A complete guide on how to design a robotic device

Want to build a robotic device but don’t know what should be done to start and bring the solution to an end? Using the guide from this article, you will succeed!

Several steps in the design and their specifics usually vary from business to business, especially if they consider major challenges in manufacturing in 2021. However, there exists a must-have robotic design procedure with certain steps that serve as a background to develop a robotic device. This article will get to know what should be done at every design step of a robotic solution. We believe that the depicted strategy will come in handy for building a robot and any other tech device.

Just in case your current startup is about building some hardware solution, you might check companies at Engre.co to get overall support regarding issues that appeared to be challenging for you.

So, let’s get to the point now.

Step 1: Figure out the Case to Solve

You should identify the challenge you are trying to handle before designing and building a robotic device. Spend time to investigate several different cases. As far as you exactly understand what the challenge is, then compose a short description of the design in a logbook, which will serve as your working doc as you develop your robotic device. Discovering everything about automation in manufacturing will also help you at this stage.

The case/problem should be realistically and accurately identified to launch the process of handling it:

  • Obtain a clear overview of the parameters of the case;
  • Create a checklist with the objectives. The last must be placed according to the priority;
  • Determine the constraints of the case;
  • In most cases, a robotic device cannot perform all existing functions that a problem presents. Therefore, your target is to prioritize and develop a robotic device that can brilliantly execute the majority (approximately 80 percent) of things and do the things left (20 percent) at a decent level.

Step 2: Conduct a Research

Based on your design description, you can proceed with research to get the necessary info. You should come to realize what info you require. As a rule, this differs from solution to solution. Moreover, this will strongly rest on the scope of data as well as knowledge you already own.

Decide on what functions your robotic device must perform and what for. You may stick to the below-mentioned practical functions:

  • Motion, i.e., the way the robotic device travels within the environment;
  • Maneuvering or the way the robotic device manipulates things within the environment;
  • Energy or what enables the robotic device to get power (the sun energy, a traditional battery, etc.);
  • Brain, i.e., the way the robot uses its intelligence or “think”;
  • Perception or how the robotic device will sense or “understand” what is happening in the environment.

Effective research should include innovative ideas as well as a deep exploration of old identical examples:

  • Discover and learn other projects to the identical challenges;
  • Specify particular details of the design procedure which should be implemented;
  • Pinpoint potential as well as alternative design options;
  • Plan and develop a relevant scheme that involves sketches.

Step 3: Brainstorm Ideas

An ideal start is to sketch to get the solution concept on paper. It is essential to possess clear finished sketches to embody the idea into a model or CAD drawing. By the way, this stage enables virtual prototyping and testing of the robotic solution using a computer. That will help you reveal potential bugs or flaws in the design of the robotic device before the real-life mock-up is built.

It would be better to implement this step in groups within the engineering team. However, you may brainstorm alone as well. Draw and discuss/analyze all the ideas. Always remember that there don’t exist bad ideas. It is crucial to take into account all approaches to a challenge. The idea that did not seem workable or meaningful initially might be the option to use in the end. Only a few solutions go through design at the first attempt. The final solution frequently comprises a big set of ideas where a few were put a verdict as being too expensive, risky, or simply wild.

All the ideas should be categorized based on their pluses and minuses. Then, alternative options can be evaluated and classified in terms of potential implementation and other merits. Brainstorming encourages a maximum amount of ideas and various approaches to the challenge.

Step 4: It is Time to Design a Prototype

The ideal method to see whether a certain design will work in life conditions consists of creating a prototype.

At this step, you will require sketches. You may print out the image using a 3D printer to get the most realistic view. As far as you have decided on the final version, look at the specs list you have composed one more time. Become convinced that every feature/function is introduced.

Suppose an initial design scheme and prototype can’t manage the challenge or some of its specifications, satisfy the design settings, or stay within a budget. In that case, you can come back to your computer to optimize things. While developing a robotic device, the process possesses a loop to return to the design to modify or redevelop it. Preparing sketches for the prototype will support you at the construction phase of your robotic device. You may create your sketches by hand or use specific software on the computer.

Step 5: Build and Test Your Robotic Device

You must conduct the build step proceeding from construction materials, processes, policies, restrictions, and budget. As a rule, manufacturers introduce powerful investments in both plants and the infrastructure to design their robotic solutions. The more effectively a design has been performed, the better the assembly will be realized.

As the manufacturing process progresses and the robotic solution starts taking its shape, you must test the design. Note that conducting systems testing at every design phase is a must. For example, suppose certain testing demonstrates that you have got a bug in a joint or some component of the robotic structure doesn’t correspond to specifications. In that case, you will have to integrate corrections into your strategy.

As soon as the building is finished, the ready robotic solution must be tested to notice whether the device performs the function for which it was created. Then, you should write an evaluation, i.e., a statement revealing the strong and weak sides of the design. Finally, the evaluation should depict where you have succeeded/failed to achieve the goals pointed out in the specifications.

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