Dear Sabertron Fans,
It’s been a while since we updated you on our progress, probably the longest time that we’ve left you in the dark since the campaign started. We apologize for both the delays in updates, and the delays in shipping Sabertron. You can expect much more frequent updates as we push forward into production.
The good news is that we have worked out a path to production and to shipping Sabertron. There was a lot of debate within the team about how best to proceed because we still have many difficult steps ahead of us. But we now have a plan that we all agree is the best path forward, and we are putting it into action now.
We are not yet ready to announce a shipping date, but we will do a better job of keeping you informed going forward. You can expect to see surveys in the next couple weeks, and we will be sharing the details of our manufacturing plan as well at that time. We have chosen a first rate manufacturer that we believe will help us produce a high quality product.
Firmware and Hardware Complete
Our PCBs are now on revision E and the firmware is at revision 1.4.3. As engineers, we have a hard time announcing that a design is “done” because we still see things that could be fixed or things that could improve the product. However, the mechanical and electrical designs are ready to become a product as it is now. We will still make some tweaks and improvements as we enter production, so you may see some future updates about those, but the design is no longer a gating item to production. All game modes work, all configuration settings work, the swords are fully functional. In addition, since we’ve designed the firmware to be Over-the-Air (OTA) upgradeable, we’ll be able to continue to refine and improve it into production and beyond.
NOTE: When reviewing the pictures and videos, please keep in mind that these Sabertrons are still just preproduction demos. The handles are 3D printed, the foam blades are handmade, the screen graphics still need tweaking, etc. We still even have debug information overlays on some of the screens. However, now that we have everything functionally completed, we wanted to show them to you ASAP. As we move forward, we will be improving our demo units and taking new/better pictures and videos to show you in the future updates. Always remember, the fit and finish of the final production versions will be much better than what we can show you now.
Game Mode Screens
These screens allow the user to cycle through and select their desired game mode. Some of the things like the version and the sword address may be suppressed in the final version.
The following video shows a brief overview of the now fully functional Sabertrons. It includes some pictures of the handles, pommels, reviews the game mode screens, the configuration screens, shows an example of the screen display during a simulated metered damage game, and finally several full speed battles.
We will be doing more updates soon to show you much more. Every game mode in detail, our scoreboard features, more detailed pictures of the swords… everything.
While we might set a record for the most overdue Kickstarter in history (probably not), we hope that the quality of the end product will make up for it to some extent. We appreciate your continued support and patience as we transition into the production phase of the project.
Sincerely, Team Sabertron