In the beginning, we would like to share a new video of the TankCopter, and kindly ask you to help us out a little bit. We would be extremely glad if you could share the website (https://xerall.com) or the video with your friends or family. This would definitely help us to get more exposure and get more interest in the project. For the “early bird” backers, we will have the special offer 33% discount (for the whole set: Drone, VR, TX,)
Regarding the shipment status, we are still at the progress of preparing the campaign, building a mailing list. Probably we will launch the campaign around October and begin the shipment straight after.
Before the campaign launch, we will refund your orders and ask you to join us and re-purchase the model via Kickstarter. This will help us to build “campaign momentum” and you will be the first to know about “early bird” offer. We will make sure it is the most valuable pledge.
Below are the videos from first field testing. Please have in mind it was filmed with smartphones so the quality is poor, this week we will work with a cinematic camera, therefore you will soon see the full review of the drone in nicer quality.
The second video is the endurance test (maybe boring) but it only shows the flight endurance of the model.
We have done over 50 runs with the model, so far it looks very good. It has a good climbing rate, is very stable in the flight, the altitude hold mode works well (very handy for the beginners), it has good endurance. The drone is able to drive on most of the surfaces, even short grass. It is really fast, climbs well over obstacles. The hinges in the arms, function as expected: arms simply rotate once they collide with an obstacle (instead of breaking).
The camera has no “jelly effect”, its field of view is precisely positioned, so the top corners represent the place of the tip of the arms, which is handy to judge if the drone will make through the opening etc. Also, the camera hood works great and prevents against flares and mechanical damage. The packaging is solid, we used polystyrene inserts ( instead of the plastic or paper), so we are sure the model will arrive at your doorstep safe and sound 🙂
We finished the drone’s instruction manual: download We got all necessary certification, so we are ready to press the mass production button. But here is a little problem on the way: Despite the long negotiation with the factory. They will not start the production below the order of 4000 units (MOQ). As they have to open the assembly line: train staff, equip the line with necessary tools, order components in high quantity etc. At the moment we need to sale an additional 1900 units to complete the order. As we missing funds to complete order ourselves, due to the fact we just got billed for the international patent also tooling costed more than we initially calculated.
In order to accelerate the process, this week we started looking for the distributors, retailers, that could help us complete the order. We will also run a quick Crowdfunding campaign.
As you noticed the drone got significantly cheaper 149 USD instead of 199USD, that comes from the fact we got final price confirmation from the factory. So surely we will refund the difference to you. But we also wonder if we should make the full refund and ask you to help us during the Crowdfunding campaign ( it would help us to create momentum, consequently better campaign visibility). Please allow us few days to investigate
We are very grateful for your support and patience, but we understand some of you cannot wait any longer, therefore please have in mind you can request the full refund at any time by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are happy to share a good news with you. Production samples are on the way to us. Below are few pictures of the packaging.
It will take about 5 days to get the models. Once they are received, we will inspect them, in order to finally confirm performance, quality. We will update you with the video material from the tests.
We have also finished development of the Xerall App, available for both; Android and IOS devices. Below are download links.
At the moment we only managed to get few samples, as we have not yet confirmed the MOQ (The Minimum Order Quantity). Therefore the samples have to be hand painted and assembled manually (not in production line yet). So once we accept the samples quality, confirm the MOQ, the lead time for the factory at this time of the year (busy) is 2 months. Next week we will negotiate the contract, final price, we will also try to kindly ask the factory to produce the current order (which is far away from meeting the MOQ) straight away.
We are very grateful for your support and patience, but we understand some of you cannot wait any longer, therefore please have in mind you can request the full refund at any time.
I am happy to say, that we are moving really fast in the recent weeks 🙂
We got out of the way:
1. The final colour scheme for the TankCopter.
The drone will look like this :
2. The packaging inserts.
Those will be made out of polystyrene instead of plastic. Reasons behind our choice : – Plastic inserts don’t look very aesthetic, as they tend to deform, bend. – Polystyrene inserts provide better protection for the drone.
3. Tested the idea that prevents arms damage (the snap-lock mechanism + arm on the hinge).
– The most important one; it smaller, lighter, therefore uses less plastic, which lowers impact on the environment. Also, because the size and weight, the shipping cost and carbon footprint are also reduced.
– Those buttons under the index fingers are really convenient. In had it feels similar to Sony PlayStation joystick.
Things ahead of us :
1. Packaging Graphics. 2. Instruction Manual ( for the drone and the radio transmitter). 3. Short Kickstarter campaign in order to get to at least lowest MOQ ( Minimum Order Quantity).
Please, do worry about the time involved in the campaign, your model will be shipped as soon as it is ready ( before the campaign finishes).
Below pictures of the first injection moulded model. Due to the fact the injection moulded plastic is lighter, stiffer from the one we used in 3D printing, the final model performance is significantly improved. Stiffer propellers produce more thrust. The reduced weight of all plastic components additionally increases the thrust to weight ratio.
Ahead of us is choosing the final paint style for the TankCopter and packaging design. Factory ensured us, they will be ready us ship a small batch of final product around the end of May.
This is only a short update, hopefully, the last one before the shipment.
Last week we received the first batch of injected moulded parts. Those took the most time in tooling process, therefore we are happy to see them.
Factory ensured us, that everything is going smoothly and according to their time plan, now they are working on the inserts, packaging, instruction manual and certification (CE, FCC, RoHS).
Below are few photos of the moulded parts ( those are just samples for dimension verification etc, the final one will be painted according to the design).
As you probably noticed already, we have chosen the UDIRC to be our manufacturer. They one of the best manufacturers in RC toy segment, their models have really good aesthetics and performance, so we hope to see the same in TankCopter.
Thank you for your patience, hold on, the TankCopter is just around the corner.
In the beginning, I would like to apologise for a long time since the last update.
I would like to kindly announce that we have started the production phase on 10.01.2018. It was the day we have finally confirmed the drawing together with the factory and began the tooling phase, it took a bit longer than I have initially thought.
The tooling takes 8-12 weeks, as we will use harden steel ( not rapid tooling). Then we will have 1-2 weeks for the final testing and corrections.
In the meanwhile, I work on the packaging design, instruction manual etc.
I have spoken to the factory, three days ago, and I was told the tooling is halfway down and we can expect a ready model at the end of March. Currently, they celebrate the New Year, therefore the factory is closed until 26th February.
Before that, I have decided to apply two last changes to the drawing, that I think will make the product better. First is the back arm design, ( now is a bit lighter and slimmer, lighter and more flexible -harder to damage). The second one, quite important is how arm attaches to the drone’s body. Below are the details:
I know you have been waiting for so long for the model ( me too), and all you are amazing backers! That means a lot to me, thanks to you the project continues, and it is already in the last stage. I would like to give something in return for your patience. I will just wait for the factory to confirm the final pricing and I will update you what it will be.
Please remember you have right to get full refund at any time.
I would also like to share the good news, as you may notice, there quite a few designs of human-carrying drones, like Ehang https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8shiw6zY_A.
I was asked to draw a draft of future Flying Car, that can be presented to potential investors. I took few days off and drafted the full-size idea; I hope you like it.
I hope this idea one day will be reality, fingers crossed.
BTW Please join Xerall’s Facebook page at : https://www.facebook.com/xerall/
Firstly, my apologies for a long time since the last update.
The reason was simple when there is money involved there is a problem ?. We spend over 4 weeks just negotiating the tooling agreement with the factory, the whole process took much longer than initially estimated. We had to make corrections then send the document to the lawyers for review and back to the factory, (5 times) before we found common ground.
Ahead of us is the manufacturing contract, but that has only one paragraph that worries us, the 4000 MOQ, from which we are far away ☹ in terms of pre-orders. But there is also the positive information; the factory will fulfil the current order at slightly higher price, so there is no reason to worry about yours pre-orders.
As you can see in the graphic above, there is a quite a lot of components to produce, in order to make this relatively simple idea alive. We went through them all very carefully, as we have limited funds, therefore, we need to get tooling right at the first time.
We finally received the Production TimeLine Plan from the manufacturer which looks as follow:
1. Tooling – 35 days (We will start the tooling from next Monday) 2. Engineering phase – 16 days 3. FEP(Final Engineering Pilot ) – 12 days 4. PP(Pre-production) 14 days – that is the moment when we will start shipping your orders 5. PS(Production start)
Seeing that time-consuming process ( agreement negotiations). We decided to have a look at recently released 8.5x23mm motors, we took them on the test bench to see if there are any better from the currently used (8.5x20mm). The result was as expected, the thrust was slightly increased so we decided to implement them (small change in CAD). It is a little upgrade but always a score.
As the project takes more time to complete than initially estimated, we fully understand that some of you cannot wait any longer. Please have in mind that you can withdraw your order and receive full refund at any requested time, in that matter please contact us at email@example.com
We are pleased to inform you about a new feature, that has been applied to the X-TankCopter. Now, it is possible to remove all the arms ( together with tracks, motors, wheels ) and convert the hybrid into very agile long endurance quadcopter. By removing the arms, model becomes much lighter ( there are no extra components left from the driving gear), has less aerodynamic drag, consequently the endurance and the thrust to weight ratio increase significantly. The flight time is about 11-12 min. That is an amazing score for the quadcopter that fits in the palm of the hand, weighs less than 100 g and has HD live video camera on the board.
This upgrade carried out the need the need for setting up 2 different PID settings. Those are now easily accessed via remote control. All it takes to convert the hybrid to quadcopter is removing arms and pressing PID button on the remote control.
We had to increased air ventilation for electronic boards ( due to higher currents and temperature produced) . Therefore the vent holes on the main body. Which also add to the overall style ( hopefully you like it). Small changes were also applied to the arms design.
The bottom wheels are bit wider now and equipped with teeth, those will get a bit more traction. We also increased the flange size in order to prevent the belt from disengaging.
At the moment we are in the progress of finalizing the formalities with the manufacturer. We hope to sign the Tooling Agreement within next week and begin of tool making, in the meanwhile we are working on the last improvements of the model.
As we are approaching the production stage, we are slowly starting to look for distributors around the world. If you or your colleagues in the network are interested to be one the first distributors. Please sing up at: https://xerall.com/resellers/
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