Thanks for visiting our web site! Here is the history of HelioGyre.
History and Creation of HelioGyre: the Idea
A few months ago, in November 2015, I was looking for
a clock to ornament my office at home. I could not find anything making me happy even at prices far away from my budget.
I was actually not looking for a clock specifically, but for something antique or vintage, and with nice visible mechanics, since I am a passionate of technology – be it metal machining, wood working, electronics, IT or mathematics.
Still a few months earlier, I found on the internet a brand new very small Linux, WiFi-capable device. I bought one on a crowdfunding site, in order to help the creators. And because I was thinking that I would do something with it some day, with no actual project in mind though.
And a few days before Christmas I have got an idea. Since I could not find any pleasant clock, I would create my own machine, with an antique or vintage look, but with hidden technology inside such as: stepper motors, CPU, electronics. So that it is a connected object as well, and as such be able to do what was impossible in the past centuries.
This object would indicate the Sun location in the sky thanks to a skeletal brass sphere, wherever it is on Earth, and at any time of day and night.
History and Creation of HelioGyre: the Construction
It took me 3 weeks to draw the mechanical design, a few nights to write down the math equations determining the position of the Sun from the Earth, and to draft the electronics schemas.
Then I had 3 months of fun turning and milling all the metal parts in my cellar and during my spare time. In parallel I have also developed the embedded software that runs the math equations and establishes a connection with the outside world: the Internet and the smartphone.
Finally after assembling all these ingredients and some finetuning, the HelioGyre was born and started follow the sun hour after hour, day after day!
Now, I would like to make HelioGyre available on the market. For that I need to get funding to launch the production of a few units. The more units ordered, the cheaper the price, as usual. So any feedback on your interest about HelioGyre, or intent to purchase it for you or for a friend is welcome: visit the “I want one” page here.
Also, I have other ideas for other decorative vintage connected objects, so stay tuned!
Frédéric Baumann, May 2016