Dear backers,

The past months haven’t been our best. The pandemic is taking it’s toll around us, and Wheel deliveries have been hampered by finetuning issues. While Wheel works very well horizontally, upright or vertical performance remained a challenge. We’ve been installing Wheels for horizontal use in people’s homes for a while now, and have been working hard to improve vertical performance in the meantime.

All this time the solution was literally staring us in the face.
Because we have to apply a matte black coating into each plateau, adding a stroboscope to the paint stencil was a no-brainer. This sprayed-on stroboscope is used as visual reference during assembly.

A fellow engineer recently visited us and asked what the stroboscope was for, and why it wasn’t used in the error correction loop. After building advanced control systems, refining algorithms over and over, this suggestion was almost too simple. It surely had been an option earlier, but we never thorougly implemented it.

This time we did. We turned the stroboscope into a high resolution optical encoder, right onto the plateau. It works in concordance with all other mechanical and electronical refinements you’ve read about in previous updates, so Wheel’s drivetrain has become even more sophisticated. More importantly, measuring directly from the plateau puts Wheel squarely within specification, both horizontally and vertically.

All of this makes assembly so much easier. We can now build series of Wheels and do the measuring and finetuning afterwards. This finally makes assembly straightforward and predictable.

A huge relief and the best birthday gift I could have hoped for. We need to wait a bit for the new parts to arrive, but we can finally start to open the gates.

Thank you for your ongoing support,

Peter and the Wheel team

Wheel’s plateau with the ‘old’ stroboscope

Wheel’s plateau with the high resolution optical encoder