Things are moving along nicely! I just sent out 10 early version of the v2 Mirobot to some volunteer beta testers to make sure everything is working well - here's how they're looking:
I'm really happy with how all of the pieces fit in. I'm having some custom boxes made but these ones are DIY on the laser cutter. Although this 10 were hand made, I've also made good progress having the PCBs assembled in volume:
In case you're interested in seeing how Mirobot goes together in more detail, here's the instructions for the latest version that just went onlineRead more
It's been a little under a month since the Kickstarter ended so I thought I'd make a quick update on what I've been working on in that time.
I've sent off for the next version of the PCB. Not a lot has changed on it, except a move to a slightly different WiFi module. It's still ESP8266 based, but this time it's the ESP-12. The main reason for this is because this module has been certified for FCC, which means I'll have an easier time selling Mirobot. This is also a surface mount component, but since the boards are coming pre-assembled this isn't an issue.
You'll also see a Sparkfun credit for ...Read more
The Mirobot Learning Site
I've always made a big effort to make sure that the instructions for building Mirobot were clear and the "build" section of the site contains everything you need to be able to get Mirobot up and running. One thing I've always struggled with a little is where to put all of the other content like tutorials, lesson plans and challenges that make Mirobot more fun to use.
I just launched the Mirobot Learning Site which makes it a lot easier to create new content to help people use Mirobot in new and interesting ways.
You can filter by skill level and document type to find the content you're looking for. ...Read more
Kickstarter-based product development
Product development has changed a lot in the last few years. It used to be that bringing a product to market was a massive upfront process that was also quite high risk, but with crowd-funding platforms like Kickstarter springing up this has all changed.
Almost exactly a year ago I launched the pilot version of Mirobot on Kickstarter with the express goal of getting help developing the product so that it was easy for everyone to use, not just the tech-savvy. Over the last year I've managed to get nearly 1000 robots into the hands of willing beta testers which has meant that I've been able to col ...Read more