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Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics



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  • Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics

    Hey everyone, I was chosen as one of the top 4 designs, along with slipperyskip and jj_sky5000, to compete in Lenovo's Mod Contest! Here is my concept/idea:

    The Lenovo Sensei is an A700 IdeaCentre with a built-in HD projector underneath, creating an indispensable teaching aid that could replace the age-old dusty chalkboard. Having both components integrated together would enable the teacher to instruct his or her class more dynamically. Assignments could be projected onto a large screen or wall in front of the class. The teacher could run education software, play videos & DVDs, and keep track of all the students' progress, all in one compact unit. Think of it as the chalkboard of the future! Features include:

    * 23" widescreen LCD monitor with Touch Screen capability
    * Slot load blu ray drive
    * Integrated DLP projector 1280 x 800 Resolution
    * Hybrid laser/led technology, 3 low wattage power modes
    * HDMI connection between A700 and projector
    * Well-ventilated housing to keep system cool
    * Cabling kept to a minimum, with only power cords emerging out of unit
    * Buttons on projector relocated as well as other I/O ports to maintain functionality

    With everything that the all-in-one Lenovo A700 offers, paired with the detailed display capabilities of the DLP projector, the teaching possibilities are virtually endless!

    Here is the A700 set up on my desk. Came with wireless keyboard, mouse, and an air remote control.

    Removing the back panel, you can see the slot load blu ray drive and the computer cover.

    Taking the computer cover off reveals the hard drive enclosure and the motherboard. I was surprised to see a full-size drive and not an SSD.

    Here is the DLP projector I'll be integrating. It's a Casio A240. I chose it for it's low profile and energy efficient lighting system. It has 3 power modes: 270W (Eco Off) / 190W(Eco On Level 1) / 130W(Eco On Level 2)

    Rough placement of the projector, centering the lens with the A700.

    I'll take some measurements from here, and construct a cardboard template of the new base that will house both components. I've been doing some design mockups in Sketchup, so once I finalize that, I'll post up some preview pics.
    Thanks for looking, and good luck to the other modders!

  • #2
    Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics

    Dude...forget about it being a mod; this is an awesome idea! I think you need to protect this in some way as someone will steal this idea and make them.

    We just did our monthly meeting this morning with our crew of about 30 guys. We had to bring a large LCD TV, laptop and dvd player to show some information and videos. Luckily for us we have it available but with this it would have taken a whole 30 seconds instead the 20 minutes of setup.

    Good luck on the project!
    Cut it, Paint it, Mod it. Void Your Warranty
    #moddersinc @moddersinc


    • #3
      Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics

      This is a great idea.
      What do you think of their A700?
      I liked it so much I bought my own.


      • #4
        Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics

        Thanks Dewayne! Yeah, this combo unit would have numerous applications in addition to being a teacher's aid.

        This is a great idea.
        What do you think of their A700?
        I liked it so much I bought my own.
        Thanks Chris! I really like the functionality of the A700, especially the touch screen. The built-in camera and the included video effects provided hours of fun with the kids lol.

        I also like what you did with it. In fact your MD-5 project was one of the contributing factors in my choosing the A700 as the basis for my idea.


        • #5
          Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics

          Like AF said,
          You might want to think about a patent for your idea.
          The A700 might be a bit much for a portable version of your idea, but it is a great idea!
          I could see a real need for a portable version of the Sensei!
          This is why I love modding, real advancement of computing!
          Keep up the great work.
          I voted for you and slipperyskip!
          Good luck to both of you!


          • #6
            Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics

            Figuring out the internal cabling... The IO board on the Lenovo plugs into a slot on the motherboard and sticks straight up. This will not do at all, since the Sensei lies flat now, rendering the ports inaccessible from the bottom.

            Here is the connection between the IO board and the motherboard. As luck would have it, it's the same as a PCI-express x8 slot.

            So I managed to find a PCI-express x8 extension cable.

            With the extension cable, I can lay the IO board flat so I can plug in the hdmi cable directly in line with the projector. I would have liked to point all the ports towards the edge, regaining accessibility to everything, but then I have a problem getting the hdmi cable from there back in to the projector.

            So this way it will remain internal and go kinda sorta thusly..

            However, the full-size drive and it's bracket is in the way, so it will be replaced in favor of a more compact SSD.

            Now the IO board can lay even lower.

            As for all the other ports on the IO board, the only ones I will need to access besides the hdmi are the power and ethernet, for which I can conjure up extension cables and relocate to the sides. I won't be needing the cable jack, the composite video ports, or the hdmi in, and I can utilize the usb ports for some added internal drive space. They won't be missed since there are two additional usb ports on the side, along with eSATA, firewire, and memory card slot.

            Here's a quick cardboard mockup of the base I whipped up to get an idea of size and where the projector will be mounted.


            • #7
              Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics

              Video is up:

    [/video]]Lenovo Sensei Concept

              Gives an overall idea of the concept & functionality. Now back to building it!


              • #8
                Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics

                Great video and holy crap you should be in advertising because even though I have no need for that I really really want one now.


                • #9
                  Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics

                  Great video and holy crap you should be in advertising because even though I have no need for that I really really want one now.
                  Actually, I AM in advertising lol. Audio/video production is my day-job.


                  • #10
                    Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics

                    Wow, really, I hope this is an idea you can benefit from when it gets popular.
                    This is truly a spectacular mod!
                    AzTtec - Level 10 GT Mod
                    Gothic Church Mod


                    • #11
                      Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics

                      Great video and holy crap you should be in advertising because even though I have no need for that I really really want one now.
                      Actually, I AM in advertising lol. Audio/video production is my day-job.
                      WHAT?! Oh man you should have never told me this... I got a lot of ideas for MI...LOL
                      Cut it, Paint it, Mod it. Void Your Warranty
                      #moddersinc @moddersinc


                      • #12
                        Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics

                        Ok I'm back with an update!

                        I've been playing around with different designs for the base, and finally settled on what I think will look the best and be functional at the same time. The next step was to figure out what materials to use to make it. The following is my first attempt, making it out of aluminum sheet. It didn't work out too well, so I'm calling this a prototype. :P The real deal will be made out of acrylic. To save time (now that the contest deadline is quickly approaching), I sent drawings to Moddersmart to have cut from 1/4" acrylic.

                        In the mean time, here is my prototype construction:
                        I first printed the design out and taped it together, and down to the aluminum sheet.

                        I scored all the lines through the template, into the sheet.

                        I had provisions for 1/2" edges on the top and bottom of where the fins will go. (more on fins in a moment)

                        I also allowed 1/16" for the folds.

                        A close up shot of the score lines.

                        The whole thing cut out, ready to be folded.

                        Got the sides folded, and here I'm bending the front. I cut a piece of mdf to fit inside and run the length of the bend.

                        And we have a 3-sided box! The back was to be bent upwards to match the curve of the side pieces. This is where I stopped and after close examination of my (not-so) handy work, I decided it wasn't good enough and abandoned it.

                        This is one of 30 or so fins that will be stacked on either side of the projector (15 on each side). The projector gets extremely hot, and needs adequate ventilation. These fins will help facilitate getting fresh air into and out of the base and projector.

                        The prototype, however, has been quite useful for testing placement, so it hasn't been a total loss. Here I'm placing the fin to see how it will look.

                        And with the projector in place. I designed the fin's shape to follow the projector's curves around the lens area.

                        Speaking of lens, I need some kind of center piece to bridge the gap between both stacks of fins. I wanted to match the curvature of the projector, so I quickly whipped up a jig to bend a piece of acrylic.
                        " alt="" />

                        The acrylic fits in it like so..

                        After clamping it down, I stuck the whole thing into the vice and used my heat gun on the acrylic piece while gently pulling it down.

                        For the second bend, I moved my backing block on the jig.

                        Clamped it down, stuck it back into the vice and bent away.

                        Checking my bends, and marking the ends for trimming.

                        Once trimmed, I knocked out a couple end caps and glued them in.

                        Looks about right!

                        Still need to cut an opening in the center where the projector lens is, but I'll wait until I know exactly where they will mate up.

                        While I'm waiting for the pieces of the base, I will be adding a bit more functionality to this computer. That will be in my next update, so stay tuned!

                        VOTE FOR THIS MOD!


                        • #13
                          Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics

                          Looking good.

                          I was starting to wonder about you. I didn't see an update and you had me nervous. :P

                          I need a better heat gun. Mine won't let me bend acrylic. :evil:
                          Chuck Norris makes onions cry...


                          • #14
                            Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics

                            Yes, I had a few setbacks. And having to deal with a houseful of family members during Thanksgiving weekend didn't help much (I blame those stupid pilgrims!). But I fully intend on finishing this thing on time! So expect the updates to be more frequent from now until the deadline (Dec 15th).


                            • #15
                              Lenovo Sensei - Final Pics

                              I wanted to add some extra functionality to the case (you can never have too much functionality), so I decided that a built-in removable drive bay would suit this mod nicely. If this was employed in a multi-user setting, each person could have their own drive to keep their files, rather than on the system itself.

                              I really like these Seagate Free Agent "Go-Flex" drives. This one is a 1.5Tb drive, and is USB 3.0 (unfortunately, the A700 doesn't have USB 3.0 yet, but I can still use the backward compatible cable in a 2.0 port).

                              Out of the box, it is sleek and sexy!

                              Comes with the usb 3.0 cable and a detachable rear connector.

                              The detachable part is standard sata data and power. This will be built into the pocket the drive will slide into.

                              Building the pocket: Measured and cut all the pieces.

                              Gluing the pieces together to make a box.

                              End piece on.

                              Drive fits snug inside.

                              Looking at the back end, I'll mark the area to be cut away.

                              Removing material to make way for the connector.

                              Fits ok. Now to glue the connector in permanently to the pocket.

                              It's not glued yet, but this is how it will look once finished.

                              And once I get the main base put together, I'll cut an opening in the side where this pocket will go, and glue it in place.

                              If you like this project, head over to my contest page and VOTE! Only takes two clicks!