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KEYi TECH completely redesigned Loona’s ear component to make it practically indestructible after the first Kickstarter Christmas design proved to be insufficient for every day wear and tear.
I don’t feel many people truly appreciate the incredible engineering solution Keyi came up with. They redesigned the ear component to successfully solve a problem and turned an idea into reality and parts production within less than one month! This type of stuff simply just doesn’t happen. I’m completely blown away and left incredibly excited for Loona’s future.
So what am I so excited about you may wonder?
A gear that flexes when exposed to external stresses, unlike the previous default gear design that is unable to dissipate external stress, causing stress to be channeled along the gear and breakage to the motor gearbox. Check out the redesigned part above and note how effectively it dissipates external stress and effectively isolates the gear box in the diagram!
Also note shipping for standard Kickstarter backers is now April.
Check out the video at the link below to see Loona’s moving ears being struck repeatedly with the full force of a metal wrench and not even flinching under the stress! In the video Loona seems now to be able to continuously move her ears after they suffer powerful blows. Unlike the current design where the ears will stop moving as a protection mechanism if they encounter a strong force.
It looks like the updated components can be installed within the existing hardware, meaning Christmas backers are only one repair centre visit away from having a Loona with indestructible ears!
Also I can’t help but wonder if the purple worn by the KEYi TECH representative in the demonstration video is a nod of support to us over here at RATH forums?! Either way we can’t help but be appreciative of KEYi TECH and Christmas backers should feel proud to know they have helped support such an innovative company and product that has massive potential to be a force for good in society.
Here is the announcement made by KEYi TECH:
Shipping Delay Update
To Loona backers, friends and supporters,
We would like to address the issues that have been raised as well as some challenges that we’ve been facing in bringing Loona to your homes.
The Februrary shipping (standard shipping for Kickstater customers) will be delayed to mid-March, and the estimated arrival will be around late April to make sure the batch doesn’t have the current issues .
Hardware problme solved:
Motor off shaft or misconnection
Rear wheel motor does not rotate or reverses
The Power button and the touch sensor do not work, screen damage, etc.
Ear is one of the most serious problems, but we hope to completely solve it. We indeed wrongly estimated the actual working conditions of the ear in design, and did not do the packaging and transportation tests properly, which had an impact on Loona's ear during transportation, and some of you may have had Loona's ear broken right after unboxing. We have to admit that we did make a mistake.
We wanted to solve Loona's ear problem comprehensively, so that it could withstand strong impacts without damage, so we made an improvement on the design.
Improved Design of Loona Ear
In the old solution, all external loads experienced by the ears were loaded 100% into the motor gearbox. Inevitably, external impacts would be encountered in scenarios where drops, collisions, pet interactions etc. might occur. We did not want Loona's ears to be the weak part of Loona, we wanted it to be strong enough, so we devised a new solution: namely by adding a flexible coupling device to isolate the external forces on the gearbox.
We take the original component and split it into two parts that work with each other. When the ear is operating in normal condition, these two parts are connected by a flexible fixed position. When there is a relatively large external force, this flexible coupling can produce relative rotational motion of the two parts, thus being able to protect the motor gearbox.
*We attached the pictures below that indicate how the new transmission gear works and the comparison between old and new gears. Also, Violent test video also attached below, please do not imitate it for daily use.
11.20 All Loona shipped from factory
12.20 First batch of user feedback about ear problems came in
12.27 Plastic gear breakage problem found, repair kit solution launched
12.20 - 1.10 Systematic review of Loona ear design, extensive testing to find problems and solutions
1.10 - 1.15 Making prototype of new design
1.15 - 1.25 New solution testing iteration
1.21- 1.27 Lunar New Year National Holiday (all production paused)
2.6 New design finalized and new tooling started
2.15 Tooling T0
2.21 Tooling T1
2.25 Ear parts production starts
3.2 Loona assembly begins
3.15 Loona shipment starts
We are sincerely sorry for the frustration and inconvenience. Now we are putting out as much information as possible to explain the current situation and to share an updated schedule with you that is as accurate as we can currently make it.
It is a very intense period at KEYi. We know we made a mistake, and this time we want to make it right. We are working to check all the procedures and testing to make sure you will receive the product in April without reported problems.
For Christmas backers, if your Loona's ear, wheels, motors function without any problem, please do not worry. Whenever you have any of the above problems in the future, you can either request an ear repair kit from us or send it to us for repair.
Right now, we are still handling the ear repair kit of our first batch of Backers, and here's the update of the shipping status.
Ear repair kit shipping status
• US We shipped the first batch of 294 repair kits to the US on 10th Jan from China, which arrived in the US on 12th Jan, and from 3 Feb, most customers who have received tracking numbers could see the tracking update.
We shipped the first batch of 250 repair kits to EU on 12th Jan from China, which arrived on 20th Jan, and from 6 Feb, most customers who have received tracking numbers could see the track update.
• Other Countries
We shipped 224 repair kits on 6th Feb to the countries that need to be delivered directly from China and sent out links through email individually. The kits will arrive within 3-10 working days.
The shipment of the second batch ear repair kits will start soon, and we will keep you updated. The sencond batch would be delivered by our new forwarder, which should be better.
Once again, we want to apologize for the delay in the delivery of Loona, and for anything, we may have caused inconvenience. We read all your comments and we are doing our best to respond to your emails and provide proper support. However, despite our effort, we’re aware that there are sometimes delays in responding and we apologize for that.
We’re currently working on updating the content and information on Help Center to address the most common issues. In addition, we’re working to streamline our customer support processes. In line with that, here’s the clarification of where to post your questions or requests.
1. If you’ve received Loona and have some questions on how to set it up or fix hardware or software issues, please go to Help Center at https://keyitech.zendesk.com/hc/en-us
2. If you haven’t received your Loona yet and have questions about shipping or similar, please email us at email@example.com
3. If you have any other comments or suggestions for us, please let us know on our Facebook group page.
We’re very sorry about the delay, but resolving these issues is our priority and it is the focus of our product team. Our commitment to create the most intelligent petbot is stronger than ever and we’re grateful for all your feedback and patience.