Design Inspiration

I hope these videos give everyone some design inspiration like it has our team.

I really cringe when I see these threads appear. Why pollute the creative problem-solving process by pushing these videos?

It’s one thing if you are showing off what your team has done, quite another if you are just planting seeds for mimicry.

An important part of the design process is research. Why reinvent the wheel when you don’t have to? Why do theoretical research on frisbee launching when there are already existent frisbee launchers that do the task well and can be improved upon for FRC?

There is nothing wrong with research, and most students have probably already found those videos. I guess I’m a bit of a purist on brainstorming and the value of ignorant thought. Seeing how someone else tackled a similar task, leads you down the same road, except without the information learned from blind alleys along the way.

How many bio-mimicking throwers will be aborted in the brainstorming stage, because the inventor watched those videos, and decided to put their ideas down?

Any of these designs still have a lot of work (for the team) to be done in the way of actually being a functional robot for this year’s game. Loading in particular I think will be a challenge. At least there won’t be as much game piece variation as with the foam balls.

I love how you state this - the value of ignorant thought.
I totally agree with you. It doesn’t mean that you don’t do research when the time is right, but scouring the internet for examples of how it’s been done is not engineering or inventing. Invention is hard work and you have to be willing generate wacky ideas and try things out and fail. When I see the ‘design and build in 3 days’ and cad and build a chassis in a day efforts during the build season I have a lot of mixed feelings. Seeing how professional engineers quickly go through a process is not a substitute for doing it yourself and I believe is a hindrance to that design process for many students.


They were just trying to help, it’s nice that all the videos have been compiled in one place, because as stated before I’m sure half of FIRST has already seen most of these. The one video alone gained 13,000 views in one day.

This original post was not meant to be “this is what all of FIRST should do,” they were simply saying that’s the ideas they were thinking of and wondering what everyone else was thinking about.

Finalized and even mid-staged designs I’m sure will be showcased in robot form when they are in working order.

This game is going to be very interesting and I can’t wait to see what all the students come up with, for all of them have immense amounts of creativity.

Just my 2 cents.

Researching, looking for, and finding examples of prior art is definitely part of engineering. Not doing so leaves you open to losing a lot of wasted time and, in the real world, a whole host of legal issues. This does not mean that one should not make an effort to fully understand and improve upon the ideas you find.

To paraphrase a famous quote, often the best way to a goal is to stand upon the shoulders of giants. :slight_smile:

I don’t think he was arguing against that. I think he was arguing that research should come after some brainstorming, rather than on day 1. Seeing already implemented solutions often can bias your thinking during these early design phases.