I have been following progress on the Robbox xDrill, a new cordless drill that was supposed to be a smart cordless drill “of the future.”
The xDrill features WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, touchscreen controls, and there was to be a supporting smartphone app. It also featured a pivoting laser distance measuring tool and digital drilling depth control with automatic shutoff.
I checked on the Robbox xDrill progress about a month ago, and it still had not shipped yet. However, there were signs that Robbox was getting close, as they had a preorder page on their website with a $499.99 price for the standard kit.
Looking at Robbox’s Kickstarter and Indiegogo crowdfunding campaigns, the last updates were posted in March, 2022, with notes about electronic chip shortages and app updates.
Backers have been complaining that they have yet to receive their Robbox xDrills.
I checked back now, and Robbox seems to have removed all reference to the xDrill on their website. In its place, there are new listings for “Sennses” measuring devices.
Robbox posted about their xDrill via social media, with the last mentions predating the tool’s removal from their website.
It’s unclear whether Robbox scrubbed the entire xDrill project, or if they simply removed their preorder page. However, it’s never a good sign when a product completely disappears from a brand’s website.
Judging from the campaign’s Kickstarter comments, backers are still waiting for delivery of their pledge rewards.
Robbox compared a corded hammer drill as “your old, outdated drill,” next to their “drill of the future” xDrill, which was never advertised as having any hammer drill mode.
They said you can get rid of that old outdated drill, but have yet to deliver. I hope all of their backers held onto their outdated drills!
In the meantime, Robbox has announced a brand new product line, called Sennses.
The Sennses Pro seems to provide some of the digital measurement functionality that was supposed to be built into the Robbox xDrill, and more.
Robbox says the Sennses is the ultimate digital measuring device on the market, with features such as a bi-lateral measuring system, two-axis digital leveling, stud-finding capabilities, and two-way work light.
It has a built-in battery that recharges via USB-C, Bluetooth connectivity, and Robbox app support.
Robbox is also offering some expansion options:
- Sennses Pro – $399
- Sennses Pro Laser Line Attachment – $189.99
- Sennses Pro 48″ Length Extension – $189.99
- Sennses Pro 36″ Length Extension – $159.99
- Sennses Pro 24″ Length Extension – $129.99
- Sennses Pro 16″ Length Extension – $99.99
Robbox says the Sennses measure accuracy is 0.03, and its level accuracy is 0.03° – 0.1°, but they don’t specify beyond this.
The xDrill was described as being “made for pros” and “amazing for beginners.” It was a “drill of the future.” Two years later, and it still hasn’t shipped yet.
So, what’s going on with the xDrill?
Robbox has not provided many public updates, and it doesn’t bode well that the xDrill was scrubbed from their website.
Robbox’s CEO said in a Linkedin post that they’ve been working on Sennses alongside their flagship product, the xDrill. That could be an encouraging note that the xDrill has not been abandoned.
The Sennses seems like an interesting product. Similar in essence to Bosch and Dremel 3-in-1 laser measurer products, the Sennses has a base unit, and its functionality can be expanded with add-on modules.
The Sennses Pro base device, with is multiple measuring and layout features, is priced at $399. The laser line attachment is another $190. Level bodies start at $100 for 16″ and go to $190 for 48″.
You cannot actually buy the Sennses products yet either – Robbox has them available for preorder as part of a “limited offer,” with refundable deposits ranging from 25% for the Sennses Pro to 50% for the optional attachments.
It is said to be “capable of tacking [sic] both home and job site applications.” But what types of users is the Sennses aimed at?
Robbox’s Sennses announcement starts off with:
The Leader in Digital Power Tools Presents
I have to ask – what exactly makes Robbox a “leader” in this space?
Here’s Robbox’s profile for an upcoming “MoneyShow” conference:
Robbox is an award-winning technology company that’s developing the first generation of Smart Digital Power Tools for the connected world. Through the integration of senses and intelligence in their tools, Robbox is changing the way people use, and interact with their handheld tools for future generations.
What about Reekon, who delivered on their first crowdfunded campaign and are expected to deliver their second by the end of the year?
The Sennses products look interesting, but also very pricey. I have not yet seen any reports of Kickstarter backers having received their xDrill, and so Robbox has yet to prove themselves as a credible toolmaker.
Robbox cites semiconductor delays and shortages as why their xDrill hasn’t shipped yet. But if that’s still an ongoing complication, how will they be able to fulfill any preorders they’re accepting for the new Sennses products?
It is telling that Robbox describes themselves as an award-winning technology company, rather than a tool company. Still, Robbox needs to better address the types of questions tool users have about their products.
For instance, the Sennses features a “precision-machined aluminum body” and “high-definition LCD with hardened glass.” But is it drop-rated? Has it been drop-tested? Is there an IP rating for dust or water resistance?
Their Sennses platform promises a lot, and I might be optimistic if not for the high pricing and Robbox’s track record so far.