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Puzzlebox Orbit is an educational toy that combines a brain-controlled helicopter with open hardware, software, and teaching material
Puzzlebox Orbit is an educational toy that combines a brain-controlled helicopter with open hardware, software, and teaching material
Puzzlebox Orbit is an educational toy that combines a brain-controlled helicopter with open hardware, software, and teaching material
434 backers pledged $74,799 to help bring this project to life.

Apple iOS Status Update

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Source Code, Forums, iOS, and Throttle Control

Happy Holidays from the team at Puzzlebox!

We have been staying busy to keep bringing you the best we have to offer.

First, we are happy to announce source code availability for both our Android and iOS apps. All code has been published under the GPL (version 2). You can browse code or download complete bundles matched to each software release:

Source Code Browser

Puzzlebox Orbit Downloads

Next, we have continued to extend our community resources by adding message forums to the Puzzlebox Orbit website. Feel free to sign up, ask questions, and share your experiences with other backers.

For Apple iOS users, we have added to our wiki a guide to building and using our software for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices:

iOS Instruction Manual

Over in our development tracker, we have began opening tickets to record user issues experienced with Android devices we haven't been able to test directly ourselves. Submitting new tickets and feature requests is a breeze after creating an account.

And finally, we are pleased to make available a developer preview release of the next version of our Android software, which includes the ability to set throttle control to custom levels. This should aid users who found their Orbit to fly too aggressively when fully charged. You can even use "Yaw" and "Pitch" controls to set your Orbit to spin or fly forward across the room. Due to variations in audio hardware, certain users have experienced difficultly communicating with the IR dongle. The new "Invert Control Signal" setting should address this and extend support to many additional Android devices.

The current interface is still quite basic and this version of the software has not been fully debugged, but with your help we hope in the next several days to get an official, stable update published to the Google Play store for all users to enjoy.

Developer Preview Release 1.1.1 for Android is available in our Downloads section.

Shipments Arriving, Websites, and CES

What a whirlwind!

Two weeks ago, our Kickstarter for the Puzzlebox Orbit officially closed. Since then we have been working frantically to ship all of our December reward tiers, especially those from backers indicating they desired delivery in time for holiday gifting. We are happy to announce all December orders are now on their way, and in many cases already received! Special thanks to Avary Kent, the rock star who managed the process.

Meanwhile we have continued to progress on the technical front. Our first Android app was published to the Google Play store on December 11th. The download is free and available to anyone. Unfortunately our app for Apple device is still not available in the App Store, and according to this notice from Apple, they have closed for the holiday and we shouldn't expect to see it before December 29th. We will continue to provide updates as we hear more.

That said, source code for both Android and iOS will be released in the next several days. We have actually produced a complete development tracker which permits filing bug reports, tracking milestones, browsing source, downloading beta releases, and so on. A wiki includes the complete instruction manual for operating the Orbit under Android. Alongside this we have established a very basic website for the Puzzlebox Orbit that will shortly be receiving a community forum. We expect to use this resource for future updates and will eventually phase out the Kickstarter mechanism.

Puzzlebox Orbit Website

Android Instruction Manual

And our last new announcement is that Puzzlebox will be presenting on the floor of CES in Las Vegas this January, thanks to space provided by NeuroSky. You can find us at the follow location:

Booth: LVCC, South Hall 2 - 26130 


Pushing Brain-Computer Interface technology forward is our guiding principle. The positive response we have received through this Kickstarer helps support our efforts and we want to thank every one of our backers. We hope each of you see yourselves as now part of a community which will continue to grow over the coming months. And while the Kickstarter itself has officially expired, we are still accepting orders at the listed closing prices if you contact us directly.

So if you missed out on getting your own Puzzlebox Orbit, don't worry. Its not the end of the world.

Final Hours, Helicopters Have Arrived, and First Impressions

It is down to the final 36 hours of our Kickstarter!

After raising more than seven times our target funding nearly all reward packages have been claimed and many will soon be in the hands of our early adopters. There remains only a handful of Puzzlebox Orbit helicopters still available in time for the holidays, so if you have been sitting on the fence now your last opportunity to act.

The first delivery of 120 helicopters arrived on Wednesday, with the remainder en route and due early next week. Our packaging and shipping boxes have been received and are ready for labelling. While we have been informed of delays with the NeuroSky EEG headsets we are confident we will be able to meet our promised delivery deadlines, even if it means we have to absorb doubled or tripled shipping costs. The satisfaction of our backers has to be our first priority!

Last night our company and this product was presented to the entrepreneur community at SF New Tech, followed by two hours of live demonstrations. Some of our own backers were in attendance and received a first-hand experience with the Puzzlebox Orbit. The reception and feedback were extremely encouraging and we thank everyone who attended!

In the coming days we will be focused on shipping arrangements and final touches to our control software, so please excuse any delays in correspondence. We read every message and request we receive but have to balance replies with following through on our commitments to you, our backers. Just the same, please keep sending your comments, questions and suggestions and thank you for your support!

Press Coverage, Hacking Guides, and a Live Demonstration

We're over the halfway mark and the first Puzzlebox Orbits begin shipping in two weeks!

Welcome to all of our newest backers and please keep sending us your questions and ideas.

These past days at Puzzlebox we have witnessed an overwhelming response to our campaign from all across the globe. Word is beginning to spread not only about flying spheres and mind control, but about hackable toys and Open ideals. We're highly appreciative of all of the positive feedback we've received from individuals and of course from the media as well. Here's half a dozen examples of coverage which has dug a little deeper into our story or particularly widened our exposure (in alphabetical order):

Following last week's guide on controlling the Puzzlebox Orbit via a programmable Arduino we have started several new chapters which both document our progress and will serve as lessons on individual skills and techniques for custom modifications. For example, the following video builds on the circuit from the previous chapter and covers using our Open Source Android software to read from an EEG headset to issue flight commands (YouTube annotations should be enabled):

As each guide is completed we will publish and share links in future updates.

Finally, for those of you local to San Francisco, you can catch us presenting live at SF New Tech on December 5th. We will be discussing Puzzlebox the company, our experience holding this Kickstarter, and of course demonstrating the Puzzlebox Orbit. Event details available here: