Millo - The World's Smartest Smoothie Maker
Tom Spendlove posted on May 11, 2017 | 1169 views

Adam Trakselis was torn between making an early morning smoothie for himself, and the accompanying noise that would wake up his wife and daughter. This led him down a path to find a blender or smoothie maker that could operate silently. While he found several brands with silent, whisper, or quiet in their name he couldn’t find a smoothie maker that exhibited those characteristics. As many engineers do, Adam decided to build what he was unable to find on the market, and Millo The World’s Smartest Smoothie Maker was born. A Kickstarter campaign is currently running to fund the first run of production components.

Inspiration came from his daughter’s music box and two dancing discs that spun around without being attached to any motors. Using magnets manipulated the spinners and Adam realized a similar magnetic controlled motion could work for a smoothie maker.

The Air Drive developed for Millo is expected to emit a quarter of the noise of a regular blender, while consuming half as much energy and producing half as much heat. The smart lid can be washed in seconds and can remember a user and their blending preferences. Touch control on the base lets the user blend faster or slower and control the duration, and the mobile app can also control the entire system.

Adam answered a few questions for us about the development of Millo. He said that the round shape of the blender base created some design challenges when figuring out how to assemble and manufacture the electronics components inside. The decision to use Bluetooth connectivity vs WiFi was difficult but due to security concerns Bluetooth was chosen for this first production generation of parts.

Casting the cup itself was a challenge in both the prototype and production stages. After meeting with production molders the prototype design changed to optimize moldability, and those lessons learned are being adapted into the production tooling as well. The Air Drive system is the engineering feat that gives Adam and his team the most pride. Finding the right spacing and programming for the magnets to move was a large undertaking, magnets too close will keep the user from taking the cup off the base and too far won’t give enough force to spin the blades.

Adam also added “Everyone designing a hardware product from the ground up should get an immense amount of patience ready and never expect that something will just work right in the first try. It's hard work, the estimates will go up and things will burn down just when you thought they're finally working. That's why it's more important than ever to have a strong team and partners willing to help for a common future good.” This initial production run is limited to 3,000 units. The campaign ends on June 8 and if successful first units are expected to ship in March, 2018.

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