Hoverboards – A Rapidly Proliferating “Memeufacturing” Phenomenon

Hoverboard pic
Image: boingboing.net

An accomplished Phoenix, Arizona, entrepreneur, focused on solar power, Charles Kirkland is the CEO of Clean Energy Systems, LLC. Charles Kirkland also has a longstanding interest in consumer technology, especially innovative products such as hoverboards, or “self-balancing, motorized, two-wheeled scooters.”

Unlike traditional consumer electronics products, ranging from the iPhone to the Segway, hoverboards are not associated with one distinct company. Rather, they seem to have originated with a U.S.-based Chinese engineer who funded a self-balancing board project through Kickstarter. The promotional video for this product, which relied on a complex system of gyroscopes and accelerometers, was likely seen by engineers in Shenzhen, China. They then worked out a far less expensive design that had motor linkages at its technological foundation.

Like e-cigs, the suddenly ubiquitous hoverboards have proliferated in a social media-driven “memeufacturing” process, without one central patentholder’s licensed (or unlicensed) design in play. At present, approximately 1,000 factories in southern China are producing hoverboards. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes and are constantly mutating in ways that make them more efficient to use and manufacture.


President Elect – A Board Game Approach to Learning U.S. History

Since 2009, Charles Kirkland has directed business operations at Clean Energy Systems, LLC, a national provider of solar and hydrogen energy solutions based in Phoenix, Arizona. In his leisure time, Charles Kirkland advocates for improved education and is the inventor of a board game titled President Elect, now used by a wide range of schools throughout Arizona.

Modeled after the concept of Monopoly, President Elect presents an interactive, family-friendly board game challenge that leverages events from U.S. history and rules of government operation to educate players. Advancement across the board requires political decision-making and strategy to navigate state issues and avoid such national and presidential scandals as Teapot Dome and Watergate. Through a non-partisan lens, the game allows participants ages 8 and older to compete for Electoral College points with the ultimate goal of securing the presidency.

For more information on President Elect, including how to order a game set, please visit http://www.president-elect.com.

Arx Pax Hoverboard Technology Will Help NASA Control Satellites

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Charles Kirkland has served as executive management of the sustainable energy firm Clean Energy Systems, LLC, for the last six years. Outside of his professional responsibilities in Phoenix, Arizona, Charles Kirkland supports a number of emerging technologies, such as hoverboards.

In early September, innovative development company Arx Pax announced that it will partner with NASA to introduce its Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA) technology into the space program. Known for its Hendo hoverboard, the company has developed an MFA hover engine that creates a magnetic field. When in close proximity to a highly conductive surface such as aluminum or copper, the engine repels against the metal. NASA will use this hoverboard technology to move small satellites over distances of several centimeters without needing to physically manipulate them. The satellites, known as cubesats, are only four inches across and typically undergo lightweight missions. MFA technology will help these satellites dock together without crashing.

Within the next few years, Arx Pax and NASA will create a small prototype for use in the satellite program. In addition, NASA will use MFA technology to create microgravity environments on the surface of the earth, eliminating the need for costly testing in space.

President Elect – Board Game Developed by Charles Kirkland

Charles Kirkland of Phoenix, Arizona, is the manager and director of Clean Energy Systems. He leads the company with a focus on providing safe, reliable electrical power without risk to the environment. In his free time, Charles Kirkland lends his creative talents to a variety of outside projects, such as the development of the board game President Elect.

President Elect provides an opportunity for casual board game players and enthusiasts to learn about the election process while playing the part of a presidential candidate. Using a game board and play style reminiscent of Monopoly, the game engages players in a political battle using poker-inspired strategies and in-game events based on real political events. Game play requires no working knowledge or understanding of politics, making it appropriate for families and individuals of all ages. Additionally, its inclusion of real political concepts such as scandals, issues, and regional concerns helps participants learn as they play.

Mr. Kirkland originally developed the game’s concept in 1991, drawing on a life-long love of politics, history, and board games. He created the game with the intention of contributing to the education of its players. Appropriate for ages 8 and over, President Elect is available for purchase on Amazon and at select stores throughout the Phoenix, Arizona, area.

For additional information, visit the game’s website at president-elect.com.

The Sojourner Center Launches Program on Domestic Violence and TBI

A resident of Phoenix, Arizona, and the inventor of the board game President-Elect, Charles Kirkland also pursues his interest in solar energy as the CEO of Clean Energy Systems, LLC. Charles Kirkland further contributes to his community and the public by supporting a number of organizations, including the Sojourner Center, a Phoenix, Arizona-based organization that helps people impacted by domestic violence.

In a recent press release, the Sojourner Center announced plans to launch the Sojourner Brain Recovery and Inter-professional Neuroscience (BRAIN) Program to generate research on traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurrence, effects, and treatment across a domestic violence demographic. The program will be supported by numerous collaborating intuitions, including The CACTIS Foundation and Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Although TBI in women and children who experience domestic abuse is a largely unaddressed public health problem, the Sojourner Center cites a survey that found approximately 92 percent of women in a domestic violence shelter had sustained blows to the head and almost 80 percent of the women had taken blows to the head more than 20 times in the past year.

The Sojourner BRAIN Program will work to address this issue by facilitating TBI reporting, developing evidence-based best practices, and treating TBI patients. By implementing a TBI screening process for the shelter’s incoming residents, the Sojourner Center will be the first domestic violence center to methodically screen its residents for TBI using domestic violence-specific means.

The Sojourner Center’s Impact on Domestic Violence

Phoenix, Arizona, resident, Charles Kirkland developed the game President Elect, an engaging game of strategy and politics that has been used in Arizona and Nebraska schools. Also committed to serving his community, Charles Kirkland contributes to Saint Vincent DePaul and the Sojourner Center. He has assisted in providing low income and or affordable housing for abused women and their children.

Established in 1977, the Sojourner Center provides 24-hour support to domestic violence victims. The organization offers shelter, case management, child care, and a crisis line. The Sojourner Center has seen the following achievements since its inception.

1. As of 2014, the Sojourner Center has served 181,260 meals.

2. The group aided 1,015 citizens and families through its crisis hotline, which is available around the clock.

3. In 2003, the center opened a clinic that has provided care for 10,000 individuals.

4. Community advocates volunteered 14,801 hours to its cause since last year.

5. The Sojourner Center grew from a 28-bed home to 280 beds and 32 transitional apartments across three campuses.