Pocobor Improves Looma's Power Circuit
by Skip Stritter
The Looma summer campers did an amazing job putting together the first working prototype Looma in Menlo Park this summer. To allow for field use, Looma also needs a custom power circuit to allow it to run on rechargeable 12V batteries commonly found in off-the-grid villages in the hills of Nepal. The engineers at Pocobor in San Francisco discovered us and generously offered to use their mechatronic skills to design and prototype the circuit for us. In their spare time, Pocobor engineers Brian and George put together just the circuit we need for Looma.
Looma uses an infra-red camera to track the teacher's gestures with the Looma wand in front of the class, much like the one that is used in the Wii remote. The circuit board for the IR camera was especially challenging for us because of very fine lead spacing and the use of surface-mount components. The Pocobor engineers also attacked this challenge and designed a professional quality camera circuit for Looma.
Pocobor is located in a converted warehouse space in the Mission Bay area of California, south of the Giants stadium. It looks like a combination of a software startup, machine shop and design school all in one. Watch for Pocobor designs in your favorite new devices in the future. Now they will be in village classrooms in Nepal, too!