Looking toward v0.3 - Production Prototype

Added by J. Simmons about 10 years ago

Things are moving along nicely with the Holoseat and one of the questions I keep getting asked is how will I package it. I see two main alternatives with three purchase options for each. First, the alternatives:

  • Sell the Holoseat as an Arduino Leonard shield - This has the advantage of only needing to design and test the electronics for the Holoseat functionality, making development time potentially shorter. On the down side is the increased total investment for users. They will need to buy (from me or a third party) an Arduino Leonardo (currently around $20 on amazon). This expense basically guarantees missing the cost target from the Initial Questions.
  • Sell the Holoseat as a stand alone product by embedding an ATmega32U4 on a custom PCB - This idea comes from the How-To: Shrinkify Your Arduino Projects blog post over at Make. Now, it does not cover the entire process or really talk about the Leonardo. But, fortunately Monday Experiment: Bootloading an ATmega32u4 with Arduino does. And, while it is a little above my head (I am just not an EE), I think with some help I could figure it out. And it covers how to setup a minimum Leonardo clone, an essential element to creating a custom PCB for the Holoseat. The pros of this alternative are it should greatly reduce the price of components and it still looks doable. The down side is it will take a little experimenting to get right. It might be about time to look at custom PCB shops (especially ones which support small batch runs).

Now for the options, which work with both alternatives. These are the three ways I see people getting Holoseats once the design is finished and it is for sale.

  • Fully assembled - Like it says, buy a ready to use Holoseat. Just add exercise equipment and a computer. Might have an upsell of this option which includes a pedaler with the Holoseat already installed.
  • Kit - We ship you the parts, you solder it up, install the software on the controller and then you are good to go.
  • DIY - Makers can download the plans, order the parts, solder them up, install the software on the controller and then you are good to go. Might offer an upsell of this option which is the PCB without any parts.

Replies (1)

RE: Looking toward v0.3 - Production Prototype - Added by Bryan Christian about 9 years ago

My thoughts are this:

I hate the idea of missing the price target, but I think we should at least maintain a method by which it could be built using a kit even if we move onto another form (perhaps an adafruit board?). I'm thinking it should be a phase after v0.3 though. I feel like the focus for this rev should really be getting the hall effect sensors in, joystick style functionality and the joypad passthrough.

Either way, I think we need to get past where we're making hardware changes first, then look at the fully assembled method.