Comparison of PIXIE Mark 1 and 2











PIXIE Mark 2 is an improved version of the original. It was developed as a result of one of the components for PIXIE becoming obsolete and forcing a redesign. While we had the opportunity, we upgraded PIXIE in the light of technological improvements and improved insights from years of using the original version.

What is the same

Much of the outside is the same. The casing is the same size and made of the same pieces except where holes have been deleted, added or moved to accommodate the new features.

The keyboard is the same. The key functions are unaltered except for Go; see below.

The charger is the same and works with original and new versions interchangeably.

All of the existing applications are compatible with the new version.

What is different

Mark 2 has no ON/OFF switch. The original was prone to being turned on accidentally. If PIXIE was stored like this for long periods the battery would deteriorate. More annoying from our point of view is that when transporting PIXIE to and from demonstrations in the car, PIXIE could be accidentally turned on by putting something on top of it and then it reminds you to turn it off every 3 minutes until you can get off the motorway. Mark 2 PIXIEs grumble 3 times and then turn themselves off.

Mark 2 is switched on by pressing the Go button. It is switched off by pressing and holding the Go button for more than 5 seconds.

Mark 2 turns itself off when the battery is flat.

Mark 2 has 2 LEDs on top. The extra one shows that it is on as it has no switch.

Mark 2 is louder.

Mark 2 LEDs are bigger.

Mark 2 "clicks" for each unit of movement or pause. This is to make it easier for visually impaired users to track its position while it is running a program.

Mark 2 is quicker for forward and backward movements. It runs at about 11 centimetres per second versus 8. This is to reduce the time taken for longer runs and reduce the "boredom factor" for complicated programs. Turning speed is about the same as the longest normal turn is 4 units.

Mark 2 can hold more than twice the size of program.

Mark 2 is a little more accurate.

Mark 2 is about 100 grams lighter.

The printing on the top of a Mark 2 PIXIE is silk screened on instead of using a label.

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Date Last Modified: 2/6/05 Copyright @2005 Swallow Systems