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Mark II Update: Assembly Prototypes and Audio Test


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Originally published at: http://mycroft.ai/blog/mark-ii-update-assembly-prototypes-and-audio-test/

We are making great progress on the final production-ready hardware design for the Mark II. For the last several weeks our partners at Aaware have been bringing up the Mark II boards. The boards are now in a state where they can boot into Ubuntu 16.04 and run various scripts to test the audio systems. At this point, you can SSH into the Mark II and access the terminal interface, but we don’t have the display working or a GUI interface yet.

Testing the Audio on the Mark II Board

We were able to test the microphones successfully and play music to test the audio performance. Previously we tested the audio chamber with the Rohm amplifier dev board, but this was the first time using the pre-production boards. I’m happy to report the audio sounds just as good as it did in our previous tests.

We had a video of this but got flagged for a copyright claim. We were so excited we just reached for a favorite song, instead of grabbing something that was CC Licensed. We’ll have a video with something royalty-free up soon.

Final Assembly Tweaks

We are at a point now we can continue testing the final assembly. Using the pre-production board prototypes we created a new assembly prototype that is the closest to production we have created so far. Everything is looking great, but as expected we will need to tweak the enclosure design a little. We need to add more clearance in a few places, especially around the connectors for the loudspeaker design and microphone cable.

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The next big steps are to continue tweaking the enclosure design for fit, finish the display drivers, and dial in the microphone array. In parallel, we have been moving forward with our top Contract Manufacturing candidate. Before we begin production we will have our manufacturer create another round of prototypes in order to iron out any remaining kinks. Creating hardware is a long journey but we are getting closer every day. I can’t wait to share the first demos of Mark II running on pre-production hardware.