Category Archives: smartphones

A design journey from concept to functioning prototype: Industrial Design how to videos

A series of 8 Instructional maker videos that take the user on a journey from design concept to working prototype. The video series is intended for designers that need to learn more about the design process and the making of functional mockups. The series shows how to sketch concepts and turn them in to actual physical functional prototypes.
Each how to design video is filled with helpful tips and detailed information about the design and build process, with step by step information and detailed instruction about the building of the “Solar Vox” a solar charger.

Eric Strebel is an Industrial designer with 25+ years of experience. He graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn NY in 1990 and has been designing products for clients all around the globe, ranging from sunglasses for Bauch & Lomb, entry level luxury vehicles for Ford, wireless charging PowerMat for Homedics, to toys for Guidecraft. He specializes in tabletop and hand held products.


You can follow Botzen Design on Twitter and Google+ and Facebook, or sign up here for the occasional newsletter from Botzen Design. Subscribe to the YouTube and watch all the industrial design videos as well.


WILLOW – ECO Three Wheel Run-A-Bout

Electric powered ZERO emission Run-A-Bout



Feb 15, 2012

Willow: A three wheeled electric Run-A-Bout for Amsterdam is made from laminated wood creating a sturdy cost effective frame featuring a front hub-less wheel basket and recycled airless tires that highlights this unique design. Storage baskets in the front and rear are made of native European willow using local flexible manufacturing. This two-seater is a great little electric powered vehicle with independent rear suspension in the back that is designed for stable handling.  Willow: Uses local sustainable materials. Great care was given to use wood, metal and natural fibers. Virgin plastics are avoided at all cost, only the wheels are made from recycled rubber.  Vehicle management such as charging and navigation are handled via an app on your smartphone.

This Run-A-Bout is designed for use on smaller streets in tightly knit communities such as Amsterdam.  An alternative to the traditional bike, you can use this vehicle to zip around town to your destination quickly and easily,  parking is as easy as a regular bike!  The Willow is currently entered in the Shell game changer contest at Local-Motors. To vote for the Willow and see more, follow the link, register on the Local Motors website and vote for the Willow, keeping in mind that 5 is the highest!  Don’t forget to leave a comment about what you like about the Willow. Hurry, voting ends March 4th at 23:59 (GMT)

Willow is designed by Eric Strebel who runs an Industrial Design studio called Botzen Design in Detroit, MI.  He worked to design the Power Matt wireless charge pad for Homedics, sunglasses for Bauch & Lomb, vehicles for Ford Motors, monsters for Clive Barker and the Solar Vox Ultra personal charger. Currently he consults for various companies in the Detroit area and around the globe and teaches Industrial Design at Wayne State University.

Botzen Design, Inc., Detroit Michigan


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Solar Vox Ultra – Personal Solar Charger

Solar Vox Ultra: “Your Personal USB Solar Charger”

Come and see it at Maker Faire Detroit

“Your Solar Life Line” ™

Personal Solar Charger For Handheld Devices


July 26, 2011

The Solar Vox Ultra will be making it’s debut at the Maker Faire in Detroit Michigan, this weekend July 30th and 31st come and check it out! We will be in the Push Mill area!

This is a personal solar charger for handheld devices such as:  cell phones*, smart phones*, iPods, PSP’s and DS’s. and any device that use “AA” batteries

The Solar Vox Ultra is compact in design and has been optimally designed to recharge your USB supported handheld devices. It can recharge up to 4 standard rechargeable “AA” batteries found in stores through out the world and is USB enabled and compliant.

Designed and intended to be manufactured in Detroit, MI, the Solar Vox Ultra is a fantastic “green” product and is environmentally friendly. It is not a “Design for the Dump” product as many of today’s products are.  The solar panel has a life span of well over 10 years. The device uses user replaceable “AA” batteries and no proprietary connectors. The Solar Vox Ultra uses standard USB connectors, so you will not need any additional USB cables to charge your device, simply use the USB cable that came with your device.

The designer, Eric Strebel, runs a product design studio called Botzen Design in the Metro Detroit area.  He has worked to design the Power Matt wireless charge pad for Homedics, has designed sunglasses for Bauch & Lomb, vehicles for Ford Motors as well as designed monsters for Clive Barker. He was also recently the winner of the “Wildest” concept in the Local Motors Terra Prix contest. Currently he consults for various companies in the Detroit area and teaches Industrial Design at Wayne State University.

We listened to the feedback we got from the original Solar Vox, redesigned and came up with the Solar Vox Ultra. We drastically reduced the bulkiness of the original and increased the battery capacity.  At only 4cm thick the Solar Vox Ultra is a great product for global citizens in today’s world with demanding mobile power needs, environmentally conscious individuals, techies, outdoors-men and people who are interested in a functionally designed solar charger. Additional uses could include but are not limited to: “AA” battery back up, traveling, camping, fishing, hiking and backpacking.  Usage in emergency/disaster areas and developing countries with limited resources.  It would be an indispensable life line in time of need such as earthquakes, floods or power outages.

Weight: 9oz/255g without batteries

11 oz/ 311g with batteries

Size:      4 cm x 16 cm

We are currently seeking angel funding, preferable Michigan based.

Friend us on  Solar Vox Facebook  or  Like our Solar Vox Ultra our page
Like code for the Solar Vox Ultra face book: “Copy and paste into your pages HTML code”

<div id=”fb-root”></div><script src=”;xfbml=1″></script><fb:like href=”; send=”true” layout=”box_count” width=”450″ show_faces=”true” font=”arial”></fb:like>

Product images available at:

* may or may not work with iphone 3GS and some older motorola cell phones.

Botzen Design, Inc., Detroit Michigan


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Solar Vox – Personal Solar Charger

Go green this year!  We need your help to bring this invention to market!  This product is great for the environmentally conscious individuals and sportmen.  You can use it when you are camping, hiking and at outtings.  Even in situations when there is no electricity due to power outages!

This product can be packed anywhere.  Attached it to a backpack to capture the rays of the sun while walking, set it in the boat when you are fishing or mount it in your vehicle.  Out on a day trip with the kids and they run their batteries down in their handheld games….no problem, with the rechargeable batteries already charged in the unit you can swap out the rechargeables that are dead and the kids are happy again!

Solar Vox – 4 different angles

Check us out at Kickstarter:

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