Liquid Devices raises $13.7M to carry its education-focused 8-in-1 engineering gadget to market – .

Part of learning to be an engineer is understanding the tools you need to work with – voltmeters, spectrum analyzers, things like that. But why use two or eight where one will? The Moku: Go combines several frequently used tools in one compact package, saves space on your workbench or in the classroom and at the same time offers a modern, software-configurable interface. Creator Liquid Instruments just raised $ 13.7 million to make this device available to students and engineers everywhere.

Credit: Liquid instruments

The idea behind Moku: Go is largely the same as the company’s previous product, the Moku: Lab. Using a standard input connector, a number of FPGA-based tools perform the same types of interference and analysis of electrical signals as they would on a larger or analog device. However, being digital saves a lot of space that is normally required for bulky analog components.

The Go goes further than the laboratory with this miniaturization, doing many of the same tasks at half the weight and with some useful additional functions. It is intended for use in educational institutions or smaller machine shops where space is limited. Combining eight tools into one is a big hit if your bank is your desk and filing cabinet too.

By the way, these eight tools are: waveform generator, any waveform generator, frequency response analyzer, logic analyzer / pattern generator, oscilloscope / voltmeter, PID controller, spectrum analyzer and data logger. It’s hard to tell if that’s really more or less than eight, but it’s definitely a lot in a hardcover-sized package.

You access them and configure them through a software interface rather than through a series of controls and dials. While this is clear, there are good arguments for both. However, if you’re teaching a few young digital natives, a clean point-and-click interface is likely a plus. The user interface is actually very attractive; You can see several examples by clicking the instruments on this page. Here is an example of the waveform generator:

Graphical user interface for a waveform generator

Credit: Liquid instruments

Love these pastels.

The Moku: Go currently works with Macs and Windows, but does not yet have a mobile app. It can be integrated into Python, MATLAB and LabVIEW. Data goes over Wi-Fi.

Compared to the Moku: Lab, it has some advantages. A USB-C port instead of a mini port, a magnetic power port, a 16-channel digital I / O, an optional power supply with up to four channels, and of course half the size and weight. Some things are compromised – no SD card slot and less bandwidth for the outputs, but if you need the range and precision of the more expensive tool, you probably need a lot of other things as well.

A person uses a Moku Go device at a desk.

Credit: Liquid instruments

Since the smaller option is also $ 500 versus the large $ 3,500 (“a price that’s comparable to a textbook” … yikes), significant savings are required. And it’s definitely cheaper than buying all of these instruments individually.

The Moku: Go is “deeply geared towards college education,” said Doug Phillips, vice president of marketing at Liquid Instruments. “Professors can use the device in the classroom and individuals such as students and electrical engineering hobbyists can experiment with it in their spare time. Since its inception in March, most of the time, students have bought the device under the direction of their university. “

About a hundred professors have signed up to use the device as part of their fall courses, and the company is working with other partners in universities around the world. “There is a real demand for portable, flexible systems that can handle the breadth of the four-year curriculum, ”said Phillips.

Production will begin in June (samples will be given out to testers), the rigor and cost of which likely sparked the latest round of funding. The $ 13.7 million comes from existing investors Anzu Partners and ANU Connect Ventures as well as new investors F1 Solutions and Moelis Australia’s Growth Capital Fund. It is a convertible bond “ahead of an expected Series B round in 2022,” Phillips said. It’s a larger amount than they initially wanted to raise, and the note nature of the round isn’t standard either, but given the troubles hardware companies have faced over the past year, some irregularities are likely to be expected.

Undoubtedly, the expected B-Round will depend significantly on the success of the launch and acceptance of Moku: Go. But this promising product looks like it could be commonplace in thousands of classrooms in a few years.

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