January 20th, 2020
Our new facility is now mostly set up, and we are spending the majority of our time on operations. SS Hoppers are now available in a small quantity through the website.
A new factory has already started work on the replacement battery. The tooling to make the battery can and safety valve has finished. Those parts are now coming off the line and are being sent to the new battery assembly factory. From there, the cell will go into a test production of a few thousand units used to verify quality and safety. This test production will complete in February. We will then work to test and approve the cell and testing procedure for mass production.
With production and testing time factored in this will put us at around late March or April for the new battery to complete. We will do what we can to accelerate this and will revisit the factory in February to ensure everything is ready to go. We are concurrently working with another manufacturer as a backup and have recently received samples for testing.
We will have the warranty system open soon for new requests. We are currently clearing out the packages that have come in over the last few months, and once that is completed, we will open the system. Anyone who already has a Grasshopper on warranty with us will receive a repair or replacement. You can check on the warranty portal for more specifics on your case.
November 21st, 2019
We are now opening the store for orders on accessories. You can pre-order some items, but currently, Grasshoppers are not available. We will be making these available as soon as production is back running, and batteries are acquired. We greatly appreciate any purchases or donations during this time as funds are tight.
It will take time to get a new battery, but we are currently in talks with our original factory and a new one. We will be doing everything in our power, including camping out at the factory until the job is done. We are 100% committed to resolving the battery supply issue as quickly and safely as possible. We have an excellent safety record with the device/battery, and we expect that to continue. Below are some frequently asked questions answered.
- We cannot say for sure it was or was not the battery, but as we noted in the notice, we are not taking any chances with that. We have sent disposal notices out and will not be shipping any more of this batch unless something changes.
- The fire was devastating but not catastrophic. Most of the custom machines and equipment have survived with a manageable level of damage. The fire burned two centrally located 4'x8' tables and was then extinguished by a lack of oxygen remaining in the space.
- Much of the existing inventory was located far enough away to not be significantly affected. It is stored in a separate location.
- We are working through which of the warranty was damaged/destroyed and which was not. We will uphold the warranty and replace/repair devices as soon as possible. We apologize for the additional delay.
- We are incredibly fortunate to have an adjacent space to us that was undamaged. We have already set up operations there and are rapidly expanding capability.
We have a long way to go, but we will prevail and go on to build more amazing things. It has been a rough journey so far, for not only us but everyone who has been a supporter. We ask for your support once again to clear this unexpected hurdle and continue building this great device.
November 13th, 2019
In the early morning hours of November 12th, 2019, a fire started at the Hopper Labs facility while no one was there. The fire was discovered at 6 AM when we arrived to start the day, and the fire department was immediately dispatched. Unfortunately, the fire had smoldered for several hours in the well-insulated building, allowing extremely high temperatures to be reached. These conditions resulted in the destruction of our custom equipment, completed inventory, warranty units, and untold numbers of in-progress parts.
We must temporarily halt sales while we determine the fastest path to restarting production. Over the past year, our small core team has been working tirelessly to clear the warranty backlog, finish in-progress accessories, and develop the next version of the Grasshopper which was slated to be released and shipped this December. This is a major setback, but we will continue our dream of building unique, innovative products for this great community.
Although the fire department has initially determined the cause of the fire to be an electrical issue in the building, out of an abundance of caution we feel that all customers who have received batteries from the newest batch (GHB2 with "Made in China" text on the glossy label) should discontinue use immediately, and that all customers should remember to never charge the device unattended, as stated in the manual. This is a preemptive cautionary step at this time and we will inform you if that changes. An email has been sent to all those who are presumed to have received new batteries with instructions for safely disposing of them.
We would like to thank Boulder Fire-Rescue for their fast and professional response, and for spending hours on the scene helping to assess the situation.
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