A week ago I argued that UPSes suck and need to be disrupted. The response to that post was astonishing. Apparently I tapped into a deep vein of private discontents – people who had been frustrated and pissed off with UPS gear for years or decades but never quite realized it wasn’t only their problem.
Many people expressed an active desire to contribute to a kickstarter aimed at this problem. I got one offer from someone actually willing to hire an engineer to work on it. Intelligent feature suggestions – often framed as gripes about the deficiencies of what you can buy out there – came flooding in.
Perhaps most remarkably, the outlines of a coherent design began to emerge. We identified a battery technology we could buy COTS that would improve on the performance and lifetime of lead-acid but without the explosion risk of lithium-ion. The way that safety and regulatory requirements would require a partition between low- and- high-power electronics became clearer. A feature list solidified. We took in good ideas and rejected some not-so-good ones.
Therefore, even though we don’t yet have a lead hardware engineer, I have initiated Project UPSide. There’s no code or schematics yet; we’re still developing requirements and architecture. By “architecture” I mean, for example, what specific kinds of information the hardware subsystems need to exchange.
All interested parties are welcome to browse the wiki
and apply for write access. Roles we are especially looking for:
* Lead hardware engineer – needs to be able to do overall design and systems integration.
* Someone who knows how to program USB endpoints. (It will land on me to learn this if we can’t find someone with experience.)
* Someone who understands battery-state modeling. (Again, I’ll learn this if nobody steps up.)
My own job is, basically, product manager – keeper of the requirements list and recruiter of talent.
UPDATE: If you want to request features or changes to the design wiki, the best way to do that is by opening an issue in the tracker. That way the discussion stays on record for later viewers.