I know, it has been a long time since our last update. But today, I come with great news! You may have noticed that activity has been picking up on our Facebook page with more frequent posts. Well, the reason for the renewed motivation in the project is because we have partnered with United Equipment Corp (UEC) to finish HLQ and deliver it to their customer, the USDA, as a test platform for crop health monitoring and management. That's right, we have our very first customer for HLQ!
As you can imagine, we are extremely excited about this, but the challenge still lies ahead. The USDA, requires an accelerated build and deliver schedule. Infact, they are expecting, and we have committed to delivery in about 6 to 8 weeks. We have worked out a schedule and believe that this can be accomplished, and will be working hard during our off-work hours and weekends to meet this challenge. Although I think most of you will agree that this is a huge opportunity for us, some of you may be wondering about your rewards.
Obviously, we must focus on the completion of HLQ, at least for the next 8 weeks or so, but once this is done we will be able to focus completely on rewards and getting those out to you. One unfortunate consequence of the USDA delivery schedule, however, is that we will not be able to hold the launch party event. This really only affects about 5 of our backers, but we want you to know that we absolutely appreciate your generosity and support.
With this appreciation in mind, and since we cannot hold up our end of the deal on this, we would like to invite those whose rewards included the launch party to our flight testing sessions to be held in late August or early September instead. This will hopefully still provide the opportunity to see HLQ fly. For those of you who are not or cannot be in the San Francisco Bay area during that time, we feel that it is only fair that we offer you a full refund or a refund to a lower reward level at your discretion. We hope that you understand and are not too disappointed. Please contact us if you would like to have a refund. The good news is that all other rewards are not affected.
In the interest of full disclosure, it is also important that I note that another consequence of this deal is that we have had to de-scope some aspects of HLQ. Specifically, the USDA does not have a need for autonomous retrieval of payloads at this time, so we will not finish development of the Computer Vision Integration or the payload end effector for that delivery. However, as we proceed with the USDA requirements, UEC is also interested in working with us to manufacture, market, and sell additional HLQ units. This includes the development of accessories, and improved iterations; a HLQ 2.0 if you will. While that partnership is still in a conceptual stage, we will move forward with the USDA delivery and we hope that you will stick around to see the final result.
Thanks again for being our backer, and we hope we can make you proud to be so in the very near future!