The Juicero was a $400 "juicer" that squeezed packets of DRM-locked fruit pulp, an idea so perverse that it got honorable mention in DRM's worst moments of 2017, and inspired sighs of relief when the business cratered in 2017, as evidence of the fundamental soundness of human judgment in a year plagued by serious lapses in same.
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It's easy to squeeze the juice out of a Juicero juice bag with your bare hands. But for some reason, the $400 Juicero machine was built to squeeze charcoal briquettes into diamonds. Ben Einstein, a product designer and venture capitalist, took one apart to see what was inside.
Juicero’s Press is an incredibly complicated piece of engineering. Of the hundreds of consumer products I’ve taken apart over the years, this is easily among the top 5% on the complexity scale.
Because the door must transmit the force of the entire drivetrain pushing against the juice packs, we see MASSIVE machined aluminum components.
It is exceptionally rare to see a custom power supply on a first-time hardware startup’s product as these are inspected very carefully as part of UL/ETL certification, creating additional cost and risk.
Like many of the other systems on this product, the motor is seemingly custom to account for the exceptionally high rated power (stalls at 5A at 330V DC, which is hard to believe, possibly even a misprint on the motor casing) and sports a custom encoder system designed by Juicero (yellow arrow)
Removing the sheet metal frame sheds light on a few more custom-machined aluminum drivetrain components. The number, size, complexity and accuracy of these parts is somewhat mind-blowing for a young hardware startup.
At least the engineers had fun designing this! Read the rest
Something Awful is running a letter of explanation written by the CEO of Lobstero, who is fighting back against unfair criticism of its wi-fi enabled lobster dispensing unit.
First, let me be very clear: Lobstero's Lobster Packs are much more than just a lobster in a plastic bag. These pouches contain specially conditioned saltwater designed to preserve your lobster's unique qualities. Each pouch allows our lobster to interface directly with our supply chain, ensuring that Lobstero pouches are never more than three-days old.
Squeezing the lobster out of the pack will startle it, possibly injuring it in the process. The Lobstero Home Lobster Station gently applies pressure to the back of the pouch, easing the lobster out of its pouch and into your favorite dish.
If you don't know what's going on here, read this. Read the rest