Three User stories to explain the possibilities of the multi modular cargo bike community

Story one: Organizing a cinema for kids.

Two days ago I had a telephone call of a children camp just outside of Brussels who has problems to occupy their kids with all the rain falling down. They found me on the vélo M2 site where I explained how I build my multi media module. I offered workshops for people who don’t want to build it themselves or to go on events with it. The camp is in the middle of nowhere and they just have a big tent where they can project stuff. But they didn’t bring a beamer, and the electricity is on low point because of the bad weather. They ask if I can come and show a kids movie or project some video games.

I get all the stuff I need: I check my movie library and upload it on the raspberry pi, I get the game console (a wii this time) and attach everything in the box ready to be plugged in immediately at the camp. The boxes have long cables with them because I want to give them an immersive sound so I can put the boxes where I want. This time I need to project on the beamer against the inside of the roof, so I will need to adjust the stand when projecting.

I hope my box is safe enough for the kids, cables aren’t lying around and I can pop everything out immediately on top of the bike. I connect my box to the battery module with pedal power and I attached everything to the bike, the road is a bit wobbly so I can’t have parts lose everywhere. Lucky for me I had sun this morning so I charged my battery with the sun module. But It’s raining outside for the moment, and the battery is not fully charged. I decide to do a tour with the bike earlier to continue charging with the pedal power. I will be possibly wet, but I can’t deceive the kids.

I arrived safely at the camp after one hour of driving; the kids are a little bit excited. But easily for me I just contact the battery model that is fully charged with the cinema model, pops it open and get the movie starting. At the same time I install the part under the bike for the pedal power. The battery only holds 3h30, so to maximize fun I’m pedalling at the same time to get more energy. Every bit counts. If the kids where a bit older I would have stacked the extra pedal power module so 6 bikes could pedal at the same time and we would have unlimited resources, at least till one of the bikers faints.

After 4 hours of fun, watching Ponyo and playing Mario kart the kids are rested. They sometimes did ruff movements but thanks to the fact everything is attached nothing got broken, and they didn’t hurt themselves to the box. Just on time because the battery was getting empty. The camp organizer thanks me with giving me a bag of beers, with the stretching cables I easily manage to put it on top of the bike

Story 2: a group of elderly (50+) like to BBQ

Selma and René are two elderly people, still active and living in a beautiful apartment on the third floor in the hearth of the city. They ditched their car some years ago when they finished work and like to do trips to the countryside with their bikes. Because they have grandkids René bought a cargo bike and learned about the modular system by his son in law using vélo m2 platform. So made him a child seat to transport his grandkids to school.

He is really getting invested in vélo m2 and he sees the plans about a BBQ and wants to make it himself. On the BBQ everything is there to have a nice meal for 4 people. Just perfect for the weekend trips with their friends for years now: Suzy and Rachel. The grill place is really well designed, it can get out of the module and be placed anywhere with the foldable branches. The other part is a recycled boat fridge where the meat, the salad and some vegetables can be put. They tweaked it a bit to have only compartments that will hold the food steady. The last space of the module is used to put the forks, the knives and everything needed for a BBQ. But what Réne really likes is that little bar on the side where he can put his utensils on and take out a cutting board to cut and work the vegetables and meat.

But he is a bit sceptical; he wants to improve it so there is place also to put enough wood or coals so he doesn’t need another bag. He chooses to ditch the electricity and just puts icepacks and a good closed system so he doesn’t need the energy module (that is quoit heavy to bring back three levels at his apartment) and so he makes some place to also take a bottle of wine with him and some glasses. That would impress Suzy and Rachel, always showing off with their fancy cocktail making module their daughter made. So he searches on the platform vélo m2 and finds somebody that moves beer without a energy module, but holds it cold with a cooler system.

And with the right tools, explanation and his small technical knowledge ( René was a bank employee ) he makes it, a deluxe version of the first module to have more BBQ stuff with. One-week project and its done. He even puts some hand bars so he can pick it up without hurting his back to much. His son in law is so impressed that he wants to use it on his own cargo bike. Lucky for him all the modules are standardised on a 600mm on 400mm so it can be carried on any cargo bike. He puts the plans online and isn’t anymore a user but a builder in the vélo m2 platform.
The veganburgers are really yummie says Rachel.

Story 3: Candice just started being a cargo bike plumber.

Candice was working at a death end job in marketing, and she wanted to do something completely different, going back to her roots: being a plumber because her mother was one of the best plumbers of her region. She knew already a lot when she was spending time with her mother when she was young.

She decides she doesn’t want to drive a car with all the big materials and make big interventions, but just small reparations on the spot and send the big ones to another person. All her tools need to fit on the cargo bike she just bought.

But when she buys the open source license (she will use it for profit) of her first version of a bike-repairing module she gets stuck with all kind of problems. First off all, she needs to get the box fast off the bike and again secured on between every intervention. Her selling point is being the fastest possible intervention. A magnet system for her tools could be really nice, because sometime she needs to prepare other tools between interventions and goes by home as fast as possible.

After some work, she manages to have an easy system for her tools and puts it online. She now is the licence owner of this module, and is part of the family tree of Workshop modules.

But then there is one thing that annoys her: it is just an ugly designed box. It needs a more flashy design, because her bike is her way to find new clients also. She works on a xyz cargo bike and loves the aluminium design. So she would like to have a box in that design, but with an edgy part, some cool colour code, pink is her favourite colour and with laser cut wood designs because her boyfriend likes to spend time in the fablab. That would make her so happy. She puts her demands on a part of the platform, and in two weeks the community found her bike. She tanks the people who helped by giving an open licence on her module for profit use to all the helpers.

Extra Story: The Battery.

The battery of the vélo M2 is the hearth of the body. It is solid; works mostly of the time without any problems, but when it isn’t it needs to get a fast fix. Every part needs to be at the right place and easily reachable so our engineers can always work on it without having to get near delicate parts.

And so one day our engineers finally found the ideal system, after changing every part in that same designed box they reached the most energy creating network with all the plugs for solar power, bike power, … in it and now they want to show it to the world, what is in the guts, to have an open source system so they can explain kids and older how it works without having to open the box or the problem that people are going to touch it. For an exposition it would also be nice.

And now everybody is happy and lived a long bike filled life

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One thought on “Three User stories to explain the possibilities of the multi modular cargo bike community

  1. Pingback: Open sourcing the module system: A designer challenge | ciklic

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