Prototyping Organization

One thing that Bear Metal is trying to work on for the 2016 season is having a stronger protyping group. We have found that we rush too fast to get the robot built and our finished product ends up with flaws.
An example of this during the 2015 season was when we overlooked the weight of a stack with a can on top and our original design to stabilize the totes didn’t work well at all.
Does anyone have any advice on how we could create a better plan for prototyping?

Alicia we found out as a team that on the day of KickOff, to first, as a group, come up with the main objectives that you want to accomplish with the robot. Afterwards, you can split the students up into smaller group (probably 4 to 6 students works the best) to brainstorm how to accomplish those goals. You have the students vote on the 2 or 3 best ideas and start protoyping those right away.
I know this is how our team functions but Im sure there are many more ideas!

Good luck! :slight_smile:

The key is to build the prototype even faster, find the flaws, and correct them (that is, build a better one) before you compete. Don’t wait for build season to do building - build up your team’s fabrication skill and speed this fall and next summer. Take notice of who’s fast, and who’s good, and who’s some of both. Assign peripheral and prototyping tasks to your faster people, and critical pieces where you know exactly what you want to the slower craftsmen. Watch the clock, but manage it by being ready to ditch one feature in favor of another done right rather than rushing to have two shoddy features.

This is one of my favorite ChiefDelphi posts of all time. Details 341’s prototyping approach in 2012 which led to one of the most dominant scoring mechanisms that year:

A few highlights:
-A well defined problem with specific criteria.
-The meticulous identification of variables in the chosen design, and the testing of upwards of 20 combinations of treatments of these different variables.
-Excellent research to back up their initial attempts, helped them take less iterations to efficiently reach an optimal solution to their problem.
-Good record keeping to be able to keep track of all the changes so they can go back to whatever worked best at any point in time.
-An emphasis on taking the simplest reasonable approach, then adding complexity only as it becomes necessary to meet the goal.

The results: Miss Daisy was 87-12-1 that season, seeding first at all 5 of their official events and only losing in the finals of their division at Championships. Also seeded first at IRI. That kind of success didn’t happen by mistake, it was all about this process that brought them there. A lot to be learned about prototyping.