This is a big update with lots of bits and pieces. Here is a short summary:
The funds from the campaign have now officially arrived! With these funds we have been able to purchase the hard-to-get components from reliable sources in preparation to go to the manufacturer.
We have already ordered and received the vital SAMD51 chip for the Robo HAT MM1. We are going to collect them on Monday. For this particular part, there are no more available until December, so we are very pleased we managed to get our hands on some.
On Tuesday we will be visiting will be visiting the factory in northern Shenzhen to ensure that they are ready to manufacture the boards. They will also be prepping for the rest of the parts to be delivered soon, so we can start manufacturing within the next two weeks.
The expected delivery date is now September 20 (exactly 100 days since the campaign finished).
One of the key struggles we have been experiencing is around the 5V power supply circuit on the Robo HAT MM1. We have always wanted the Robo HAT to be able to be used with both the Raspberry Pi and Jetson Nano, however, providing only the 2.5A output just didn’t cut it.
We have spent the last two weeks fixing that. The Robo HAT MM1 can now officially supply a total current of 5A (main) and 2A (aux) to any companion board.
This is achieved through using a better 5V regulator for the main battery which is able to provide 5V @ 5A constant current. The second auxiliary 5V power regulator (for the small LiPo Battery) has also been changed so that it is able to maintain a constant current of 5V @ 2A. The Robo HAT MM1 is now a lot more powerful compared to other Raspberry Pi HATs on the market.
The new upgraded current capacity makes the Robo HAT MM1 a more Raspberry Pi 4 friendly HAT - as the Pi 4 draws much more current than it’s older relatives. The Jetson Nano requires 4A constant current - which the Robo HAT can now support.
This change did cost us a bit of time to implement, however, we now know that the Robo HAT MM1 has the best current supply out of all other HATs on the market for either the Raspberry Pi or Jetson Nano.
Since the start of the Crowd Supply campaign, we have made a number of different upgrades from what was originally promised to now. Here is a short summary of the key feature changes.
Over the last two months we have hosted two DIY Robo Car events for SeeedStudio in China. These events are similar to the ones hosted in other places like the United States. The events had a large attendance and we are going to continue to host them and help make the DIY Robo Cars movement bigger in China.
Although we won’t be attending this event, we think that the Donkey Car Community is awesome. That’s why we encourage you to check out their huge event taking place in Oakland on September 21. They have lots of activities and races planned. Sign up using the MeetUp link below.
The team that runs these events are great and always interested in meeting new autonomous car enthusiasts.
If you are interested in getting more involved, join the Donkey Car Slack channel and look out for upcoming events.
We are working with engineering and computer science students from The University of Sydney in Australia as part of their final year project on autonomous drones. Students are going to be working with us on developing solutions to some of the harder drone problems around collision avoidance in the sky.
Students will be working with us for the next 10 weeks until the end of semester. We are excited to be given the opportunity by such a large university to be working with their students. We will be showing off some of the student’s solutions later in the year.
We have also set up social media accounts where we post updates. Feel free to follow us below.
Thank you everyone for your patience and support. We look forward to delivering all the boards very soon.