We know it’s been a while since our last update, but we’ve been busy and have tons of news to share with you! We’ve been building up the office facility, adding new team members, and finalizing the battery and remote configurations.
We’ve broken down walls, converted from carpet to tile flooring, installed a roll-up door, and rewired the electricity to 3 phase power to create our manufacturing and assembly rooms. Along with our friends at Double Robotics, we’re building up a prototyping shop with a mill, lathe, drill press, 3D printer, and other equipment.
Looking a bit bare now, but this assembly room will get busy in the next few months.
New Mechanical and Electrical Engineers
To help us as we prepare for production, Mark and Jean-François have joined our team.
Mark interned with us last summer as we prepared for our Kickstarter campaign, and he built most of the parts on our prototypes. He just graduated with his ME degree from Stanford and will be in charge of mechanical design and manufacturing.
Jean-François drove cross country from Québec to California last week to join us. He’ll be working closely with John on the power electronics and software in the remote and motor controller.
We’ve looked into various battery chemistries and pack designs. We’re currently planning on using a lithium iron phosphate cell, since it has better safety and cycle life than the LiPo packs we used earlier on our prototypes. We’re working with a fantastic supplier who’s building a custom pack that’s both high performance and high quality.
We’ve cleaned up the design of our handheld remote, and now we’re testing functionality. There are indicator LEDs to display information such as the remaining battery life on the board and remote. We’re testing various spring tensions and dampening levels for the scrolling wheel to get the right feel for the throttle and brake. We’re also testing various diameters of this wheel to work with varying hand sizes and gloves. Once we finish with the prototyping, we’ll be injection molding the plastic components.
We also added a killswitch on the bottom of the remote for safety. If you drop the remote, it will cut power to the motors and prevent your board from running away.
We’re just a few months away from our Kickstarter delivery dates. We’ve been making great progress, and with our new tools and team members, we’re now moving even faster. Thanks for all the support and continued encouragement!