- SPECIAL REPORTS
- THE MAGAZINE
The design of the GR-3 was one of the “Best 15” winners of the Good Design Award contest in Japan. This recognition of the GR-3 follows the product being declared a winner of the prestigious European International Forum (IF) product design award earlier this year. Other Top 15 items in the Good Design Award contest included a Honda corporate jet and a Nintendo Wii game entertainment console.
Also recognized were Topcon's FC-200 field controller and the GPT-9000 total station series, both winning Good Design awards.
The awards presentation, which began in 1957, is organized by the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry. There were 2,945 entries in the 2007 contest. A Topcon product has been named a contest winner in each of the last 24 years.
Judge comments included:
-- "The GR-3 is a compact and easy-to-use receiver... the user interface is meticulously designed (making it) beautiful and attractive."
-- "The . . . FC-200 . . . in gripping and feeling, (as well as being) dust- and water-proof was well-appreciated. There is a consistency in its shape, color and use of material, (proving) the high degree of Topcon’s design management."
-- "The GPT-9000A added a new twist in the interface (and it) became easier to use while (having) advanced specifications."
Design work began on the GR-3 in 2003. A multi-phase project ensued that went from blue-sky concept development all the way to production. Whipsaw Inc., an industrial design and consulting firm in San Jose, California was contracted to assist with the final housing design and structure. Packed with design innovation, the GR-3’s unique shape and component architecture offer many advantages, including:
-- Complete ergonomics and usability factors: it is easy to hold because the battery packs are positioned to also be a handle, and it has a "quick-snap" pole mount, reducing the likelihood of damage while affixing it to or removing it from the 2 meter pole. The top is square, so it cannot roll if leaned against a wall.
-- Ruggedness - the main housing is an I-beam shaped magnesium part, engineered to withstand a fall from the top of a 2-meter range pole.
-- Weatherproof - the antenna is housed under a plastic and rubber dome that overlaps the base and battery handle, thus providing a protective umbrella effect in the rain. All switches and connectors are also protected under this overhang.
-- Dual, external battery packs - are not only convenient and hot swappable, but they also cover the SIM and SD Media Card slots, shielding them from the elements.
Website www.g-mark.org/english/archive/2007/award-best15.html to view the top winning designs. About Topcon Positioning Systems: Topcon Positioning Systems, a developer and manufacturer of positioning equipment, offers the world’s leading selection of innovating precision GPS, GIS, laser, agriculture, optical surveying, and machine control products, software, and applications. Topcon Corporation is traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (7732).