As you may have seen in our Jan 28th post, we recently got some prototype boards in for testing. They work very well, and we're ready for the next iteration. The main goal of this design was to build an incredibly compact board, while retaining all the functionality of the larger initial prototype. This new design should be substantially similar to our production electronics, and we are hopeful this will be the last prototype revision.
This board packs a lot of capability into about 2 square inches, including gyroscope, dual IR detector/emitters, visible light sensor, and a fun new feature we hope will give Dash a lot more personality (but that's for another blog post...). To see how the design compares to the January prototype, we've made a to-scale image of the new board and old:
The top shows the copper layout of Engineering Prototype 1 (or EP1), which you also may have seen here. The bottom shows the copper layout of EP2, our new board. EP2 is a 4 layer board, meaning we can fit traces (wires) in between the layers of fiberglass the board is made of, ultimately giving a more compact design. Of course, this is also more difficult, but we think it's worth it.
Last time it took us about two weeks to get from the layout you see above for EP1 and a working board. Some of that is due to manufacturing and shipping time (the board has to be milled by a manufacturer and then shipped to us), and some of that is just assembling and troubleshooting the board itself. Once we have the new boards in hand, we'll let you know! After we've tested them, a next major step is FCC certification, and then large scale manufacturing. Thanks for reading!