Flotilla project seems to have stalled


There’s been nothing new on Flotilla for quite a while now. Despite twitter promises for an update last week.

The cookbooks don’t exist, Shipshape has been close to release for many weeks now, and the current Rockpool is too slow to be very usable.

Please give a proper update, don’t forget your backers.


ShipShape is being worked on, slowly but surely, between holidays and a general plague of unwellness we’ve not been able to keep the momentum up on it over the previous few weeks. But it’s coming!

You can use ShipShape and the latest firmware right away, there’s not really any reason not to! Most of the current effort is just refining the UX and UI, making it sane, sensible and approachable, and ready for mass-market. Unfortunately we’re perfectionists, so the whole thing has been torn to pieces more than a couple of times!

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I would happily buy a beta kit at the full retail price. Understand the desire to touch down with great software as I’m in software myself - but I promise to be extremely generous with my expectations when it comes to work-in-progress code.

Is the hardware side of Flotilla finalised? Are the delays purely a software thing now?

Rockpool shipshape has been slow coming, true, but it’s more the other way around, hardware production ramping up for the launch has allowed more time to fine tune the software.

I don’t know the timeline involved but the various modules are still in production so that Flotilla can hit retail without being out of stock within a couple of days (and requiring 100% capacity to restock immediately, which would be inadequate, everything else like Picades, HATs and pHAT are in high demand themselves and need to be topped up regularly too).

Any new news? Its been a few weeks, and still no sign. I want to be able to use the cookbooks, which I understand wont work on the beta.

Its a real shame as my son has lost interest a little because of the delays. You have included all sorts of kits, but no instructions as to how to build them and no software to drive them.

Would love to get an update, too. Of course we can fiddle out some tricks and projects by ourselves, but that was not the deal, right? At some point I just want to say ‘Hey, lets build this today!’

Received the Treasure Chest in January - and some five months later we are still waiting for the software and the cookbooks. I understand the nature of Kickstarter - and that I have invested in developing project (rather than just buying kit from a shop), but this is now getting silly. At least during the development phase of the hardware, you circulated regular updates and videos to explain what was going on - but we have had little in the way of e-mail updates since the delivery of the hardware. You posted half a video of the line-following robot on YouTube - dealing with the build of the hardware - but not the follow-on dealing with the programming. And of course no cookbooks and the software is still in development.

And of course my kids can’t make progress with the kit - they don’t have the skills to do this by themselves (the intention was that Flotilla and the cookbook would equip them with these skills) - and I don’t have the time or inclination to work this one out for myself either. Result - have spent money on hardware gathering dust in a box.

At the very least, you owe us a realistic timetable for the remaining deliverables.

Nick A, Agree with the sentiment completely. My son was so excited to get moving, but he can’t do it without a lot of help as the cookbooks aren’t there.
Its now never even looked at and I had great expectations.
Maybe I should whack it on Ebay.

Right now @sandyjmacdonald is churning out the documentation for the kits and Cookbook recipes, @guru is making some graphical tweaks to ShipShape and @roguem and I are figuring out how to roll out ShipShape firmware, daemon and front-end out to everyone without it all crashing down around our ears.

Also on my TODO is implementing the cookbook recipes that don’t yet exist, finishing the unfinished ones, and polishing the unpolished ones.

Alongside this there have been some bug-fixes and changes to the Dock firmware. It’s one of those things that will pop up the odd bug now and then which represents a very small code change, but a heck of a lot of head scratching.

All this is being done alongside the day-to-day that keeps the lights on and keeps us sane!

It’s coming. But we’re always juggling a dozen other things and don’t have any kind of timetable internally, much less anything even remotely accurate enough to be shared.

Here’s a sneak peek at the recipe portal:

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Looks awesome, I’m delighted its moving forward behind the scenes. Will have to dust it off soon I hope. Any ETA?

I have supported 50+ Kickstarters but Flotilla has been one of the most promising and disappointing.

My Mega Treasure Chest was originally supposed to be delivered in May 2015.

One year later and it’s now May 2016. I may have some hardware but I certainly don’t consider this Kickstarter to be “delivered”… especially as the box proudly states “Includes over 20 projects”.

Unfortunately gadgetoid’s recent comments do not inspire confidence. There is clearly much still to do and “no kind of timetable internally” means there is no urgency. So 1,508 backers just have to wait.

In the meantime my Flotilla remains beached and unused by myself and my kids… something I’m sure the Flotilla creators do not want.

We can assure you that we’re very close and that it is our most urgent project at the moment. Phil is polishing the Cookbook recipes and I’m finishing the last couple of tutorials for Cookbook. I’ve put together 12 of these Cookbook recipes that should cover a range of difficulties and all of the modules. I’ve also put together a couple that showcase the Python library and there will be a thorough walkthrough of Rockpool and setting up your dock, etc.

In the meantime, I’d encourage you to have a play with Rockpool. It’s amazing what you can achieve with a simple set of rules. Also, the Python library is working very well in our testing so, if you have some experience with Python, you could give that a go too.

We’re as keen as anyone to get this out there, as our obligation is first to our Kickstarter backers, and that’s why Flotilla hasn’t gone on sale to the general public yet.

We hope you’ll be impressed with what we’ve come up with.

Thank you to @sandyjmacdonald and to @gadgetoid for the update. It is disappointing that we have had to prompt you for it.

It is also disappointing that there is no internal timetable for completing this project - as @captainsemtex says, the absence of any internal timetable does suggest that there is no real urgency for getting this done.

At the very least could you please publish a list of the issues that need to be resolved, and update us weekly on progress against each item? You managed periodic updates when the hardware was in development - why stop?

I do appreciate that the day-to-day business needs to keep going to keep the lights on, and I do also appreciate that as a Kickstarter backer, I did not buy a finished product, but am rather supporting a project in development. But I do feel badly let down - the complete project was originally projected to have been delivered over a year ago, and it is 6 months since the hardware arrived.


It;s also been described as close for months. in February it was described as almost ready, and now we are in June

It had better be ready for the summer holidays this year, it was promised to be ready by the christmas holidays and that never materialised.

Please do your best to get it ready before the school summer holidays.




I have Mega Treasure Chest Starter Kit . I can see that Cookbook is coming slowly so with my experience and your current progress I can imagine to be ready for September 2016.
What about Scratch interface. It is now mid June my daughter is so disappointed and your kit It is just laying there doing nothing. We already played a lot with Rockpool and sensors but Scratch was the biggest thing for us. If the cookbook will be ready more less for September what about Scratch ?March 2017? this so far my most optimistic assumption right now… can you please comment

Glad to see the responses from the Pimoroni team, filling me with confidence!

Another month has passed, and still no visible progress. I have spent a considerable sum of money on hardware that is gathering dust in a box because the software, Cookbook and instructions are not available. It is now over a year since the original delivery projection, and some six months after the hardware was delivered.

At the very least you owe us a timetable to completion of this project, and weekly reports against that timetable. The absence of both suggests that this project has either died - or is about to die. At some point in the immediate future I will be packaging the boxes up to post back to you and asking for you to refund my contribution and the return postage.

Can you please start to treat your backers with some seriousness and respect - and not just leave us dangling.

Really pleased to see an Update on Kickstarter today. Looking forward to the weekly bulletins going forward.

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Thanks! We’re working really hard on it, and we hope you’ll love it. :-)

Really cranking out those Cookbook recipes. I’m dreaming in Javascript.

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