Use this space to cheer the creator along, and talk to your fellow backers.
Have a question?
Thanks, yep that should be fine.
@Nood, glad you're excited, so are we! The shipping date is still about 3-4 weeks out. We are waiting for our manufacturer to send out the shelf stands and product packaging by sea freight. They said sea freight will take less than 3 weeks, but it's a bit difficult to predict. We wanted to send out the surveys to give everyone time to provide us with their address because we plan on shipping the moment the packaging is here.
@Kean, our plan is to use USPS (Stamps.com):
In theory, since this not a private courier like DHL or FedEx, they should hand off the parcel to your local post office for delivery, so the PO box may be fine (assuming it's large enough). Though the exact interaction between USPS and Australian mail authorities is not 100% clear to us.
Any idea on shipping method for your international deliveries? Not sure if I can use my preferred postal address (PO Box) or need a street address (office).
Oh thanks for sending shipping updates.
Moved to a new place a few days ago. Cat is still getting used to it so that's been a fun few days. xD
Hope to receive it soon =D
Also, I wasn't kidding about my dad kidnapping the cat. He's grown attached to it. Help me! XD
@Curtis, we've added a note to your pledge and will send you a private message in a moment
Hey guys. I saw the update where you should hopefully start shipping in 4 to 6 weeks from now. Would it be possible if you could ship mine sooner than later? My cat has a SERIOUS chewing problem and my wife is talking about getting rid of them because we can't entertain them while they are bored when we are at work. Their boredom has led to literally over $800 in damages and I'm doing everything I can to keep them before my wife says no more. I would really appreciate it.
Your response is amazing. How am I going to sleep miaow when I'm so excited? :-D
@Brandan, we've got 4 cats to work with here and definitely noticed the "peekaboo effect". The other thing that we noticed was that some cats like the dot to be completely still so they can wiggle and pounce, while others prefer when it does crazy stuff. We have a "taunting" setting that Felik will ship with that wiggles the dot to excite pets, and this setting can be disabled. We're contemplating adding a feature where you can set the waypoints for the laser to travel (a path). The laser can travel slowly from waypoint to waypoint, but can will automatically run away when chased. While not catering directly to Desmond's exotic play preferences, perhaps this mode may offer a suitable substitute. We'll do our best to ship it in a software update soon after the units ship out.
Speaking of the units, we've got the injection molded parts yesterday and are now assembling. Update coming!
Ok. This is probably an weird question/request, but does anyone else have cats that like to ambush (are lazy and don't want to chase) when the toy is hidden from their vision, peeks out every once in a while to their field of view, and then races toward them so they can swat away at it? I know I'll be able to manually control the laser from my phone so I think this will be what I end up doing with Desmond. He's... a substantial cat and has serious play preferences.
We were just notified by the manufacturer that the air shipment has arrived to Seattle yesterday and is in customs awaiting clearance 🙂
Still excited, Frank the pug is currently annoying the cat with her antics waiting.
@creator - thank you for the detailed update. 👍🏻
According to your last comment, it should be done and shipping should begin in about 3 to 4 months. That's great. I hope it arrives before my dad kidnaps my cat again. XD
@Bill, the injection molded parts were finished this Monday. We've requested to air-ship them (at a cost of $1300). Right now the manufacturer is packing up the parts into a wooden crate that will weigh about 200 lbs. We expect to receive it by some time next week.
The packaging is finished and waiting to be shipped.
The shelf stands just recently went into production (a week ago). They will need another ~2 weeks to be finished, then both the packaging and the shelf stands will be shipped by sea freight (we can't afford to air-ship them, it'll be close to $8,000 for that much weight). By the time these parts arrive by boat we'll have everyone's Felik assembled and fully tested, so we'll just have to put them into boxes and ship :) Definitely aiming to get everything sent out this summer.
Hi, how are the piece shipments in transit - is everything on schedule for you guys? Is a summertime deliver schedule possible?
Update is up!
@Carolyn Bragg, we're really apologize for the delay! We have been preparing an update, just waiting for some info from the manufacturer (was supposed to be received yesterday). I suppose we can still post what we got and then do another update to follow up. Will get started on it so we can update everyone today
June 5, 2018
I think it’s time for an UPDATE!
Quick update on the manufacturing timelines from an update call we had today:
- May 29th we should receive the final packaging sample
- May 31st we should be seeing the 3rd iteration of the injection molded parts which address the cosmetic hiccups and reduce the tint (we're kicking ourselves for being so perfectionist with this, but tooling is only done once!)
- June 7th we expect the first cast aluminum shelf stand samples
Once it's all approved the manufacturer has a 2-3 week lead time to produce the parts, plus 1 week to ship. We'll pay extra to ship via air to avoid sea freight delays. We will then need about 3 weeks from receiving all the parts to assemble everything and begin shipment.
We've kicked off manufacturing on Jan 11th, 2018, and expected it to only take a 5-6 weeks (+ all of February due to Chinese New Year). Dialing in tooling to our cosmetic and optical standard proved time consuming. We're on month 5 of tooling/manufacturing, despite all the development work being completed in January. There are no technical hurdles to anything we're doing at this point, the tweaks are purely cosmetic in nature. We want Felik to look good in your home! Only about a week left of this phase. We really apologize for the delay, and thank you all for your immense patience ♥️
@Daniel Shafer, we're currently at the mercy of our manufacturer to complete production and ship the parts before we can do the final assembly.
From what we have been told last week we should be receiving updated samples in the next few days. The last sample was almost perfect, but we did request some tweaks to be made (opacity, tint, polish, some minor cosmetic stuff).
Unfortunately every time we request changes to the tooling & a new sample we're put in a queue, and we have to wait for a technician to get to our equipment to make the changes according to their factory schedule. We're a small order, so are also slightly lower on the priority when it comes to getting machine shop time. The exact order prioritization is somewhat opaque to us, but we specifically chose a manufacturer based in the USA so we can have assurances that our order will be completed to a high standard of quality.
We're very eager to wrap this up, but at the moment all we can do from our end is work on polishing the software while we let the manufacturer do their thing. We're almost wrapped up adding the "restricted zones" feature, using this time to add additional functionality beyond what we promised.
We'll post an update as soon as there's more info. Parts and tooling are all fully paid for, so financially we're in the clear. We also know that there are no more technical hurdles to overcome, just cosmetic stuff. It's now a matter of working with the manufacturer's schedule
Hey guys, how are things going?
That's great news! Can't wait.
Just got first pictures of the production samples of the injection molded parts! These are first shots, so we're waiting for adjusted samples, but most parts look well 🙂 Samples will be shipped to us any day now! Once approved, it's full-on production of the injection molded parts. Stay tuned, next update is about assembly 😃 Thank you all for your patience!
@Charis, we're super excited to deliver them and hear everyone's feedback! :D As a quick update, we've started assembly this week. Still waiting on those injection molded samples (supposedly on March 27th), but we've started putting together the internals now 👍
I’m so excited for this even more now! I’ve discovered my two youngest loooove lasers so much. My Pug and one of the cats are obsessed. I initially backed thinking this would give the kiddos some additional fun while I’m at work but now I’m happy to know the two most energetic will be a little worn out. ;) looking forward to seeing this project finalized and getting to drive Missy Kitty and Frank the Pug batty.
@Terry, we're wary of the potential destruction, so we're implementing "restricted areas" in a near-future update. This will let you specify areas for the laser to avoid. It's a somewhat elaborate feature, but something that is actually covered by our patent and part of the overall feature set we want to implement. We just didn't market it for this campaign because we weren't sure if we'd have enough time to implement it. Same with Alexa & Google Home integration - these are coming :)
As for the TV, no it wasn't caused by the dog 😅 The family that let us film their dog had just moved into their new house so they haven't had time to set up yet.
So I was digging through the Android app (Can't wait for Felik!) when I saw the video of the dog chasing the laser. Just as I thought to myself how much damage my dog could do thrashing about the house I noticed a TV on the floor... That didn't have anything to do with being taunted by Felik, did it?
Anyway, the app look great so far and I'm excited to wear my cats out with Felik in hopes of them not needing to rally race down the stairs at 2am as their favorite source of excitement.
Fantastic news! Christmas is coming a little earlier this year...
@Dirk Wouters, yes but we haven't gotten around to writing an update. We've ordered the packaging (finished design, started production of tooling to create the boxes and inserts). Also, the two mobile apps for iOS and Android are going to be submitted to the app stores this week.
We're still waiting on the injection molded and shelf stand samples that we ordered back in January. The Chinese New Year really torpedoed production. Normally it would take about 1.5 months to get samples, but with the CNY in the middle it becomes 2.5 months. We were told to expect something before March 27th, and ideally both the packaging and part samples will arrive at the same time. After that it's a matter of pulling the trigger on final production of these ~500 units. Very close!
Is there any news? I'm curious as a little child. :-)
Wow thanks for the quick and precise answer! Its totally understandable and of course the main goal of this product to first build a solid base to provide the promised features and please our loved pets, great focus of you guys and leaving the doors open for the future! +1
The update looks great, keep it up!
@Stefan, the short answer is that for now the models are static.
The long answer is that there are a few reasons why we don't (yet) do learning on the device itself.
Partially it is due to the scarcity of computing resources - we have only ~40 milliseconds to process an image from the camera, perform motion detection, object tracking, look at the history to see what the object was doing, predict where it's likely headed, and execute a movement plan. It's a partially closed loop system that relies on a sliding window of past events to make decisions. 40 ms is a very short amount of time to do this for one or more objects on the hardware that we have available (1.2GHz quad-core), assuming that it also has to deal with image compression, real-time socket communication, running an embedded server, and more :)
The 2nd reason is that on-device learning (even if deferred to times when the device is idle) would require some user feedback to tell the model whether it identified an object correctly or not. It's not impossible, but for now I have a difficult time imagining how this would work. One thing that was tossed around was to use a TLD tracking algorithm to build a local representation of the different animals and then ask the owner to name them using the app. Akin to how Apple and Google do face recognition while the smartphone is charging, then asks the user to name the people. TLD, however, is an algorithm that runs at about 200-300 ms per frame (3-5 fps) on our hardware, so if we ever do this, we'll be doing this kind of closed-loop learning at times when the device is not being used, by reviewing locally-recorded play sessions and attempting to extract the sub-images that represent the most actively engaged objects to build custom classifiers for each "player". For this to work, we have to enable local on-device recording first. Which is a feature that's planned.
This can be applied in the future to better track the animals. But for now it's an enhancement that depends on one or two future features that have yet to be implemented. We did train the image classifier to recognize the laser (to avoid tracking it as a moving object), but we have to err on the side of caution and consider anything that moves (including something like a Roomba) to be a potential living thing that the laser should steer clear of. So the detection model is geared toward differentiating between something like a running TV or a blinking light vs. an animal or person, but it isn't robust enough to differentiate between different animals (certainly not without user feedback).
Interestingly enough, there is a security product called Lighthouse AI (https://www.light.house) that does classify objects in the video, it even can differentiate between different people. But from the looks of it it does use server-side learning that refines and loads the model back to the local hardware periodically, akin to the recently announced AWS Deep-Lens. We want to avoid sending any imagery to a server as it opens a pandora's box of security and privacy concerns.
Sorry for the long-winded answer :) It is interesting to ponder what you can do with a camera, real-time image classification, and object tracking. There can be a lot of cool applications. But in order to not balloon the scope of the project and actually deliver something, we have to (for now) constrain it to being a really fun game for pets first, and add other features later. As a side note, I'm personally working on the feedback / customer service form within both the mobile apps today, and one of the things that will be added is a feature request form :)
Thanks for the information! Another thing, I assume you use machine learning for the cat detection (hence AI), will the felik be able to better recognize the cats over time or is the model static? Like can/will the owner be able to teach it multiple cats and it will be able to distinguish the different cats? Maybe thats just me doing some dreaming for future products :D
@Olivier, most likely shipments will begin in March.
Injection molding tooling is in production, as well as packaging. We're delayed by the Chinese New Year, which takes up most of February. If not for that, we would be assembling and shipping in February barring any unusual delays. As of right now we expect to finish tooling some time at the end of February, following by a few weeks to dial things in and make the first production run. We're close!
I hope you are well.
Can you tell me when we will receive it ?
@Stefan, we are planning on exposing Alexa and Google Home functionality for those who want to enable it. The object tracking does have interesting potential, we've toyed around with some "out there" features where you may get an alert if a pet has jumped on your countertop or something of this nature. Will have to look into it, but at launch we expect the API to be mostly black box. We are documenting it just in case, it's mostly REST HTTP calls and protocol buffers over a web socket. You would require SSL pinning with our certificate to make usage secure. Anyway, food for thought for us :)
i was thinking about integrating the stream and maybe detections into a dashboard for homeautomation. or even just registering when a cat has played with felik
@Sven Möller, thank you for the kind words. We're finding at this stage that we need to have a physical manifestation (3D print, CNC prototype, etc) of the final data that will go into production before we can proceed with the next step. Right now we need all production prototypes on hand in order to proceed with finalizing the shelf stand. The shelf stand is pretty much the last piece to be DFM'd before plastic injection molding tooling can be made. The stand is actually metal, but it has some plastic bits. It was easy to prototype, but in production it needs some load bearing, center of gravity, and drop-resistance considerations that Shaun has been great at identifying as we go along. We definitely want Felik to last :)
@Angry Lychee LLC to be a few month late is nothing bad in this complex project... For me it only shows that you think, work and improve your poduct and don't source it as it was planned, and at the end the customer get a non working prototype!
Keep up your good work and don't mind the few month, I am sure everyone expect more a high quality product than crap you get in time...
Thanks for all
Thanks for the very descriptive update! Enjoy your weekend
@Curtis, if I had to honestly estimate when we will begin shipping rewards I have to say it's February - March timeframe. We are a few months delayed..
Yesterday we've placed an order for the custom electronics, finally, after 3 months of making 4 revisions. Each revision took about 3-4 weeks to arrive. I think that was our biggest bottleneck, which prevented DFM from being executed in parallel to software development.
Right now we're waiting on 3D printed, CNC, and water-jetted prototypes of the external enclosure. These are slated to arrive on November 24th, although I suspect they might be a few days delayed due to the holidays.
Once we lock down the external parts (assuming the prototypes are good to go on first try, which they should be), we have to prototype the shelf stand, which was modified for this. This can take a few weeks, mostly due to how long it takes to 3D print and ship parts. Depending on the shelf stand's design, though, we may be able to get started on tooling for the plastic parts without waiting for the stand prototypes.
If all goes well, by mid-next-month we will have all our production data locked in, and we'll be creating QA documentation and quoting tooling work. We have to account for the holidays disrupting things a bit, so likely we'll award a tooling job for the injection molding in January. That's at least a 5 week turnaround. Again, assuming all goes well we'll be producing injection-molded parts by February.
At that point we'll need a bit of time to assemble and test everything, before shipping it out. But at this stage all the other stuff, like packaging, user manuals, liability insurance, certification, etc. will be long done so we'll be shipping them out as they're being assembled.
There is a slightly more optimistic timeline where we may be shipping units earlier than that, but this is my most realistic estimate at this point.
- Yuri B.
Hello, can't wait for your product. Is there a guesstimation for a delivery date?
@Daniel, since the last update we've been mostly focused on software hardening while we wait for the latest prototype parts to arrive. Some have shipped already, while others are being built. Turnaround on prototypes is anywhere between 2 weeks and 1 month from order to delivery. Right now we've got 3D prints, CNC metal parts, and water-jet cut plates on order to test the external enclosure. We are waiting to test the final CAD data to ensure that all the parts fit and work well before proceeding with injection molding tooling manufacturing. The next update will be when we receive the production-data prototypes, likely around Nov 20th. Unfortunately this project is a few months behind schedule, but very much on track otherwise :)
We have 4 cats also. It's crazy! 3 of them are black! So whats the updates on this guys?
@Stefan, I guess that it depends on what features people are interested in implementing and whether or not that will compromise security. We do have a REST interface over TLS, as well as a protocol-buffer based secure socket interface. But this is primarily for changing settings (schedules, sensitivity), software updates, and real-time video & control. There is not a way to fundamentally change the behavior of the device from this interface (although there is a firmware update endpoint). What kind of features were you thinking of potentially using the API for?
Will there be an API for Devs?
@Terry, thank you! We're happy to provide the updates :) Taking a product to production is a fun and fascinating process. This project may be 1-2 months delayed, but it will definitely ship, and ship soon. We're freezing some internal parts and putting them into production next week. We obviously want to hit all our promised deadlines in terms of injection molding, but there's also a secondary incentive to get all the tooling and production paid for and done by the end of the year for tax purposes.
Speaking of four cats, between me and my girlfriend we also have four cats :) Felik definitely works with that many. Once we ship Felik and spin up regular production, our next product will do what you ask (minus the airsoft!) - that is, keep animals off furniture and countertops in a safe and effective manner. We hope to create a connected pet product ecosystem that solves these kind of problems - currently a lot of these solutions do not exist and we ourselves experience the same frustrations as other multiple-pet owners.
I just want to say I appreciate the updates and responses to comments. I look forward to a successful project after the recent run of failed projects I backed. I purchased this when we had two cats but since then my wife has purchased the crazy cat lady expansion kit and now we have four cats... I was thinking you could tweak the software swap the laser for airsoft and we can keep the cats off of my counters? Kidding, sort of.
@Jerome becher, for now there is no need to give us your address. We will send out the address surveys close to when we ship the rewards to make sure we have everyone's updated address :)
How can i change my address for the pledge?