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Come and have a try on the handsfree!!!


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#1 Guido Lux

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 01:36 PM

I hope all you guys will come to NAB and have a look at the new hardmount for the handsfree!! It's great!!
See you there!


cheers, Guido Lux

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#2 Stephen Press

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 04:39 PM

For those of us on the other side of the world, how much? And can you do smooth starts with them?
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#3 Kelsey W. Smith

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 06:13 AM

Around $19,000USD! Ouch!! :o A little too expensive for my taste.
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#4 Guido Lux

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 08:01 AM

It's 12500?'s !I know it's a lot of money but it can be really useful investment! You can do perfectly smooth starts and stops...long walks or even runs...!They used it to push or pull a rickshaw...you could even attach lights etc. plus you don't have to carry all the weight!! I will defenitely get one as soon as I have the money!!
For you guys in england you might wanna give Howard (MK-V) a call!!He's a reseller and has a handsfree to demo (and I bet he will let you have a try!?).


Guido "not always handsfree" Lux
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#5 Afton Grant

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 11:12 PM

It's 12500?'s !I know it's a lot of money but it can be really useful investment! You can do perfectly smooth starts and stops...long walks or even runs...!They used it to push or pull a rickshaw...you could even attach lights etc. plus you don't have to carry all the weight!! I will defenitely get one as soon as I have the money!!
For you guys in england you might wanna give Howard (MK-V) a call!!He's a reseller and has a handsfree to demo (and I bet he will let you have a try!?).


Being a New Hampshire native, the home of the original Segway, this peaks my curiosity a little more than it probably would otherwise. Knowing the years of R&D Dean Kamen put into the original design - the gyros, the intuitive operation, steering, power, etc - and to sell all that at a price below $5,000 US, it was truly amazing.

From what I can see of the new Handsfree, it appears to be a Segway-like device with the controls at the feet and knees, rather than the hands. The addition of the hard mount is a nice touch also. These differences, although great, leave me struggling to justify the $10,000+ gap in price.

Needless to say, I do not know the full details of the Handsfree. Web searches do not turn up a great amount of information and there are not a lot of details on the official website. I'm sure there are differences in the two brands that are not visibly obvious. If anyone can shed some light on them, that would be great.

Much thanks,
Afton
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#6 Norbert von der Heidt

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 04:08 AM

It looks great at first glance but my very next reaction was "Hope he doesn't loose it". :(
In this type of configuration there is absolutely no way, that I can see, to save the rig and camera from major damage should the unthinkable occur. It's fun to use technology but in this case it has no benefit that justifies making the operator who's busy worring about framing etc to have to be the driver as well.
I personally wouldn't put myself in that kind of position. If you want to go a long distance without having to lay track, use a wheelchair mount, 4 wheels beat the hell out of two.
That's my two cents on the subject.
Cheers
Norbert
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#7 Stephen Press

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 05:37 AM

? and yet I would still like to try one, mind you I shot most of Diana?s funeral on roller blades so maybe that?s just me :D
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#8 JobScholtze

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 05:50 AM

? and yet I would still like to try one, mind you I shot most of Diana?s funeral on roller blades so maybe that?s just me :D

Oh Boy, i would LOVE to see pics of that :P
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#9 Guido Lux

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 07:43 AM

Well,since I don't work for ULIK (who invented the handsfree) I can't really give you any important technical info!I do know that the handsfree is based on the original handsfree and a large part of the price comes from the additional patends!!
About your concerns towards the handsfree - You do have to practice before you can do great shots but once you really get used to it you don't have to really think about the driving!It becomes natural! And by the way, you can be a lot faster than running with the rig!
Anyway, if you have the time stop by and give it a try!It's a lot easier than you might think!!


cheers, Guido
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#10 RobVanGelder

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 08:48 AM

Afton, did you search on "segway" on the forum? it turns out a lot of info, it think.
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#11 Afton Grant

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 09:46 AM

Afton, did you search on "segway" on the forum? it turns out a lot of info, it think.


I have. It tells of a back-up computer, which is certainly great. Also, there is the colored key system to control speed. I can't find much else, other than general discussion regarding how to operate and what the possibilities are. The modifications are great, don't get me wrong. I'm just thinking that if the original Segway, with the years and years of R&D was released for under $5,000, it would have to take some revolutionary upgrades to justifiably increase the price 300%.

For the most part, we consumers pay for R&D, not material costs. I have absolutely no problem with that. It is that money that has helped Garrett and the rest of the faces behind our equipment continue to raise their own bar. Just for exercise, the base Ultra system is about $66,000. Could you imagine what changes would have to be made if someone came into the market selling a system for $198,000?

Is anyone working on that telekinesis powered rig?
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#12 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 02:40 PM

Afton, did you search on "segway" on the forum? it turns out a lot of info, it think.


I have. It tells of a back-up computer, which is certainly great. Also, there is the colored key system to control speed. I can't find much else, other than general discussion regarding how to operate and what the possibilities are. The modifications are great, don't get me wrong. I'm just thinking that if the original Segway, with the years and years of R&D was released for under $5,000, it would have to take some revolutionary upgrades to justifiably increase the price 300%.

For the most part, we consumers pay for R&D, not material costs. I have absolutely no problem with that. It is that money that has helped Garrett and the rest of the faces behind our equipment continue to raise their own bar. Just for exercise, the base Ultra system is about $66,000. Could you imagine what changes would have to be made if someone came into the market selling a system for $198,000?

Is anyone working on that telekinesis powered rig?



At the risk of sounding like Phil Rhodes I have to say that they can charge whatever they want. If no one buys it at this inflated price than the price will come down. That simple. Doesn't do any good to complain about it.
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#13 Benjamin Treplin

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 03:34 PM

Ulik buys the segway regularly. IMHO it was a lot R&D and new software to make it work. He has to give a 2 year warranty on the handsfree. The original warranty expires after removing the first part of the segway for the modification and I think he builds/sells fewer quantities then segway. It is not intended to be a mass product like the segway. So there are reasons for the 300% increase.
I agree, there is no point in complaining about the price.
Time will tell.
Best

P.S. I don't work for Ulik, but we had a detailed discussion about this.
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#14 Jerry Holway

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 09:59 AM

As one of the guys who worked a tiny bit with Ulik and Reinhard to make the Handsfree a Steadicam friendly object, I can say it is worth the price.

I own one! (And I have zero financial interest in it. Alas, but I own one. Makes me smile every day.)

Some things to think about the "high" price (includes all things built for the Steadicam community): they are going to sell only a few (rather than the 100,000's or millions for Segways,)

They didn't just add a widget or two, they figured out how to really make it work, both mechanically and software wise, and figured out the hardmount (about 6 iterations of that to get it right!).

Just making a working handfree took a leap of insight and risk, as they had to rip apart a segway or two without any guarantee of success. They're going for patents. They're paying for a booth at NAB to show it to us. All which comes at great cost and effort. Who pays for that?

Now that it's real, anyone can look at it and say, oh, that's easy, they only did such and such. Yes, exactly. And they proved it worked, and re-worked it all to make it work for Steadicam. And figured out a training program. And proved you can be precise with it, do step-ons and step-offs. Made it real.

If anyone thinks he/she can make one (now that someone has shown us all how, that it works, etc.) feel free, but don't expect miracles, or for anything to be cheap. Without the software changes, you can't go fast safely. And what if you get some detail wrong? A detail they already worked out and got oh so right?

BTW, when one of the two computers in a Segway detects a fault, it doesn't just quit or throw you off. It slows to a stop (if you are moving) and starts to shake. You have forever to step off. There are two batteries, two computers, and unless you hit something, it's really really hard to fall off.

Jerry
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#15 Matt Mouraud

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 02:43 AM

Well actually a well-known French op fell from the Handsfree. Very minor damage occured both to the rig and cam.
However on our side of the pond, most producers start crying when you charge $500/day for rig rental. It will be tough selling the Segway.
Jerry (hi !!) has really impressed us at the workshop. Perfect starts and stops, step on, step off, 90° turns, he's got it down.
But, at least for us in France, the Segway market is minuscule and does not justify investing $19000+. Steadiloc rents one or two Handsfree.
One must give credit to Ulrich though. He's a world-class dude.
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