This paper describes our work on high quality rapid prototyping. The focus is on techniques that produce prototypes of desired quality and yet
do not take long to build. We present necessary information about methods of control, power, sensors, batteries, electronics, and more. We
outline materials, methods, and tools. We also explain how to use servomotors, Lego, and electronics to achieve satisfying results.
Figure 1 shows an example of the kind of project. With the right tools and materials, and with parts on hand, the omni wheel telerobot took less
than half an hour from conception to completion.
We have noticed that some designers tend to prototype very quickly . Sometimes you can learn something important in a few minutes from a prototype that might have taken weeks or months otherwise. Mechanical design seems to require iteration, so, the faster you can iterate, especially at the beginning of a project, the better.
2. Levels of prototyping
Prototyping ranges from an idea to a complete product. The quality and the level of detail of a prototype should depend on its purpose. For example, Figure 1 shows the first prototype of the Palm Pilot Robot , which at this point is nothing more than three servos taped to a receiver. This simple model is sufficient to fulfill its purpose of demonstrating holonomic motion of the base. Later we built a more complex prototype with sensors to show that the robot can follow walls.
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