Starting up production and doing the first batch of a product is always problematic, no matter how well you try to plan it. So just like for the Crazyflie 1.0, we decided to pack our bags and leave for Shenzhen for the production of the first batch of the Crazyflie 2.0. When we launched the first Crazyflie we tried to take things easy and minimize the number of products we launched at once. But for the Crazyflie 2.0 we went all in and launched 13 new products at once. Some of these are just spare parts, but many are more complex products. It’s been a few busy months to say the least :-)
The production timeline that we have been working towards for the Crazyflie 2.0 has been pretty tight. So our main goal with this trip was to help out in any way possible to make sure that everything was going smoothly. Like I wrote above, we are launching a fair amount of boards at the same time. The Crazyflie 2.0 itself is of course the most complex, but also the Crazyradio, the LED-ring and Qi expansion requires a lot of attention. Aside from that there’s also the debug-kit and prototype/breakout boards as well as all the spare parts that should be inspected. Everything started off very well and things was going ahead of schedule, somehow we became the ones slowing things down. We had to work almost around the clock to catch up. In the end though it was all worth it because on Saturday it all came together and everything was following schedule.
Since things are running according to the schedule it means the products will start to ship Monday the 8th of December. So if you have chosen Air mail there is a big chance it will reach you before X-mas, but not guaranteed. If you have chosen a faster method, DHL or UPS you will get your pre-order before X-mas.
Getting to Shenzhen
Going from Sweden to Shenzhen is a pretty long journey, but that doesn’t mean it has to be super expensive. Since Shenzhen is very close to Hong Kong, the easiest for us have been to fly to Hong Kong and take the bus/train to the border at Lo Wo (map). The bus ride takes over an hour, but it’s filled with beautiful views of Hong Kong so time passes quickly. Once you are at Lo Wu you can walk across the boarder to mainland China and go directly down into the metro. While entering the metro it’s easy to pick up a Chinese SIM card for your phone and a metro card. The Chinese SIM we got was about 15 USD which also includes 300 MB of data. If you are on your way to Seeedstudio then make sure to check out their guide for getting there.
If you are an electronics enthusiast or just like electronics you need to visit Huaqiangbei in Shenzhen. It is the worlds largest electronics market and things that can’t be found here, I’m not so sure it can be found at all. The prices are extremely low but be aware of fake products and quality problems. E.g if you buy a cheap 32GB SD card you can almost be sure it is a fake and only holds a true 4 – 8GB, so we can’t recommend you to get one there. Many guides has been written about Huaqiangbei so we won’t write yet another one. If you want to read more we can recommend dangerousprototypes guides.
Expansion board naming contest results postponed yet another week
After checking the voting log we could see that most of the naming alternatives had been tampered with. We had some idea that maybe we could filter out the suspicious ones but our attempt failed so we are back on square one. We still want to give away a Crazyflie 2.0 kit to the winning name but we more or less decided to have a local voting process with people aorund our office instead. We will therefore need more time to select the winner. As we won’t be able to ship the award unit before the 8th of December anyway so we decided to postpone it yet another week to be able to gather the local votes, which will be a lot harder to tamper with. So be sure to check back next Monday.
6 comments on “A week in Shenzhen”
It’s great that you guys post such revealing articles about the road to production. I really enjoy the inside view I get from these articles. It’s also refreshing to hear how much you personally scrutinize the product to ensure a quality result. Alot of manufacturers (and makers) could learn from your philosophy. I’m not sure everyone has the energy to do it like you guys do though. It really shows how much you love your product and that makes the Crazyflie that much more fun to tinker with! I truly can’t wait to get my CF2.0 pre-order! I’m seriously looking forward to a lot of experimentation over the holidays and into the new year. :-)
It is a great product and all of you are doing a very good job. I have already planed to teach Crazyflie 2.0 at Universities in India around one thousand students.(UG and PG) in January 2015. I am going to conduct 6 weeks workshop on quad-copter.Basic preparation has been done using stm32f3-discovery and stm32f4-discovery boards. There are two parts for this workshop. First part is familiar with cortex-M4 processor and second part will be working with Crazyflie 2.0.
I haven’t bought crazyflie 2.0 yet. I will do when I come back from India. I can send you my power point presentation if you like.
I haven’t found any schematic, software or literatures in Github. Are you going to produce any learning materials for students? Will you teach me if come to Sweden?
The new version comes crazyflie soon to customers.
New version of Crazyflie client & Android version when it will be released?
New versions of the clients will be released next week. The new iOS app is already available https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/crazyflie-2.0/id946151480?mt=8&uo=4
Shipped today! Just as you said in the post. Now I am crossing my fingers and hope to get it before Christmas.
It is nice to see people keeping up with their schedules. Good job bitcraze!