Moving into Beta! (Trident Kickstarter Update #25)


#1

Original post : September 18, 2017

Hello everyone,

Quick Summary:

We’re now through the first part of our Design Validation Testing (DVT) process and have entered the next stage: building Trident using our entire assembly line. Over the next few weeks, we’ll produce 100 units which we plan to use as part of a beta program to validate the robustness of our assembly process and get feedback from new people out in the field. Production will ramp up from there, building off the feedback we get from this beta program. As always, we will continue to communicate regularly about what we’re learning.

The Longer Story:

As you may have read in our previous update, we found numerous issues with the initial iterations of our injection molded parts and we worked hard to iron those issues out. After the fourth (T4) iteration still came back with unacceptable flaws, we decided to move our injection molding tool to a different factory. The parts from the new factory now meet our stringent requirements, and although it cost us some time, we’re very happy we made the switch.

Using these new parts, we’ve been able to bring our manufacturing line online. We’ve also been continuously refining our MPI (Manufacturing Processing Instructions), which dictate the procedures and sequencing for each assembly step. Making sure this procedure is laid out correctly is critical to producing a quality product, so we’ve been working very closely with our manufacturer to develop and validate each step. We are now to the point where a vehicle can be built reliably without supervision or input from our engineering team, and we’ve been really happy with how well the manufacturing team has done following our process.

We want to make sure that the Tridents we ship are as well-built as possible, so not rushing the beta testing is important. We’re also very aware that many people have specific uses for Trident that are time sensitive and would like to get theirs as soon as possible. As always, if you have specific timeline needs please don’t hesitate to email support@openrov.com. If you are interested in taking part in the beta program, please let us know here.

Controlling Trident

In our last update, we mentioned that we would be testing a variety of different devices that can be used to control Trident. As we described before, most modern Android devices will work well, but we also wanted to make some specific recommendations for people who are considering getting a dedicated controller for Trident.

Tablets used for in-house testing

We’ll expand this list as we test more devices over time, but here are three tablets that we’ve tested and have been satisfied with so far:

Low-end: ASUS ZenPad 8
Mid-range: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0
High-end: Google Pixel C

Based on feedback we got from the last update, we’ve also continued to look into a type of controller that would have built-in joysticks, longer battery life, and would come preloaded with our OpenROV Cockpit software. Once this device is validated and we have an understanding of cost and lead time, we’ll post more details about it.

We’ve gotten requests from many of our backers asking to add accessories to their order, so as we get ready to ship the first units out we’ll send a survey that includes options to buy those things (longer tether, hard case, controller, etc.).

Open House and Beta Expeditions

Not all of the beta units will go to individuals. In an effort to expand the amount of feedback we get, we’re planning to organize and host a series of beta expeditions, so everyone has an early opportunity to come try Trident out in a meaningful way.

To start, we are hosting an open house at our headquarters in Berkeley on October 7th. This will be a great chance not only to fly Trident, but also to meet our team and others in the OpenROV community. We’re hoping to get lots of user feedback and learn more about what people plan to do with Trident. If you’d like to visit our open house, please RSVP here!

We’re really excited to be preparing to send Tridents out into the wild. It’s been a long time coming, but we’re glad we've been able to stay sure-footed as we've navigated the challenges that have popped up along the way.

Thank you for sticking with us.

Eric


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://blog.openrov.com/moving-into-beta-trident-kickstarter-update-25/

#2

Come on out to Michigan and we will put you on some wrecks. You can have anything from 50’ deep to 300’ deep.


#3

Sounds very interesting, but my location is too far away from Michagan! Looking firward to see some videos from the session


#4

WoW great, i am interested. but I am at china.


#5

When will the Trident begin shipping?


#6

Where in Michigan? Im in traverse city.


#7

SW Mich. Benton Harbor


#8

Ready to test the beta in cold water in Finland, e.g. Baltic Sea wrecks, quarries with underwater mines, etc


#9

come and take my money.


#10

Don’t understand that is it the case that the operational nerve centre ie the controller can not use apple phone?


#11

Reference is made to Erics kickstarter update #25 dated September 19th.

«Over the next few weeks, we’ll produce 100 units which we plan to use as part of a beta program to validate the robustness of our assembly process and get feedback from new people out in the field.»

Please confirm for how many weeks the Beta program will go on!
Please confirm how many of these 100 units have been produced and shipped to their new owners?

«Production will ramp up from there, building off the feedback we get from this beta program. As always, we will continue to communicate regularly about what we’re learning.»

In which week do you forsee next batch of Tridents will be produced and expected to be shipped. How many units in the next batch?

I read in the kickstarter update #25:

«To start, we are hosting an open house at our headquarters in Berkeley on October 7th. This will be a great chance not only to fly Trident, but also to meet our team and others in the OpenROV community. We’re hoping to get lots of user feedback and learn more about what people plan to do with Trident.»

Hoping soon to receive and more detailed summary of the event on October 7th

Kåre Tvedt & hundreds of other guys waiting for their Tridents.


#12

It would be nice to have some update about progress. More often a short update message is important to keep as waiting, particularly as other similar products are now available (Gladius for example ).


#13

I second that, a weekly update would be good, one sentence or two is enough.


#14

I strongly agree that we need more updates, some of us have been waiting a year now and would love more updates picures and video to keep up the excitement.


#15

Most of us are waiting much longer !


#16

Right, and the lack of meaningful updates is making it look/feel like we have thrown our money away. Had anyone actually seen a working Trident?


#17

Hi

Yes I saw them at the Open Day in Berkeley a couple of weekends ago and got to fly one.

Plus examine the new carry case, chat to the team about design decisions, future software platforms and see it all just work.

These were models off the new production line not prototypes. As an early backer I am reasonably confident that I will have one before the turn of the year - they are making it is it just work and that takes time, as anyone who has ever done hardware products will tell you, whilst showing you their scars :slight_smile:

The open day was very laid back and folk had plenty of time to chat and play. My SO got to fly it as well and was very enthused despite not having heard about it till we turned up :slight_smile: It will be worth the wait.

Cheers

f

#18

Relax, it ’ s going to be worth the wait.


#19

I am in Mount Clemens and should be receiving my beta unit by Thanksgiving. Are you still going out on your dive boat or are you in for the year?


#20

With the sub freezing temps predicted this week, I am planning to winterize the boat tomorrow. I do still have an inflatable with an outboard that we can take out. How long is the tether on the unit you ordered?