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Briefcase legs

Automatic legs for the heavier briefcase
  [vote for,

My briefcase is big. It's heavy; filled with vast quantities of useless paper which no-one will ever read, but which all require signatures. As I'm invariably carrying a laptop over one shoulder, and the files which won't fit inside the briefcase in the other hand, I have to put the case down to open each and every door, summon lifts etc. Four spring-loaded legs could be deployed by a thumb-trigger on the handle, allowing a less back breaking stoop/put down case/stand/open door/stoop pick up case routine. A prod of the 'retract' button, and away they fold. Some small initial adjustment required to tailor the case to the exact height required by each user could be allowed for in the legs.
drew, Jul 08 2002

Briefcase Bipods http://www.uws.com/...IPODS/HomePage.html
Rifle, briefcase, what's the difference.. Model 25C should be tall enough. [dag, Jul 09 2002]


       I take it the legs would have wheel on the end of them. And also that the legs would be on the outside of the case.
[ sctld ], Jul 08 2002

       No wheels - I want it to stay put. I had envisaged the legs being mounted in tubes at each corner - doesn't really matter if they are just inside each corner or outside. Inside would be neater though.
drew, Jul 08 2002

       If they were inside, it would result in less space for documents and the like. I take it you mean for it to be a sort of a stand, to stop you bending down, as opposed to a way of transporting the case.
[ sctld ], Jul 08 2002


       Not too worried about the space for documents, as they are all either letter or A4 sized (well, 99% of them), and there's always a useless gap at the ends. Plenty of room for the tubes.
drew, Jul 08 2002

       Maybe luggage rack type devices at all doorways/portals would be another solution, without the worry of the tubes in the case breaking under the weight or whatever.
[ sctld ], Jul 08 2002

       visualise frog legs - take no notice.
po, Jul 08 2002

       Luggage racks at all doors would only work for an average height person, with an average height case. No problem with the tubes breaking - I'm sure you've sat on chairs with thin tube legs before, without worrying about them breaking - they could be very lightweight aluminium and still bear more than anyone would actually carry in a case.   

       po: not a Pratchett piece of luggage.... That's magic. Probably.
drew, Jul 08 2002

       Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer invents a table book that has legs... so it can turn into a table.
phoenix, Jul 08 2002

       I think it makes more sense to have the stand fold up against the outside of the case, both to give more room inside and to avoid disturbing the contents when the stand is deployed. Don't know how to make it easily openable with one hand, but I imagine spring-loading and sufficient room could do the trick, kind of like one of those umbrellas that opens with the push of a button.   

       Also, if it's on the outside you can make it detachable from the actual case. It might even be possible to design one that can be opened/closed while the stand is deployed.   

       Oh, and bravo for posting the sort of idea that (in my opinion, anyway) this place is supposed to be about.
bookworm, Jul 08 2002

       when i read "automatic legs" i envisioned a mobile briefcase. it actually has moving legs, and walks along with you. much more complicated, but kind of cool? maybe?
miss fern, Jul 09 2002

       Is this just so you can say 'I rest my case'?
angel, Jul 09 2002

       [bookworm] There's no need to disturb the contents - the legs would slide inside fixed tubes - I have a flight suitcase with a retractable handle that does this. It was the umbrella mechanism that I was thinking about.   

       My briefcase is a 'top loader', so yep, you could open it when the stand was deployed.   

       [miss fern] A walking briefcase would be cool, but sadly slightly too magical.   

       [angel] It wasn't, but I'm sure I would.
drew, Jul 09 2002

       Hydraulics - with a remote, of course
thumbwax, Jul 09 2002

       How about a very lightweight (aluminium/magnalloy) scissor-lift type affair that clips on the bottom of the case ? Extension/retraction is achieved by a screw thread rotated by a motor attached to the fixed portion attached to the bottom of the case, with a control cable which attaches to the handle. It needs to deploy pretty fast but I think this can be achieved by having a "coarse" thread cut in one direction on the drive shaft and a "fine " thread for retraction (less motor torque needed to lift the "leg", but slower). Or you coud have a spring deployment and a low-speed motor operated retraction. The runner on the shaft needs a referser pin for fast-out/slow-in operation. Gravity helps on the descent phase.   

       Thumbwax: I think hydraulics would be too heavy - but pneumatics would be a possibility. They have a superb power/weight ratio. If you had a little piston on the handle, as the case bounced up and down as you walked it would pressurise the pneumatic reservoir. You could use a CO2 soda syphon bulb as a backup.   

       I don't think a piece of psychopathic travel equipment like the Luggage would go down well at check-in these days.
8th of 7, Jul 09 2002

       Wouldn't it be the check-in person that would go down, rather?
Gwenanda, Jul 09 2002

       Gwenanda: Only if they didn't give Rincewind the seat he wanted, I presume.
8th of 7, Jul 09 2002

       Re the "summoning lifts" part of this idea, I've often thought putting the up/down buttons horizontally at nose height would make it much easier for people with their hands full to summon lifts.   

       Your briefcase would be good to have if someone tried to mug you for it, too. You could punch 'em in the nose with a leg.
Matty, Jul 09 2002

       I like the satisfying hiss that pneumatics make, so that's my chosen method.   

       Believe me, no-one would ever run off with my briefcase; even athletes in peak condition wouldn't run far with it. There is no possibility of me moving it fast enough or high enough to punch someone. Dropping it on toes would do the trick though.
drew, Jul 09 2002

       K.I.S.S. All you need are two Harris model 25C Bipods. [Link] Steady, extendable up to 27", and all weather to boot!
dag, Jul 09 2002

       They look rather manual in operation.
drew, Jul 09 2002

       Manual yes, and very lightweight. Even pneumatics, although very cool, are probably too heavy to lug around all day.   

       If automation is required, and considering the R & D development that went on with the "Automatic Blow-Out Staircase of excitement" you could put four of the party blow thingys on the bottom and blow them out for the legs. The deployment sound is entertaining (or annoying) too! A tube leads up so you can manually blow them out to extension in emergencies.
dag, Jul 09 2002

       Yes, they could be gravity deployed, but if I'm carrying the air system for retraction, I thought I might as well have the powered extension too, more for effect than actual need.
drew, Jul 09 2002

       On reflection, the free-fall system is self-adjusting for uneven ground, and merits an additional control button, to cover the 'resting on the stairs' situations. Percentage royalties to SDG.
drew, Jul 09 2002

       If you're going to go with the freefall system, then consider an automatic spring retraction system. One button will retract all the legs at once and eliminate the complexities and weight of the air system. Same as on the bipods [link]
dag, Jul 09 2002

       "the free-fall system is self-adjusting for uneven ground, "... only if you're holding the bag level. So, you need a 2- axis spirit level on the top of the bag..... or fit an AH ...neat.   

       dag: The spring retraction needs re-arming after each operation; gravity-release and pneumatic retraction seems the best system to me. With a CO2 power source, and plastic cyinders, it would be lightweight enough.
8th of 7, Jul 09 2002


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