Project Description

Innovative Case Design

Diamond Edge Technology

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Innovative Partnership Shapes Surveillance Tech

Diamond Edge Technology, based in Oregon, has for more than two decades been designing a variety of electronic products and software. It turned to Rose-Hulman Ventures for support in bringing to market a new surveillance camera product, the Ronin Camera System.

The camera’s technology is built into a camouflaged outdoor case and can run on battery, solar energy or wall power. “This is both a security camera and a trail camera that has two unique features,” says Rebecca Taylor, owner and senior engineer. First, the Ronin Camera System syncs up both a FLIR thermal imaging camera and a regular high-resolution video camera. And second, it has a long-range radio link that connects the camera with a base station that can be as far away as nine miles.

“This eliminates the need for a cellular link, so the camera will work anywhere, and you don’t need a paid subscription for getting pictures and video on your phone,” Taylor says. “We really wanted both of these features in one solar-powered camera.”

Putting it all together was anything but simple for the family-centered product team—Rebecca Taylor, son Ryan and daughter Ashley. Having designed a thermal imaging camera system for vehicle traffic counting and also gained experience with radio-based communications, they had some background, Rebecca Taylor says. But significant challenges included making it all work on batteries and solar power, integrating traditional video with thermal imaging, and developing a base station that can coordinate the activity of multiple cameras and allow users to communicate with the distant cameras through computers or mobile devices.

“We went through four main prototype designs,” she continues. “All of our initial designs included using enclosures that were printed on 3D printers. But we don’t have a lot of experience in designing plastic cases, so those designs were not suitable for a production version of the case. That’s where Rose-Hulman Ventures comes into it.”

The company tried developing its own case, then tapped into some low-cost design work from other sources, “but none of that really was satisfactory,” Taylor says. “All of the other work we have done over the last 24 years used either off-the-shelf plastic cases or metal forged cases, so this is our first real experience doing a custom plastic molded case design.”

Coming up with a workable plastic case design was anything but simple, she notes. That’s because the case needed to house several high-tech electronic components, including a radio transceiver along with GPS and WiFi technology, “all of which had to have some very low noise conditions to properly function.” Throw in a high-power infrared night light and power supply switching technology, and the project turned into a complicated collaboration between electrical and mechanical engineering.

“One thing we really liked about Rose-Hulman Ventures was the incredible responsiveness to design changes and potential issues” Taylor says. “I was continually surprised by just how quickly things evolved in the design, and the outstanding knowledge of Rose-Hulman Ventures. I also think their communication with me during the project was terrific, especially as I’m hearing-impaired and that can be difficult. The back and forth on the document editing really worked well from my perspective.”

Taylor, an electrical engineer, has found that interactions between engineering disciplines aren’t always smooth. For example, in a situation such as this, mechanical engineers must understand and appreciate the electrical engineering requirements for specific components, as well as their placement relative to one another within the device. That required some complex, collaborative conversations throughout the four-month case design process, “but in the end,” she says, “we got it worked out very well.”

Project Details


Case for Surveillance Trail Camera




Consumer, Mechanical, Research

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