Tag Archives: product line

Harley-Davidson’ New Ebike Arrives

Have you tried riding an electric bicycle yet? If you have, you are part of a growing segment of bike riders who are enjoying the speed and fun of e-bikes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers turned away from indoor gyms and moved in droves to outdoor recreation. Sales of e-bikes hit a record high in the U.S., with many new companies entering and competing for market share.

A recent study by Transparency Market Research estimated the global market valuation  of e-bikes is expected to reach $95 billion by 2030. Consumers value e-bikes for their clean and energy-efficient transportation. Plus, e-bikes make commuting more fun, and far less sweaty than riding a traditional bicycle.

One of the latest entries into the e-bike market is from Harley-Davidson. Yes, you read this correctly – the famous HOG is powering a slower moving bike than its traditional motorcycles, but is bringing its reputation and engineering to the e-bike party. Serial 1 Cycles, powered by Harley-Davidson is a homage to its oldest-known motorcycle.

The product line consists of four models and ranges in price from $3,799 to $5,599. The maximum assist speed starts at 20 mph and increases to 28 mph for the top model. The special edition S1 MOSH/TRIBUTE is limited to 650 units worldwide. It features a removable battery integrated into the frame and has a mileage range up to 105 miles.

Let’s ride!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of competitive analysis. (Relate this to SWOT analysis research.)
  2. Review the rise of the e-bike market. Why is this a growing industry? What are the risks?
  3. Show Harley-Davidson Serial 1 website: https://www.serial1.com/
  4. Show video of Harley-Davidson’s new e-bike: https://youtu.be/GzP-fwPJNxs
  5. Discuss competition: Who are the direct competitors for this product? Indirect competitors?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team compare Harley-Davidson’s e-bike with a competitive product. What are the points of difference (what makes this product different from competition)?
  7. Have teams describe the target market for the Harley-Davidson e-bike.
  8. Does Harley-Davidson’s target market differ from other e-bike companies?

Source:  Forbes; The Verge; other news sources

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That Robot Can Dance!

We love robots. They are endlessly fascinating to us as we contemplate the technological advances that make robots useful to humans. They can carry gear, map territories, and enter spaces unsafe to humans. But of all their uses, we particularly like how robots can bust a move and dance (remember Spot the robot dancing to Uptown Funk?)!

Thanks to its incredibly animated robots and technology, Boston Dynamics may be the world’s most well-known robotics company. Boston Dynamics was originally an offshoot of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is now owned by Hyundai Motor Group. Its robots include Atlas, Spot, Big Dog, and Handle.

Programming the robots to dance was a daunting task, requiring hundreds of hours of work. The programming had to let robots balance, bounce, and (seemingly) even carry a rhythm. Atlas the robot uses a vast array of sensors, actuators, and a gyroscope to help it balance. It also contains three quad-core onboard computers. The result is an imaginative display of robotic versatility and possibility.

Dancing to the 1962 hit song “Do you love me?” by The Contours, Atlas and friends seem determined to get humans to love them indeed.

But can they salsa?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. First, show the video of Atlas and Spot dancing: https://youtu.be/fn3KWM1kuAw
  2. Bring up Boston Dynamics’s Web site: http://www.bostondynamics.com
  3. Bring up Boston Dynamics YouTube page with videos and show robots in action: https://www.youtube.com/user/BostonDynamics
  4. Dancing Spot can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/kHBcVlqpvZ8
  5. Discuss the concepts of products, product line, and product mix.
  6. What are commercial and business applications for each robot?
  7. What companies might buy robots (beyond the military)?
  8. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a business-to-business marketing campaign for robots.

Source:  Associated Press; Boston Dynamics

 

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Spot, the Robotic Dog, Now Prowls the Floor at Ford

Spot, the robotic dog from Boston Dynamics, is now prowling manufacturing plants for Ford Motor Co. Ford calls the dog “Fluffy” and it doesn’t act as barking security guard, but rather is helping to map and update engineering plans at several manufacturing facilities. Fluffy wanders the 2-million-squar-foot transmission plan floor with its digital engineering handler, using laser scanning and imaging to produce detailed and accurate maps that Ford engineers can use to revamp the facility.

You may have heard of Spot previously as one of Boston Dynamics intriguing robotic lines. Boston Dynamics now sells Spot for $74,500 (for commercial purposes only). Since September, Boston Dynamics has sold or leased more than 250 Spot robots. Spot is typically used in construction or the electric utility industry, but was also recently used at a hospital’s emergency department to help assess patients with Covid-19.

Spot weighs 70 pounds and is equipped with five cameras that give it 360-degree vision to avoid obstacles and travels at 3 mph for several hours, constantly gathering data (without needing dog treats or a place to pee). The nimble robot is able to navigate tight spaces that the average-sized person can’t reach. It can climb stairs, cross metal grates, and keep its balance on slippery surfaces.

At Ford, Fluffy scans the plant in half of the time as needed by humans, and significantly reduces costs while maintaining accuracy.

But can it fetch the newspaper?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the concepts of products, product line, and product mix.
  2. Bring up Boston Dynamics’s Web site: http://www.bostondynamics.com
  3. More videos can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7vVhkEfw4nOGp8TyDk7RcQ.
  4. Show a video of Fluffy at Ford: https://www.wsj.com/video/the-robot-revolution-is-happeninglike-it-or-not/33C97F82-2E8B-4371-B635-C3DE3E375671.html
  5. Have students develop a marketing campaign to sell Spot to businesses.
  6. Finally, make sure to watch Spot dancing to Uptown Funk! https://youtu.be/kHBcVlqpvZ8

Source:  Boston Dynamics; Engadget; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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