Project image
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$10,016
pledged of $ 25,000pledged of $ 25,000 goal
46
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, June 21 2015 1:33 AM UTC +00:00
$10,016
pledged of $ 25,000pledged of $ 25,000 goal
46
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, June 21 2015 1:33 AM UTC +00:00

About

What is Mini-Mole?

The Mini-Mole Robotic Floor Duster is a miniature automatic floor cleaner that cleans dust, fur, and other debris under sofas, TV stands, dressers, beds, and other furniture with low ground clearance—areas that can't be easily reached manually or with other automated floor cleaners!

What will Mini-Mole do for me?

Mini-Mole will clean your floors, so you don't have to.  Mini-Mole will clean the hidden areas that other automatic cleaners can't get to and that most of us would struggle to get to.

Hard-to-reach places—like underneath the couch, TV stand, and dresser—are often overlooked or ignored altogether because conventional cleaning equipment simply can't fit underneath without moving the furniture.  So the dust, fur, and other debris builds up in these areas—providing a welcome home for dust mites and other little critters.

Mini-Mole is only 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall and is designed to clean underneath furniture, so you don't have to lift anything or squeeze anywhere. Just turn it on and let it go!

Mini-Mole Features and Benefits

  • Automated floor cleaning in hard to reach areas
  • No dust bin to empty
  • No rollers to clean
  • No brushes to replace
  • Miniature size—the Mini-Mole's body is 1 inch (2.5 cm) high, 3⅝ inches (9.2 cm) wide, 6⅛ inches (16.5 cm) long
  • Built-in rechargeable NiMH (nickel–metal hydride) battery with charger
  • Gathers dust and debris with disposable (or washable—your choice) cleaning pads
  • Simple one button operation
  • Gentle on people, pets, wires, etc.
  • LED running lights and LED status lights
  • 15 minute, 30 minute, 1, 2, or 3 hour run time
  • Rugged silicone rubber tires
  • Multiple sensors help guide Mini-Mole
  • "Clean Under" logic focuses work under objects with low ground clearance
  • Shuts off automatically when finished
  • Piezo speaker provides status tones
  • Durable plastic housing
  • Runs for 3 to 4 hours per charge
  • Pseudo-random navigation finds nooks and crannies
  • Works well with other Mini-Moles to clean larger areas
  • Plays melody when starting and finished
  • Sensors help prevent falls down stairs

Mini-Mole is easy to use!

Attach a pad, press the "Power" button, and watch Mini-Mole go!

Mini-Mole uses its built-in micro-controller, custom navigation software, numerous sensors, and independently powered wheels with rugged silicone tires to roam around and clean your floor—seeking out furniture with low clearance where dust loves to hide!

While Mini-Mole is working, you're free to do something that you enjoy. Mini-Mole will automatically power down when it has finished cleaning, so you can even leave the house without having to worry about turning it off or monitoring its progress.

Mini-Mole gets the job done!

 Dust is constantly collecting wherever it can settle in all of our homes.

The following picture shows the floor under a TV stand a mere two weeks after the last cleaning of this area:

Here is the same area after Mini-Mole was set free to clean this room:

Mini-Mole gets the job done!

Is Mini-Mole for real?

Absolutely! After more than 16 months of design, development, prototype building, and lots of testing—fully functional Mini-Mole prototypes are now cleaning floors for our beta testers!

Here is a time-lapse video of Mini-Mole cleaning a bedroom floor:

 project video thumbnail
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The first Mini-Moles were built manually with 3D-printed body parts, hand-soldered and hand-assembled circuit boards, and hand-cut / laser-cut cleaning pads. I am now preparing to build the Mini-Mole using injection molding, die-cutting, robotic assembly, and other manufacturing methods that will allow us to mass-produce the Mini-Mole!

I have partnered with Northeastern Assembly, Inc. to bring the Mini-Mole Robotic Floor Duster to market. With their creativity and expertise in developing consumer products, Northeastern Assembly will help to optimize the design of the Mini-Mole and provide you with the best automatic floor cleaner ever!

Northeastern Assembly/Creative Technology Industries (neaglobal.com) is a USA based global manufacturer and Product Development firm located in the greater Boston area. They specialize in consumer goods and medical device accessories—with a focus on re-shoring and US based manufacturing.

NEA concept rendering - actual Mini-Mole will look something like this!
NEA concept rendering - actual Mini-Mole will look something like this!

Why a Kickstarter Campaign?

I need the help of the Kickstarter community to fund the first Mini-Mole production run. Your pledge to the Mini-Mole campaign will help get Mini-Mole into production in 2015!

Mini-Mole is already well past the proof-of-concept phase; it can be readily built, it performs admirably, it is easy to use, it is durable, and it provides a much-needed service.

Funding is already intact for DFM (design for manufacturability), package design, mold and die making, tooling, and test builds.

What's your plan?

Here is what's on the horizon...

What are the rewards?

How did you come up with the idea?

On February 2, 2014, I dropped some change on the floor in my living room. While retrieving the coins, I reached under the TV stand to pick up a quarter. A handful of dust and fur came back with the coin.

Realizing that the 2 inch (5.1 cm) clearance under the TV stand allowed dust to collect, but made it difficult to clean under furniture like this, my new mission had begun! My search for automated cleaners to take care of this mess revealed that there was nothing available to clean under the 6 pieces of furniture in my living room with ground clearances under 3 inches (7.6 cm) or the baseboard heating units with their 1 and 1/8 inch (2.9 cm) clearance.

Professional cleaning services don't normally move heavy furniture to clean floors, and the rest of us certainly don't do it very often—if at all! Existing robotic vacuums are nearly all over 3 inches (7.6 cm) tall, so they can't reach these areas, and the dust just keeps building up.

After more than a year of mock-ups, prototypes, plenty of trial and error, and valuable feedback from family and friends—the Mini-Mole Robotic Floor Duster was created to solve this problem!

The name of the Mini-Mole Robotic Floor Duster was inspired by the small, burrowing mammal known as a mole.

The following pictures document the evolution of Mini-Mole...

Prototype 1
Prototype 1
Prototype 1 - behind the scenes
Prototype 1 - behind the scenes
Prototype 2 - hello 3D printing!
Prototype 2 - hello 3D printing!
Prototype 2 - oh my, what have we got here?
Prototype 2 - oh my, what have we got here?
Prototype 3 - ready for injection molding & hello laser cutter!
Prototype 3 - ready for injection molding & hello laser cutter!
Prototype 3 - much nicer on the inside
Prototype 3 - much nicer on the inside
Prototype 4 - a bit of DFM & we'll be ready to reproduce like bunnies!
Prototype 4 - a bit of DFM & we'll be ready to reproduce like bunnies!
Prototype 4 - see how far we have come!
Prototype 4 - see how far we have come!
The latest Mini-Mole!
The latest Mini-Mole!

What do I get?

The following pictures illustrate the Mini-Mole, the accessories, and the quick-start documents that have been provided to our beta testers; the actual production Mini-Mole will include similar items to help ensure a fabulous first impression for all Mini-Mole owners...

For more information...

Visit the Mini-Mole web site at http://www.minimole.com/

Visit the Mini-Mole Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MiniMoleDuster

Risks and challenges

I have already devoted a ton of time, effort, and money to create the Mini-Mole. The performance of about a dozen fully functional prototypes gives me great confidence that the remaining steps to mass production are well under control.

I am working with Northeastern Assembly, Inc., an established and experienced local company that specializes in bringing consumer products to market. I believe that, together, our partnership will make Mini-Mole better performing, easier to manufacture, more reliable, and an even greater value than it is at this stage of refinement.

Still, there are risks due to the complexity of an intelligent electro-mechanical product such as Mini-Mole and the desire to make it affordable to all. The primary risks relate to quality and availability of the required components, and delays due to such potential problems.

The Mini-Mole project plan includes steps and time to handle such issues - with a component sourcing strategy that will help remove dependency on any single supplier.

If any issues are encountered that may cause delays, I promise to provide updates to all backers at the first sign of an impact on the delivery of Mini-Mole.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A BIG THANK YOU!

    Thank you for helping to make Mini-Mole a reality!

    We will add your name to our earliest supporters wall on minimole.com.

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    3 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Mini MINI-MOLE Keychain + LED Flashlight

    This smaller than a Mini-Mole reward will hold your keys, light your way, and help to make Mini-Mole a reality!

    We will also add your name to our earliest supporters wall on minimole.com.

    Pledge amount includes shipping.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    EARLY BIRD MINI-MOLE

    You get your own Mini-Mole, along with a charger, cleaning pad dispenser, washable cleaning pad, and 12 disposable cleaning pads!

    Of course, we will also add your name to our earliest supporters wall on minimole.com.

    Pledge amount includes shipping to the United States - with a shipping subsidy for international orders.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 29 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    MINI-MOLE

    You get your own Mini-Mole, along with a charger, cleaning pad dispenser, washable cleaning pad, and 12 disposable cleaning pads!

    Of course, we will also add your name to our earliest supporters wall on minimole.com.

    Pledge amount includes shipping to the United States - with a shipping subsidy for international orders.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    EARLY BIRD MINI-MOLE x 2

    You get 2 Mini-Moles, 2 chargers, 2 cleaning pad dispensers, 2 washable cleaning pads, and 48 (that's 24 extra!) disposable cleaning pads!

    Of course, we will also add your name to our earliest supporters wall on minimole.com.

    Pledge amount includes shipping to the United States - with a shipping subsidy for international orders.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
    $

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    MINI-MOLE x 2

    You get 2 Mini-Moles, 2 chargers, 2 cleaning pad dispensers, 2 washable cleaning pads, and 48 (that's 24 extra!) disposable cleaning pads!

    Of course, we will also add your name to our earliest supporters wall on minimole.com.

    Pledge amount includes shipping to the United States - with a shipping subsidy for international orders.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    EARLY BIRD MINI-MOLE x 4

    You get 4 Mini-Moles, 4 chargers, 4 cleaning pad dispensers, 4 washable cleaning pads, and 96 (that's 48 extra!) disposable cleaning pads!

    Of course, we will also add your name to our earliest supporters wall on minimole.com.

    Pledge amount includes shipping to the United States - with a shipping subsidy for international orders.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $360 or more About $360

    MINI-MOLE x 4

    You get 4 Mini-Moles, 4 chargers, 4 cleaning pad dispensers, 4 washable cleaning pads, and 96 (that's 48 extra!) disposable cleaning pads!

    Of course, we will also add your name to our earliest supporters wall on minimole.com.

    Pledge amount includes shipping to the United States - with a shipping subsidy for international orders.

    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    EARLY BIRD MINI-MOLE x 8

    You get 8 Mini-Moles, 8 chargers, 8 cleaning pad dispensers, 8 washable cleaning pads, and 216 (that's 120 extra!) disposable cleaning pads!

    Of course, we will also add your name to our earliest supporters wall on minimole.com.

    Pledge amount includes shipping to the United States - with a shipping subsidy for international orders.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $

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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $720 or more About $720

    MINI-MOLE x 8

    You get 8 Mini-Moles, 8 chargers, 8 cleaning pad dispensers, 8 washable cleaning pads, and 216 (that's 120 extra!) disposable cleaning pads!

    Of course, we will also add your name to our earliest supporters wall on minimole.com.

    Pledge amount includes shipping to the United States - with a shipping subsidy for international orders.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    $

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    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    MINI-MOLE x 10 in YOUR COLOR CHOICE!

    That's right, you're the boss! Not only do you get 10 Mini-Moles, 10 chargers, 10 cleaning pad dispensers, 10 washable cleaning pads, and 240 disposable cleaning pads...

    You Get to Choose a Mini-Mole Shell Color!

    You and all other Kickstarter supporters receiving Mini-Moles can choose your color or the standard black color!

    Of course, we will also add your name (and a personal tribute, if you'd like) to a special Supporters + Designers wall on minimole.com.

    Pledge amount includes shipping.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)