Science: Spacecraft: Propulsion
Digital camera parts tray   (+8)  [vote for, against]
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This is a parts tray with a honeycomb of plastic compartments. Behind the plastic are magnets to hold parts in place. This would measure about 20cm by 30, so it could be picked up easily. Built into the device is a digital camera. The traditional LCD screen is visible from the top of the device. Every compartment has a push button switch that sends a command to the camera processor and outputs a picture to correlate to that compartment.

Okay. Now what does it do? This would be every mechanics new best friend. The device is portable and is used when disassembling. Remove a bolt, take a picture of where it came from and place the bolt in a compartment and press the switch. Now when reassembling is taking place the problem of extra parts is eliminated. Now you know exactly where every bolt and screw goes.

Its late, I hope this makes sense
-- evilpenguin, Feb 07 2008

It should have a "reassemble" button which, when pressed, presents you with all the parts you given it in reverse order, with a picture of where they came from.
-- hippo, Feb 07 2008

The title would make more sense as "parts tray with digital camera". I was expecting a tray for digicam bits.

Being midway through a car job as we speak, this would be very useful. [+]
-- david_scothern, Feb 07 2008

I've always used Tupperware boxes and sticky labels (Post-It notes weren't available at the time) so this seems a bit nut-cracking-sledgehammery. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.
-- angel, Feb 07 2008

Don't magnets have a detrimental effect on electronics in general, cameras more so? Or is that just speakers and monitors?
-- theleopard, Feb 07 2008

I with you on this and I already do most of this, but you are hazing over the hard part and highlighting the easy part. You could use any tray with numbered compartments as long as you included the number in the location picture. The time is handy too but just numbering give you sequence which is the key. The tough part at least for me is the location picture. You are actually making this harder by making me reattach the camera to the tray each time, but not making it any easier to make my location shot, which is tough on car jobs because the location is usually dark, in behind something and at a weird 3-D angle. What I usually do is multiple shots of narrowing view to place location, but some kind of 3-D spacial locator is what I need. I've been planning on making a numbered tray that has numbered orange magnetic arrows, so when I take the picture it has more meaning and since the arrow does most of the work, I'd need less close shots.
-- MisterQED, Feb 07 2008

Maybe a magnetic tray as described but add in an arm with several joints with angle sensors. At the end of the arm would be a pointer, so when you take the part off, you could hold the pointer where you removed the part in this way you would have the 3-D location. This still doesn't work for bolts removed from the bottom of the car as the arm wouldn't reach.

I guess it would be even better if the joints had servos, so they could move the part back to the spot it was removed, but now this is starting to sound like a previous idea that wasn't mine.
-- MisterQED, Feb 07 2008

//he tough part at least for me is the location picture. You are actually making this harder by making me reattach the camera to the tray each time// No, the camera is built in to the tray. The magnets allow you to (carefully) meanuver the camera to any angle.

This input is great.
-- evilpenguin, Feb 07 2008

//some kind of 3-D spacial locator//

Yes, this idea can be expanded. Why not a tiny digital video camera? If not part of the wrench, at least attachable to tools (or wrist, or hat, or structure). For most bolts you'll only need the portion of the video where the wrench approaches the part -- a "fly-in" view.

Bun for the idea, by the way +
-- Amos Kito, Feb 07 2008

I'm worried that the camera on the tray won't be pointing in the right direction. Maybe the camera should go into a screwdriver handle or wrench, pointed towards the tip. There could be a bluetooth link between the handle and the tray. As you drop the screw or nut into its box, the handle downloads the videoclip chronicling the screw's removal into the memory associated with the box.
-- jutta, Feb 07 2008

I'm more worried that this ended in the "science:spacecraft: propulsion" category
-- methinksnot, Jul 30 2010

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