We've been hard at work at Dash Robotics, getting Beta units of Kamigami ready for Christmas and January. This update will cover notes about Christmas shipping, manufacturing, and software progress, plus some results from the survey that many of you answered, which was very helpful.
Christmas shipping, manufacturing, and the app:
We're still on track to ship a small number of units for Christmas! We traveled to Arizona last week to meet with our contract manufacturer and get the line production sorted out. We served as our own "Santa's elves," building the first 40 gearboxes by hand and figuring out all the potential mistakes that could be made in assembly (and how to avoid them). If you backed us at the $69 level, expect your robot to arrive before Christmas. We then will be shipping out the $59 pledge level in January, and most of the remaining units in March. This allows us to slowly ramp up and test our manufacturing, in addition to our software.
The units shipping in December ARE beta units, which means a few things. They're the first units we're shipping out, so while we don't expect any issues with the packaging or the robots themselves, PLEASE please tell us if you run into any problems. We will fix the problem or replace the robot for you, your feedback is the most valuable thing here. You are helping ensure that all the other Kickstarter backers have a great experience, in exchange for being the first people to own a Kamigami.
Another note is on the software. We haven't been approved by the App Store just yet, so the app distribution will be done through a service owned by Apple known as TestFlight. This service allows us to distribute to you, our beta testers, before going through the full App Store approval process. More details on this will follow to the Christmas backers specifically.
The app will have basic functionality that allows you to connect to the robot, run the robot with a joystick, and play some early basic games like Freeze Tag. Updates like being able to program your Kamigami will be coming, so just sit tight!
We want to understand who our backers are, and why you like Kamigami, so we can build the best robots possible. To that end, we asked all 697 of you if you would be willing to take our Backer Survey. An incredible 35% of you did! A good response rate is around 10% so this was really exciting for us. Since you went to the time of filling this out, we thought it'd be nice if you could see the results.
Here they are: http://bit.ly/1NEI2g8
75% of you are male (vs. 70% of the Kickstarter audience as a whole)
60% of you purchased Kamigami as a gift
The most popular reason for buying as a gift was because the gift recipient will "love running it around!" The most popular reason or buying Kamigami for yourself was to program it.
The most popular reason for buying more than one Kamigami were that you had multiple gifts to give out, and you wanted them to play or battle.
A lot of you backed us because you saw us at MakerFaire in SF or NYC. That's awesome!
Thanks again for all your support. We'll be sending out updates every week or two so you know where everything stands. We couldn't do this without you.
The Kamigami Robots Team