highlighting a couple of small projects and experiments.

Lalepé / Autumn 2016

Lalepé is an infant carrier for air travel developed by Olesia Kurganova. I came in at the end of the project to model it and to animate a short showcase of the product

Magnetised fabric / Autumn 2015

A series of short videos showing the idea of magnetised "fabric". Playing with tape and tiny magnets.

Stand Stand

Laser-cut dominoes / Autumn 2015

Some laser-cut dominoes that I spent too long creating the template for. I wanted a bigger set than what could be purchased cheaply so we could play mexican train with a bunch of friends. In hindsight, having up to 16 dots means you get 153 dominoes and this is too many for any kind of play (tried 9 people and it still takes ages). Would not play with more than double 12 in most cases. Here is the template if you want to laser cut your own.

Stand Stand Stand

Shaving Stand / Spring 2014

A simple design for a stand for my shaving equipment.

Burned Burned Smaller

Aluminium and wood / Summer 2014

Experimenting with melted aluminium and wood. Looking at the marks it can leave and the contrast it creates.