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The essential tools for biological research on microorganisms, plants, and more. Come learn, explore, and invent with biology
The essential tools for biological research on microorganisms, plants, and more. Come learn, explore, and invent with biology
156 backers pledged $89,463 to help bring this project to life.
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$89,463

156

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Ahhhhh thank you all!! We are funded on the night of May 16th and it's time to release our first stretch goal: an 'Explorer Kit' containing everything you need to get started with molecular biology!!!
Ahhhhh thank you all!! We are funded on the night of May 16th and it's time to release our first stretch goal: an 'Explorer Kit' containing everything you need to get started with molecular biology!!!

Feles Explorer Kit:  

Rendering of what the Explorer Kit will look like (contents may change during development).
Rendering of what the Explorer Kit will look like (contents may change during development).

The Feles Explorer kit will include all the reagents you need to get started with learning and understanding synthetic biology.  What is synthetic biology you ask? Synthetic biology is the field where we combine what we understand about biology with engineering and logic principles to create new things. With your help, we will perform all the internal testing and ensure that the Explorer kit is available online when you receive your Feles One so you can get started exploring right away.

In the explorer kit, you’ll find everything you need to perform your own PCR (polymerase chain reaction), to stitch DNA together, and to transfer the DNA into cells. The newly “transformed” cells will then obtain new function, such as produce a new color pigment they weren’t able to produce before!

Each kit will come with all of the reagents you would need to do these experiments several times to ensure understanding. Feles will perform extensive internal testing to ensure that the reagents or biological products used are safe and not harmful to the environment. 

We are in the middle of a global biotech revolution that is only accessible to a very small slice of the public. Not only is hardware for doing bio stuck in the same state as computer mainframes of the ‘60s, the software and documentation are either scattered or written in professional jargon. 

 At Feles (pronounced ‘fee-les’), we believe that the ability to explore biology belongs to everyone, and that together, we can make breakthroughs that will shape the world of tomorrow. To do so, we are redesigning the laboratory tools, the software controls, as well as the learning experience all at once to deliver a modern, integrated experience. From the very beginning, we knew it was going to be a crazy journey. However, by combining our team's diverse expertise, countless sleepless nights, and lots of advice and encouragement from family and friends, here we are with our first product, the Feles Lab. We need your help to take this revolution to the next stage. Together, let's bring affordable biotechnology to the world. 

Professor George Church on Bio Meets Tech ( Hardware, Open Science, etc.)

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If you have a makerspace, getting a Feles One can give you ability to tinker with biology! 

At iGEM(international genetic engineering machine) 2018 we exhibited our initial progress at Giant Jamboree, where we receive overwhelming feedback on how people would use Feles One. Here's a list of things you can do with existing protocols:

  • Test of your vegetable is GMO
  • Check if your taste buds detect bitter flavors
  • Check if you are built for endurance
  • Test if you are likely to be lactose intolerant
  • Explore how blood type genotyping works
  • Test a hamburger to see if it contains horse meat
  • Investigate your beer for bacteria
  • Extract ancient DNA from fossils
  • Test the gender of birds from a feather or a spot of blood 
  • Identify species with DNA bar-coding 
  • ........

You can even start your iGEM  project! 

The Feles One is a lab-in-box toolkit designed to enable the general public to explore the biology all around them using routine procedures done in professional labs around the world.  To achieve this, we have integrated six key lab tools as independent modules that can all be controlled through a modern touch interface with pre-programed defaults.  

The Feles Lab features a modern, minimalist design so that you look great while showing off your bio-chops to your friends, instead of doing experiments by yourself in the garage or basement.  Equipped with Feles One, you can start learning molecular biology by hands on experiments, do multiple basic home testing like identifying if your vegetable is GMO, create creative use cases like painting with natural pigments, etc.  

All of the awesome features of the Feles One
All of the awesome features of the Feles One

Some Demo GIFs

Centrifuge (left) and our blue-light empowered Gel-dock (right)
Centrifuge (left) and our blue-light empowered Gel-dock (right)
Reagents drawer (left) and 4C fridge (right)
Reagents drawer (left) and 4C fridge (right)
General use incubator (left) and Petri dish incubator (right)
General use incubator (left) and Petri dish incubator (right)
You can control modules through the 7 inch touch screen in the center (left); When you select a module, you'll be prompted to enter settings for the experiment, some default values will be available (right)
You can control modules through the 7 inch touch screen in the center (left); When you select a module, you'll be prompted to enter settings for the experiment, some default values will be available (right)
After setting the parameters and hitting 'start', you'll able to monitor your progress directly on the screen
After setting the parameters and hitting 'start', you'll able to monitor your progress directly on the screen
The power button and the aluminum back-plate in a beautiful silver
The power button and the aluminum back-plate in a beautiful silver
A fridge to chill all of your sensitive reagents while you have fun experimenting
A fridge to chill all of your sensitive reagents while you have fun experimenting
The centrifuge can only be powered on when the lid is safely secured in the 'lock' position
The centrifuge can only be powered on when the lid is safely secured in the 'lock' position
Our gel-dock can accommodate both traditional agarose gels as well as new E-gels
Our gel-dock can accommodate both traditional agarose gels as well as new E-gels
Fill the incubator with either beads or water to grow what you need
Fill the incubator with either beads or water to grow what you need

In addition to equipping you to get your research done, the Feles One opens the doors for everyone to envision future applications of biotechnology. There are many ways to use the Feles One device in various inventive settings-- For example, experiment with new molecular gastronomy and mixology on your own your kitchen counter-top.   

Feles One as a nice addition to your home tap?
Feles One as a nice addition to your home tap?
Add your personal spin to mixology
Add your personal spin to mixology

Biofabrication 

Designing and building products with biology is not only for scifi authors. By harnessing organisms such as bacteria, yeast, algae, mycelium, and more, you can cultivate consumer goods as varied as footwear and furniture to food and even fashion:

Photo from Suzanne Lee of "Biofabricate on Growing a Better Future". Work by Tina Gorjanc
Photo from Suzanne Lee of "Biofabricate on Growing a Better Future". Work by Tina Gorjanc

Bio-Painting

You can paint with natural colors from coral or other natural sources (edit: no coral was harmed during this experiment, only their genetic information was used from a database):

Photo Credit to N. Jakimo   Reference: Liljeruhm J, et al. Engineering a palette of eukaryotic chromoproteins. J Biol Eng. 2018;12:8. doi:10.1186/s13036-018-0100-0
Photo Credit to N. Jakimo Reference: Liljeruhm J, et al. Engineering a palette of eukaryotic chromoproteins. J Biol Eng. 2018;12:8. doi:10.1186/s13036-018-0100-0

 Demo some cool things in your living room

Beautifully designed to fit right in the center of your conversation
Beautifully designed to fit right in the center of your conversation
... or to be shown off in your living room. save your closet space for clothes
... or to be shown off in your living room. save your closet space for clothes

Dr. Keerthi Shetty on Bio Education 

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We believe best learning experience happens with doing. Learning is about experiencing with our hands and perceptions; learning is not only accepting what it is, but also dreaming about possibilities and inventing alternatives.  However, Not much has changed in how we teach biology in the past 50 years -- the focus has mostly been on delivering facts rather than elements that spark curiosity. In addition,  not all students and schools have access to expensive laboratory equipment, and standard labs take up a lot of space that schools can’t afford.  So the time is ripe for disruption in this space. We want to bring the bio lab access to more students. With the compact Feles One, you can convert a normal classroom or a chemical lab into a bio lab for an engaging learning experience.   Student can go beyond memorizing the basics of DNA to actually visualizing it on a gel and doing their own DNA engineering. Equipped with six essential tools for molecular biology, you can design your own experiments that meets specific curriculum requirements. 

If you are interested in working with us to develop educational curriculum for special topics. Please send contact us at curriculum@felesbio.com

In collaboration with MANTA Product Development, we performed ergonomic and usability testing to come up with an integrated system that is not only easy to use, but also easy to clean and carry. We even found room for a storage compartment for your reagents. 

Safety is always our top priority.  We are doing our best to make sure the product is safe to use. But once they are out, it needs your attention to carefully follow the safety rules. As the community grow, we will keep updating the safety guidelines.

Do:

  • Wear gloves during experiments and wash your hands thoroughly before and after experiments
  • Spray the Feles Lab with the provided alcohol cleaner and wipe it down with a paper towel after each experiment
  • Follow local and national guidelines when disposing of your experimental waste materials 

 Don’t:

  • Cultivate known or potentially disease causing bacteria or viruses
  • Dispose of biological material in the sink or trash without first sterilizing them using bleach or alternative cleansers
  • Let nutrient rich media and agar set on the Feles Lab or other surfaces sit without cleaning them up
  • never intentionally create or distribute organisms which can self replicate and spread its genes into the natural population. 

 If you want to get a Feles lab as early as this Christmas,  back us on Kickstarter today. We are offering super early bird $700 (limit 100).  You can also chose to have a customized version with your preferred text on the thermocycler cover, which is perfect as a holiday gift or for personal collection. You can also back $100 and you will receive a set of stickers and a  Feles hoodie with nice fleece inside. Otherwise, $5 support will also help us move forward. All backers will receive a thank you letter with some Feles Stickers enclosed.

Personalized Part

If you are interested in personalizing your Feles One and helping us out in the process:

Our mascot, FiFi's very own Feles One
Our mascot, FiFi's very own Feles One

Stickers -- FiFi's Bio-Imagineering Adventure

Kickstarter Exclusive Hoodie (Featuring Feles Friends)

 Introducing our team, advisers, friends and supporters who have joined our cause:

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Have an experiment that you'd like to share with the world? Then the developer's program is for you! Developers who are interested in developing an application kit, please send a cover letter and experimental proposal plan to developer@felesbio.com. Qualified developers will receive a Feles lab for free and work with us to bring their idea to life in the form of an application kit. We welcome biotech professionals to join us as well, especially if you can adapt your published protocols to the Feles Kit. Please help us share the power and joy of biotech to everyone.    

* Feles Inc does not charge any fee for all the assistance. All the profits will go to the creator of the application. 

Application fundamentals: 

While the Feles Lab represent a fairly complete set of laboratory tools, we recognize that it doesn’t cover everything. It’s okay if your application require access to additional equipment, simply let us know and we will evaluate if we can include the additional equipment as a part of the application package as an add-on.

The Feles Lab is limited to a maximum power draw of 280W by the power supply and software locked to allow no more than two modules to run simultaneously. This can be changed by editing the operating system of the Feles Box, whose control board is accessible by unscrewing the face plate at the four corners, and carefully lifting it up to expose the IO board of the nanoPC mounted to the back of the touchpad.

By default, every module is controlled by its own app in its own linux process

Please follow both local and board biosafety guidelines when thinking about your development plan. As a general rule of thumb, applications should be limited to biosafety level 1 (BSL1). 

A few snapshots of our prototyping process
A few snapshots of our prototyping process
Bird's eye view of all of the components
Bird's eye view of all of the components
Sometimes it took three people to figure out the wiring :)
Sometimes it took three people to figure out the wiring :)
Testing how the housing main looks propped up on a floating style base
Testing how the housing main looks propped up on a floating style base
Making sure everything fit
Making sure everything fit
This was taken right after we finished the 1st assembly. Everyone said "WOW"
This was taken right after we finished the 1st assembly. Everyone said "WOW"

Mass production is never easy. But we have a few advantages. Instead of contacting manufacturers only after we were done prototyping, we started the initial development on the manufacturing floor in Shenzhen and directly sourced our hardware parts from volume vendors. Finally, we designed our hardware and assembly strategy with volume production in mind.  

With established manufacturing partnerships in China, we secured OEM partners and we are familiar with the remaining steps toward the mass production. Finally, to ensure you receive the perfect Feles One biolab, we will put it through the most rigorous quality control and functionality tests.  

Our manufacturing partner (top); from sketch to machined aluminum (bottom)
Our manufacturing partner (top); from sketch to machined aluminum (bottom)

Where we are right now:

Concept done! Electrical Engineer done!  Mechanical Design done! Industrial Design Done! First prototype assembly done!  

The current centrifuge can only spin up to 2,000xg. We would like to continue developing and safety testing the centrifuge up to a speed of 8,000xg.  

Mobile App is still under development. While the UI concept is already done, further development will be a stretch goal of this campaign. The mobile app will serve as a community space for people who are interested in exploring science and experimenting with robust protocols in the field of biology. The main feature is to create and share professional level biology protocols to a broader audience.

Photos

All the photos of this campaign are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution CC BY license, and may be downloaded and reproduced accordingly. 

Credits

The Feles One incorporated innovations from several excellent open-source projects to speed up development.

We would like to thank early explorers and pioneers such as Bento Lab and Chaibio for their contribution in DIYbio community. 

Risks and challenges

We’re a small team of young and energetic people with a wide array of expertise from biology, industrial design, UI/UX design, and manufacturing. We are also very fortunate to have a large network of collaborators who we can call upon whenever challenges arise. As complex of a project as building the Feles One prototype was, our team has risen to meet the challenges every step of the way. It is our promise to you that we will meet all future challenges with the same attitude, and do everything in our power to look after you, our very first backers and supporters, by shipping the pledge rewards on-time.

As noted earlier, our current centrifuge is rated for only 2,000xg while the motor is capable of a much higher 8,000xg. This is because we are still in the process of safety testing our centrifuge enclosure to ensure that it can capture any shrapnel produced should anything go wrong at high speeds. In the event that significant resigns are required in order to safely achieve 8,000xg, we will ship the Feles One with a 2,000xg centrifuge. For any experiments requiring a higher centripetal force, a longer spin-time can be used and we will provide a detailed guide should this happen.

While we have already developed relationships with OEMs, depending on the number of backers we may need to find new manufacturing partners in order to meet our timeline. Depending on the method, the final product may be 10 pounds or so heavier.

Finally, with trade tensions around the world riding high and threats of tariffs being thrown around, import taxes may change over the coming months. While we can’t predict the future, we will do our best to find workarounds, and promise that you’ll be honestly informed of any change in our plans or potential delays in a timely manner. Rest assured, we’re a company with a mission to ship our products.

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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Feles High Five

    Thanks for your support and renew your curiosity about the project. We will keep you updated of our progress.❤️

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    Feles Swag Bag😻

    Thanks for your support and love for the Vitruvian cat logo. Be among the first in the world to get your Feles Hoodie and some stickers, not yet available anywhere else!

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    Inventor 💎Super Early Bird

    Thank you for being AMAZING in supporting us so early! You'll get your hands on one of the earliest units of Feles One, and at an amazing 30% off the $999 retail price

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    Super Early Bird Feles Complete Package

    Get your Feles One biolab, Get a pack of stickers to put on it, Get a hoodie to keep you warm while working. This is the package that's got everything folks, all at 30% off.

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    Inventor 💎 Early Bird

    Thank you for being an awesome early supporter! You'll get your hands on one of the earliest units of Feles One at 20% off the $999 retail price

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    • Digital Thank You Letter
    • Feles One
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    Collector_Limited Edition

    Be one of the first people in the world to get a Feles One and have it personalized! Only available on Kickstarter in limited quantities.

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    • Feles One with Customization
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    Pledge US$ 2,499 or more About US$ 2,499

    Lab Builder

    Get 5 Feles One to either build your own lab or to donate to a school or organization of your choice. This is the deal of a lifetime at an amazing 50% off the $4,999 retail price.

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Funding period

- (30 days)