Hi Everyone, this is going to be our first FAQ. Here are some commonly asked questions and our answers:
Is there opportunity to get your unit cost down and if so, what is the plan?
Yes, we have already managed to get costs down a bit by switching from three PCBA's to two. Scaling up production will allow us to get costs down even more. Because of the nature of the pandemic and all of the stress that this has put on the overall supply chain, we are always looking for back up suppliers, especially local ones who can complement our final assembly plant. In the long term, this will lead to reduced costs and delays.
Are you able to retrofit existing suitcases?
This is a very interesting point. The wheel motors that we use, would allow us to retrofit suitcases that have two wheels. Some luggage manufacturers have shown interest and we would not be against doing OEM or ODM services.
Some suitcase companies and a few airlines have shown interest. They are currently not using our technology, but I plan to continue discussions with them.
Some of the comments are very negative. Could you explain why?
Companies like Tesla still get a lot more hate than us, especially in comments sections (with much worse accusations), but despite that, they are leading the charge in disrupting their respective industries in a positive way. I hope that we will go on to do the same for consumer robotics.
I believe our company will be worth way more than it currently is. You're getting in as an early investor. Imagine investing in Apple or Starbucks before they went public. Especially, investing in said company when their shares were not diluted. My opinion is that this is a similar situation, if you look at things long term. We are offering an extremely good value right now on Startengine.
Another thing to take into account is that we have expanded our product line to include cargo robots, medical robots, assistant carriers and more. All of which add to the value of the company. Lastly, the granting of a non provisional patent for our proprietary movement system further increases the value of our company. There is huge potential to apply our movement system to other robots.
Ok, but there's also people who say that they have not received their units?
Yes, frankly speaking, we are doing our best to fulfill our obligations and are doing our best to reduce differed revenue this year. There are indiegogo backers who have not received their perks yet. Most of them are understanding, because they backed us when we were in the prototype stage. With a total of about a million and a half dollars raised from indiegogo and equity funding (not including this current raise), we have been able to progress into mass manufacturing, have a complex supply chain and have even opened our own assembly plant.
Making a working prototype is not the hardest part of creating a complex robot. By far the hardest thing for any new technology, is scaling up and adapting it to mass production. Mass production is incredibly difficult and we have had to adapt and learn. For example, the cost of producing one unit is around 350 dollars. While our original indiegogo bonus for putting in 399 dollars, was to get one of our robots. This means that we take a loss when delivering to our indiegogo backers. This is why our retail price has started at 1099 since around 2018. Despite this, we are committed to fulfilling our indiegogo perks.
Do you have any issues with sourcing components?
Assembling a robot is like assembling a car. It has 64 separate components. We have worked diligently to develop a supply chain with more than 12 suppliers. The only real issue right now with sourcing components has to do with electronics. There is huge demand from industry heavy weights such as Toyota, Sony, Huawei and more. Everyone needs chips and everyone is trying to get as many as possible, which just makes the shortages worse. It's gotten so bad that the UK car industry is seeing its lowest output since 1956: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/26/uk-car-production-falls-to-lowest-level-since-1956-amid-chip-shortage.html
We are doing our best, given the current circumstances, and should receive more components at our final assembly plant within a few months. This will give us enough to open orders of our Large and Medium sized units.
Can I see some packaging and how the battery looks like?
Yes, here are some vids of that: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/1/folders/1Kt4yVbKuz9DCKl8B2oWInQr5jbtJOOMG
Some of your products are not available for order. Can you make a reservation list to gauge interest, or accept deposits?
Yes, we are working on implementing something like this for the Medium and Large sized Travelmate robots.
Thanks again for investing and supporting Travelmate Robotics!