Behind the scenes - finishing Spencer’s circuit board design

Hey everyone,

 I just wanted to give you a quick behind the scenes glance at what we’re doing right now.

work work work work

Currently, our main focus is Spencer - our lovely voice assistant that is going to be a part of the first STEM Box.

We’re working hard on finishing Spencer’s PCB and casing design in order to make it for the November 2020 delivery schedule. A lot of work must be done in order to turn a single prototype into a production-ready product that is going to be produced in thousands of pieces.

For those of you who don’t know - PCB is an acronym for “printed circuit board”. Your desktop computers, mobile phone and smartwatches all have several PCBs in them. The most important one is usually called the motherboard.

Every PCB is doing the exact same thing - it’s connecting individual electronic components in order to form a unique electronic device that does something.

Testing a new prototype of Spencer's face plate PCB

The design of every electronic product’s PCB is really important because it greatly impacts product’s performance, durability, production cost, etc.

 Some of the bigger improvements for Spencer we’re currently working on are:

  1. getting rid of SD cards - we’ve figured out that Spencer is much more stable and reliable if we use an on-board FLASH memory chip instead of an external SD card
  2. Improving Spencer’s WiFi range
  3. finding alternatives to end-of-life components and components that are likely to cause some kind of a malfunction upon longer usage

Anyways, we are making some good progress and I'll keep you folks posted.

By the way, here is what Spencer looked like 8 months ago:

Spencer from 8 months ago

Stay tuned and keep making! 

- Albert and the rest of the crew


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