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Newsletter: July 2013

Puzzlebox Pyramid and Helicopter

The Puzzlebox Newsletter

Updates from the makers of brain-controlled devices for minds of all kinds

Puzzlebox Pyramid Software Released

Over recent weeks and months we have been hard at work on the hardware and software behind the Puzzlebox Pyramid. With hardware having been finalized in June, we are pleased to announce that our microcontroller software has been released and is ready for public review.

This version covers everything from Bluetooth pairing with the NeuroSky MindWave Mobile headset to parsing data packets, graphing live attention and meditation updates using the RBG LED panel, and transmitting the corresponding fight commands via infrared signal to the Puzzlebox Orbit.

You can browse the source code online through the Orbit development tracker (although we expect to create a dedicated tracker for the Pyramid in coming days):

Click here to browse the Puzzlebox Pyramid source code.

Custom Bluetooth Shield for Puzzlebox Pyramid

After considerable experimentation and trial-and-error using existing Bluetooth hardware for Arduino-compatible microcontrollers, our Chief Engineer Hao was still not satisfied with form-factor and certain necessary trade-offs. So true to his perfectionist fashion, he spent much of June designing yet another custom circuit board for the Puzzlebox Pyramid. As with all other Pyramid hardware, the schematic will be released under open source licensing.

Incidentally, one consideration was to simply rely on a USB dongle to provide Bluetooth support. There were several drawbacks however, not the least of which was tying up the USB Host port on the Pyramid. By keeping this port free however, we will be able to offer future expansion capabilities, including interfacing with Android devices and connecting various hardware peripherals.

Stay tuned for more information and new hacks as our Pyramid start shipping!

Puzzlebox Pyramid Shipping Update

Our original target shipping date for the Puzzlebox Pyramid was during the month of April for our first 50 Kickstarter backers. By the time April had arrived it became clear that including Bluetooth support was simply too valuable to leave out, and so we issued a notification to affected parties that a two-month delay was going to result. Unfortunately the need to design our own custom Bluetooth shield (see above) has delayed manufacturing by a further month.

Happily however, all Pyramids and necessary components are now being produced and assembled at our facility in Shenzen, China. We will be shipping to all international Kickstarter backers directly by the end of July, with US deliveries to begin as soon as they arrive in country and pass through customs. All Puzzlebox Orbit helicopters and EEG headsets are being shipped separately in the meantime, immediately and at our expense.

Again we apologize for these delays but hope the level of quality this additional time and investment has produced will be reflected by your experience with the Puzzlebox Pyramid.

Puzzlebox Orbit Becomes A Parents’ Choice Recommended Award Winner

We are proud to relate that the Puzzlebox Orbit has been Recommended by Parents’ Choice for 2013.

Details are available at the Parents’ Choice Foundation website.

New International Distributors

Over the past several months Avary Kent, our Head of Operations, has been negotiating new international distributors for Puzzlebox products. Our partners aid our cause by freeing up our time to focus on doing what we do best – bringing you exciting new features and developments in the realm of Brain-Computer Interface.
First up we have MindTec, founded by TITAN Commerce Continental Services GmbH in Germany. MindTec is now the exclusive distributor for the Puzzlebox Orbit for the European Union and United Arab Emirates.
Next we have RobotShop, the World’s Leading Robot Store for Personal and Professional Robot Technology. RobotShop is now the exclusive distributor for the Puzzlebox Orbit in Canada.

Latest Press for Puzzlebox

In mid-June Puzzlebox was invited to present to an exclusive community of founders and investors at Founders Forum in the English countryside. More details are available online through coverage by the BBC.

Over this past weekend, Tech News Daily featured the Puzzlebox Orbit among “The Quirkiest Tech of 2013


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