Notebook Computer Charging and Maintenance Station for Schools

Photo of Kyle Jesse, Dom Jursic, and Ryan Richards Students: Kyle Jesse, Dom Jursic, and Ryan Richards

Sponsor: Dell

Date: Fall 2010

Requirements:
The design must accept computers ranging in size from a 10" netbook to a 15" laptop, with the ability to accept both power and Ethernet connectors. The sponsor wants a cheap, adaptable solution that provides the flexibility necessary for Dell to dock current laptops as well as future products.

Problem:
Computer software constantly needs to be upgraded and updated. Laptops have benefits of portability and wireless connectivity, but for remote maintenance and recharging a hardwired connection is required. A universal docking mechanism was developed to provide network connectivity and power for multiple laptops of possible different sizes.

Solution:
The team's solution involved a system of modular cups, each of which are custom designed to a corresponding laptop. The modular cups are plastic inserts, easily replaceable when new lines of laptops are produced. An overmold was designed to accept the power and Ethernet connectors as well as interface with the cup design, allowing a standardized connector setup to be used with all future cups. The cups are supported by an external structure with fasteners, creating a cheap, flexible, easily modified solution for all current and future possible laptops.

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