After finishing the reactor room event back on April 7th, our ignitor, Mike Sheiman, has been working with renewed vigor at an absolutely breakneck pace to bring his incredible “Thrill Chair” invention to market. In the weeks since, Mike has had multiple meetings with Dr. Billy Cohn, the Vice President at Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices, and the Executive Director of the J&J Center for Device Innovation.
Dr. Cohn was one of the most outspoken panel members to take a shine to Mike’s thrill chair, and right there at the event he offered to let Mike come down to CDI and help him refine his prototype with machined aluminum and other, more professionally manufactured parts. Mike was enthusiastic about the prospect, hoping to upgrade the thrill chair prototype from its original wooden plank design so that it would no longer look quite so makeshift. On April 21st, this meeting finally happened.
Once Mike arrived at CDI, Dr. Cohn reassured him that his prototype was excellent, but explained in great detail how it could be made better. The two of them went through each component one by one and in great detail to determine each part’s functionality before moving ahead with creating new, more sturdy and professional-looking pieces. Dr. Cohn asked many questions about Mike’s process and intentions for the thrill chair, and working together, they were able to design new components, including a brand new seat for the thrill chair, right there on site with 3D printing and laser cutting. And as for what little they couldn’t machine on site, they instead worked together to order off of amazon or from local bike shops. With a real, custom-designed seat sitting atop the thrill chair rather than a repurposed seat made from an old piece of cabinet, the prototype looks significantly more like something you might actually be able to purchase in a store.
After designing the new components for the prototype, Mike and Dr. Cohn sat down and had a long talk about Mike’s hopes and dreams for the future of the thrill chair. The two of them had a lengthy, in-depth discussion about markets, trends, and potential customers that they might try and target. Taking this into account, along with the strengths already present in the thrill chair, they hope to refine its functionality so that it can better be in line with the target demographic and hopefully sell better once the invention is brought to market.
Once the work on the thrill chair had concluded for the day, Dr. Cohn took Mike on a tour of the CDI building, showing him all of the new and interesting inventions that are being built at Johnson & Johnson. In particular, Dr. Cohn showed off the new prototype artificial hearts, which may someday replace the need for heart transplant surgeries. Mike was very interested in everything that was being worked on at CDI and had a ton of good things to say about the experience.
The collaboration between Mike and Dr. Cohn isn’t over yet, though. In fact, Dr. Cohn is so interested in seeing the success of the thrill chair, that he’s offered to meet with Mike every two weeks until the project is completed! We at Spectrum Fusion are incredibly excited to see Mike making such incredible strides towards the ultimate completion of his invention, and we’re so thankful to Dr. Cohn for taking such an enthusiastic interest in him and putting so much effort into helping him achieve his dreams. We’re all eagerly awaiting the day that we can buy thrill chairs of our own!