Post Your Prototypes & Resources Here!

Hi All,

After assessing my team’s opportunities for improvement, I wanted to do a better job of teaching my kids how to go about creating prototypes which are effective and useful. This is an area this team has not had experience in due to it not really being within their processes since inception.

Please add any additional resources, examples, or your favorite prototyping methods. Please provide videos and photos where possible.

What I have gathered so far are great examples of prototypes as well as video resources to help teams teach prototyping.
NUTRONS team 125 Serializer AKA Dye Rotor Prototyping Documentation for 2017 Shooter
Effective Prototyping PowerPoint and Please feel free to add onto this thread as it should also be a nice resource for teams.

I have an incomplete collection to share with our students here.

The 1114 2012 build gallery and 2015 protos are my favorites in there.

The 2012 album looks to be a weird link, here’s the page with all albums for anyone interested


Lucien Junkin on creating “Come Check This Out" moments quickly and frequently:

Not mine, but here’s 254’s 2017 build blog:

Wow, this is fantastic!

I’m not sure how helpful this will be, but I’m happy to share. Aided by a CNC router, 3504 went through a period of rapid intake design iteration*. Over two weeks, we tried a bunch of major and minor geometry changes and the results were well documented. The next iteration was pretty much always being designed and manufactured during the testing of the current one. This meant that sometimes a lesson didn’t get applied until two iterations later, but it let us learn more, faster, because there are all sorts of questions that needed answering.

Here’s a link to our prototype video catalog.

We continued to iterate afterwards**, but it was less well documented because we had learned the most important lessons. Maybe I’ll find the time to pull together the more pertinent drive practice videos that demonstrate later iterations.

The key thing about prototyping is to learn the lessons of why good things are good and why bad things are bad. If you can directly ask the right questions (“what ball compression is best?”), that’s ideal. Otherwise, it can suffice to try different things out, document them well, and stare at them until you understand what’s going on. Our first decent prototype, we took those videos, put them on loop in slow motion on a TV, and just watched until it was clear how it was working. To learn as much as possible, we tried to minimize the time between iterations (design+manufacture+test+analyze). Parallelize and optimize.

The final outcome was certainly not the greatest intake out there, but was pretty good.

*Maybe the best period of rapid design iteration I’ve been a part of, although 3322 was also good at trying and quickly ruling out bad ideas.

**Actually the last prototype in these videos was pretty bad, but we knew exactly why it was bad and the next iteration, which went directly onto a real robot, was pretty decent