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MIITO is simply but intelligently designed to heat any liquid directly in a vessel while cutting down on excess water and energy usage.
MIITO is simply but intelligently designed to heat any liquid directly in a vessel while cutting down on excess water and energy usage.
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6,052 backers pledged €818,098 to help bring this project to life.

Development update (June)

Posted by MIITO (Creator)
60 likes

Dear backers,

Hope you are enjoying the lovely start of the summer! Few weeks have passed and we are happy to share our next development update! MIITO team has been working closely with our partners and we are excited to see how the development in a production-minded environment has picked up speed. We have selected great partners and day by day we move together towards manufacturing.

In the time since our last update, the development efforts have focused primarily on identifying, testing, and modifying the components and coil that provide the best possible power supply system for MIITO. As we have mentioned before: this is perhaps the most important development effort required for us to realize a product that delivers the best possible experience to MIITO users.

Power Transfer

  • We are now testing the impact of different wire and ferrite materials on the performance [power transfer] in what will likely be our production coil structure. The objective is to increase the power transfer- thereby reducing the boil time. The current industry standard is 21 strand wire which so far we have found will not work for MIITO- the coil in our case is quite small but still requires high inductance. Our development team is testing the impact of wire and ferrite materials to find the best solution for MIITO.
  • Current results: the newly designed system powered up 600 watts (stable). Our current limitation for reaching higher power: ferrite material. We have ordered new material and more tests will be conducted in the coming week. More results to come in the next updates.

System Topology

  • We have been very impressed with our manufacturing partners' willingness to work together with us to find the best possible system components that make sense for our product performance and manufacturability requirements.
  • We are also testing the impact of different power electronic topologies (example IGBT and MOSFET) to find the best solution for the MIITO system. This has so far required many tests allowing us to eliminate few of the scenarios. We continue narrowing down the options and working towards the final selection.

Packaging

  • MIITO team visited packaging manufacturers to begin understanding costs and lead time to design & produce product packaging.
  • A major focus of our team right now is identifying all possible parallel paths in the development to reduce the time to production and product shipment. Packaging is just one example of an activity that can be managed parallel to efforts required for coil optimization, etc.

Final Assembly

  • We have selected our final assembly partner. As would be the case no matter where in the world we selected manufacturing partners, we have chosen a company with strict ethical and information safety standards, and an excellent reputation based on years of experience. We are really excited to see our supply chain coming together.

Current issues

We have started to work on solutions for the listed problems and will continue updating about the progress in further updates. Issues that have surfaced in our development efforts:

  • Temperature measurement: our intended temperature measurement system (temperature sensors placed through out the rod, bluetooth module inside the tip of the rod communicates to the base station of MIITO) significantly increases the time and costs required for development, and creates a major challenge when it comes to product certification and regulatory processes. These challenges were in our minds from the start, but now advised by our developers, we are considering alternative methods for temperature measuring to achieve the same functions but reduce the complexity in development.
  • Rod assembly movement: during power transfer testing we have observed that the rod starts moving around the vessel (the cup) as the energy transfer increases. This happens in part because the air bubbles generated in the heating process need a way to escape from under the disk, and in part because a rotational axis is created in using induction technology for our product. As one parallel path in development, we will experiment with the shape of the disk (bottom part of the rod) to see if altering the shape would reduce the rod assembly movement. It is important to prevent the disk from moving, as the system reduces its efficiency if the disk is not placed directly above the coil (in the center of MIITO base).

We still have a long way ahead of us (end of July we expect to have more details on the estimated delivery time) but it feels good to see a talented engineering team busy with MIITO development on a daily bases. We will continue with this speed and in few weeks will update you about the next steps, latest tests of power efficiency and plans how to address next development issues. There will always be new issues that come up along the way and everyone who have ever developed a product knows about it very well. We are calm and confident that continuing in the new set up of our team- we can successfully solve new challenges.

- Your friends at MIITO -

Tom Arran, Kevin Dudley, and 58 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Eric Limegrover on

      It's been a month since your last update. We expect updates. Moreover, we expect regular updates given our insecurity relating to your progress.

    2. Missing avatar

      ThJe on

      @Darkvader75: Du beliebst zu scherzen oder? IMBUE is in delay for 12 months after ETA...

    3. Darkvader75 on

      I am thrilled to see you taking the time and effort to make this product the right way. Had you rushed to production, I think we would of received a failed poor prototype and I am thrilled to see the team working diligently to make MIITO the absolute best it can be. I hope this becomes a international hit. Thank you so much for introducing us to IMBUE as well. Their team has taken the same path of making sure the product was "just right" before starting final manufacturing and you can tell that it is headed to be one of the greatest world class kickstarters ever. Keep up the great work.
      Für die deutsche Fußball-Nationalmannschaft !

    4. Missing avatar

      Steve Weinberg on

      This is my second Kickstarter sponsorship, and, likely my last. A year ago, I was attracted to this project for several reasons: a small group of upbeat young people, developing an elegant, energy-efficient product, which I imagined could provide some European jobs in engineering and manufacturing. I liked the idea of precision temperature control, and I was intrigued at the idea of monitoring it wirelessly from the heating rod.

      The longer I waited, the more it became apparent, that the original product wasn't even a working prototype that could be manufactured in any quantity, and that the team didn't have the engineering, manufacturing, nor product development skills to actually deliver the product.

      A year later, I just bought an excellent, latest-generation, table-top induction cooker, made by a commodity induction cooker manufacturer in China, on sale for $55.

      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx…

      It has a scratch-resistant, hard ceramic top, touch-panel controls, and variable power between 300 and 1800W.

      A smaller version of this cooker could be made in the same Chinese factory, and sold with a nice stainless steel teapot with an induction-friendly iron core. Temperature control via a typical thermistor or infrared sensor in the base could be easily included. There would be no need for the rod which has now proven to be nearly impossible to function as originally envisioned. The product could sell for under $50 and make a reasonable profit.

      At this point, by the time the MIITO ships, it will be such an overpriced, single-purpose gadget, that nobody will buy it. I would love to post a positive, cheerful and encouraging response, but this project has been a poster child for not supporting Kickstarter ideas.

    5. Missing avatar

      Federico Faleschini on

      Hello MIITO Team, I too would like to know the expected shipping date. As other backers said, what's a bit disturbing is that it really looks like you are re-developing everything from scratch and the first product, shown on the video andused for Kickstarter promotion, was just a really really rough prototype. So, interesting to read all the process, but what is really needed at this point is transparency on the real progress of the project and on the timeline - it's starting to bee too long a wait. Thank you!

    6. Missing avatar

      Leah Russo on

      Hi MIITO Team,

      Thank you for all the awesome updates.
      I apologise if this question has already been asked, just wanted to know when your proposed due date for delivery might be?
      I'm so excited to get one and really support your product to my friends and family here in Oz.

      Cheers
      L.R

    7. MIITO Creator on

      Dear Christian, sorry for the misunderstanding! We are replaying all our emails on daily bases and we would like to think that there has been no emails left unanswered. To what email address did you send your questions?

    8. Missing avatar

      Christian Kern on

      Updates for the public are fine. But getting a reply to a mail one sends to you would also be a really neat idea. I have no idea whether I will get a Miito Precise or not -- because you do not answer! Blaming people publicly isn't nice, but what else can I do? Feel free to delete this comment, but please send me an answer.
      mxxto.der_poet@xoxy.net (replace "mxx" with "mii").

    9. Missing avatar

      Thomas Denner on

      I'm am glad to read that the project is still going on. However, I must say that your funding campaign left to me the impression that you were much further down the road on the technical side. I had the impression that you had a working system and would only need to bring this in a production design. After the funding it became more and more obvious that you are still working on the very basic functional components and still today, core elements like the coil and power handling seem to be under development. Still sounds like prototyping work. Very different from the impression you left when funding was initiated. I am sure that after such a long time financing all these undertakings might become a real issue. Maybe, in you next update you could be completely transparent on this as well.
      I still find you product idea nice and hope it will come true. I wish you good luck on the road ahead.

    10. marie.A.r on

      I add my voice to the positive comments about this great update.
      Being positive, bring positive behavior, and the strong connection between Miito Team and the backers is absolutely fantastic.
      I am very happy that some backers are engineers, and express/exchange opinions/ideas
      with you Nils, Jasmina and the team. This is how a good product works.
      I am waiting for the Miito arrives at our home. What a wonderful moment to come.
      Thank you for being so great.
      Marie

    11. MIITO Creator on

      Thanks guys for the positive comments and ideas concerning our challenges! Always good to hear more suggestions and we read&discuss each of them. @Dave W magnet seemed like a cool solution but it might disturb the electromagnetic field that the coil creates to transfer the heat. Still to experiment but the engineers are not positive on this thought :) The vents seems more likely to be the solution. Now we just need to make bunch of different designs experimenting with the spacing and shapes and test each of them on the system.
      Thanks Leo and Jason for confirming out decisions on choosing our partners and good to know we have some engineers here who have experiences the same adventure that we are currently going through:)
      @Mitchell - your comment summed up the best thing about Kicstarter- people get involved in the designing and the process of creating a new product. Its absolutely not the same as buying a ready one in Mediamarket- completely different emotional bond with the product. Beautiful!

    12. Justin Simmonds
      Superbacker
      on

      Thanks for another good and informitive update. I also had the idea of the vents, but machining them on a slight angle in the same direction as the rotational movement i.e. if the movement is clockwise the angle of the holes moves clockwise (bottom of the hole is on the "right" compared to the top) thus at least in theory the rotational movement will force the air around and up the holes and it may also give a nice swirling effect, if this can then be maximised could you then in theory put the tea in the pot before you put it on to boil, and as the water boils it moves the tea around "mixing" it into the water???

    13. Munenori
      Superbacker
      on

      @Stepehen that would indeed be a good solution, but we dont know the numbers on how many chose the temperature measurement method. And if it is something you indeed paid for, then it would be a bummer not to get it.

    14. Missing avatar

      CJ Mitchell on

      Great update! Thanks for directly addressing the technical issues the project is facing with your backers. It's very interesting to see them being identified and speculating on how they will be solved! Whenever Miito finally arrives, I will have so much fun every time I use it thinking about all the design work.

      Making the rod base channeled on the bottom/sides or even waffled sounds like it might work to help keep the bubbles from disturbing the placement. But when you get near boiling, the rapid motion of the water is going to destabilize it unless it is really heavy at the base. So you may have to use a combination of the above strategies.

    15. Leo Lam, PhD on

      This is a great update. Agreed with Jason that it is good to see you taking on difficult challenges and rising to them. As an Electrical Engineer (and a former Faculty at a major university), it's clear that this was a difficult undertaking from the start.

      I also agree that having this made in China is not an issue whatsoever. I have successfully created multiple products, now in the hands of thousands of people. Same for Apple and other major electronics companies.

      Best wishes.

    16. Stephen Benjamin on

      Great update. Would love to see parallel production of the normal Miito without the complex temperature measurement so that we can get what we backed earlier rather than waiting for something to be tested out for a (minority?) of backers. Looking forward to getting it!

    17. blueumbrella
      Superbacker
      on

      Thanks for the very informative update.

    18. Peter Neville-Hadley on

      > Lastly, anybody that says you "shouldn't make this in China" has absolutely no experience with making actual, mass-produced, electrical products.

      Which directly addresses the many specific criticisms made about manufacturing China.

      Oh. Wait. It's of no relevance whatsoever, is it?

    19. Teshia Treuhaft on

      Great update guys- thanks for sharing technical perspective, very interesting to read how you're innovating in the design as well as engineering! Good luck over the next weeks!

    20. Jason Slaughter on

      As a (former) electrical engineer (now in management), I backed this project mostly because I love tea, but also because I was curious how you would resolve the technical issues. Your original plan of Bluetooth seemed like overkill to me, so I'm glad you've come to the same conclusion. I'm sure there's a cheaper and easier way to send basic temperature sensor information back to the base. Temperature control is a deal-breaker for this project if it's not there, so I really hope you can implement it effectively!

      I'd agree with Dave that some kind of "vents" (maybe channels) might resolve the bubble issue, but it would depend on the size of the bubbles, which can get quite large when boiling. That will be an interesting one to solve, for sure, and one I never thought about!

      Lastly, anybody that says you "shouldn't make this in China" has absolutely no experience with making actual, mass-produced, electrical products. Keep up the good work.

    21. Dave W on

      Glad you're confronting the issues instead of passing off a half baked device.

      Would a small magnet in the center of the coil be enough to hold the rod in place? Or perhaps "vents" in the disk to allow the bubbles to escape?

    22. Dave W on

      Glad you're confronting the issues instead of passing off a half baked device.

      Would a small magnet in the center of the coil be enough to hold the rod in place? Or perhaps "vents" in the disk to allow the bubbles to escape?

    23. Daniel Bernard on

      Thank you for continuing to provide insight to your process.
      Best of luck to the team!

    24. Alexander Kotka on

      Glad to see you still have a positive outlook. :)