As with every new product it is a long journey to go from a concept to a production version. With most of our products the idea comes from our customers. In this case we had a few customers using our Ruxton Packs to support a Drone Controller and tablet. I have done so myself on occasion (see the photo below). Not an ideal solution but it was certainly better than holding it in your hands!
After some discussion with customers that were using our Ruxton Packs for a drone controller we went to work!
We decided to use the Comox Harness as the platform to hold the mounting system. We knew it would be comfortable as it is the same harness used for all of our chest packs. Then I cobbled together a prototype and tried it on myself. The next step was getting it into the hands of a few users to make sure the design is right. So we did a small production run locally with parts cut from high density plastic. Of course I can never seem to get it quite right the first time!
In the photo below Ron Harper of UAV Tower Innovations is using a DJI M300 to perform wind turbine inspections with the first version of our mount kit. He told us were we on the right track but it was flexing too much. So it was back to the workshop to beef up the design. The new version solved the issue.
Once we had the design right the next challenge was putting it into production. Fortunately we only had to worry about the plastic parts as we have the Comox harness in our warehouses. We decided to have most of the components injection moulded by the same plant that does the plastic parts for our Ruxton Packs. For the brackets that secure the controller parts we are happy to say that we are able to source those in Canada! These parts are cut on a computer controlled router.
Of course the next challenge is putting together marketing materials to illustrate the product. The biggest challenge with this is getting photos of each type of controller. Since I am always available I end up being the "model" for some of the photos. I am also the "talent" in the video that illustrates the product and how to assemble it! Check out the video here.
Currently, we have a few Versions of the Drone Controller Mount Kit. We are constantly looking to add additional types of controller mounts to meet the needs of our customers. Let us know if you have a specific requirement through the message service in the lower right-hand corner of this page.
It has been great fun developing this new line of products. We really hope that drone pilots will find them to be a good addition to their kit!
Thanks for allowing me to share the journey with you!
Brian Saunders, Tablet EX Gear