Skyaak Ultra-Glow R and D Advance

September 29, 2008 at 1:28 am Leave a comment

Skyaak developer Dylan Cooke shows the latest Skyaak R&D advance, an LED light array that enables night-time play.

The request from the Feature Producer at Z Tele for a Skyaak ‘Ultra-Glow’ sent me scrambling into Saskatoon over the weekend to hook up with Dylan, who you will remember is one of the key developers of the LED accessory kit that we plug into the basic Skyaak Model 3 chassis to render it in brilliant light.  This of course takes the Model 3 to a whole new level of sophistication, making it glow for night-time play.

We have tried it out and found that the best way to throw and catch it successfully is simply to wear glow-in-the-dark bracelets so the guy throwing it has something to aim at. It’s pretty lame to just throw it wildly off into the dark!

You will see for yourself once you get into this that the object of Skyaak play is to make complete throws and catches. It’s not that great to chuck it into the dirt.  Much better to actually get it into your partner’s hands so he or she has a chance to feel the rush of the incoming energy transfer when it is snagged out of the air.

I just ran into a friend of mine who said that he bought a Model 3 two years ago and has put two summer’s worth of play into it. He reported that most of the time his Skyaak stays in the air.  That is, him and his two boys play with it lots and seldom throw it crazy. They make a point of taking a second to get focused and deliver it smartly into their recipient’s air-space. I’m sure it doesn’t always work out that way. There are times when you will crash it. Just try to be sensible and play in the grass so it has an optimum chance to survive the rough landing unscathed.

Remember, the Model 3 has been designed specifically to endure a lot of hard play, but you have to do your part like with any other flying toy to ensure it’s safety. For instance, in the R&D of the proprietary ‘ring-wing’ we burned through about seven different types of plastic until we arrived at the one with best flexibility, spring strength and shatter resistance. The object is to go hard, but try to fling it accurately enough so that your partner has a fair chance for completion of the pass. Think finesse.

I guess I’m getting a bit off-track here. I was  going to chat a bit about my time with Dylan putting together a couple of the Ultra-Glow accessory kits.

Dylan and I had a great time putting together the kits. I brought all of the components in that we needed to build the basic Model 3 chassis and Dylan whipped out his LED parts, tools and gadgets. Previous to this, I had some reservations about the viability of hand-building the Ultra-Glow accessory kits. It seemed that it was such a labor-intensive, complicated process that it would end up being cost-prohibitive. However, after we put our heads together this latest time we invented a few real time-saving process(es) that promise to streamline the production line. In fact, we are now confident that we now have the technology and techniques in place to make endless replications of the Ultra-Glow kit on demand.

It just goes to prove that perseverance really does pay off, big time. Dylan and I are both very comfortable in a production-line environment. It’s fun and satisfying to design jigs and templates that speed up and standardize production. For us, this organization of parts and process is one of the most rewarding parts of this whole learning curve.

Of course the MOST rewarding part is to get out of the lab to rock our Skyaak in the nearest park on a sunny day! And now we can go hard right into the night with the flick of a switch that cranks up the Ultra-Glow function! Woo-hoo! Are we having fun yet?

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