FREELANCE ROBOTICS TECHNOLOGICAL ARTICLES
From Idea to Prototype
Every great invention starts with an idea. This idea may solve a problem,
improve an existing solution, or create a need with an entertaining device.
Many people have ideas, but only a few transform them into a product. The reason is simple:
it requires a lot of time, effort, and money to get an idea to the product stage.
Successful prototyping starts with a clear plan. You need to see if your idea is viable by doing
the following checks:
- Look at whether your idea is already on the market – there are many products that exist we are, surprisingly, unaware of. Try googling multiple search terms, thinking outside the box.
- Search the patents related to your ideas – you can use Google Australian Patent or any other country you are interested in as a search tool. See if your idea is patentable or if patents will block you in the development of your idea. Patenting your idea is not an obligation. You need to evaluate if the time and money spent on a patent is a worthwhile investment.
- Study the market needs for such a product – it is not worth the effort and money if you will not realise a return on your investment when you are ready to sell your product.
- Compare with similar inventions on the market – part of the market research is to investigate both if similar products are on the market; and if they are successful. If there is a similar product on the market it does not automatically mean yours would not succeed, but you have to consider how your product will be better suited for the purpose and how you will be able to capture market share.
- Develop a business plan – by creating a product, you are creating a company or similar structure/entity to sell this product. It is important that you evaluate beforehand where you are heading so your business approach is optimised for success from the very start.
- Make sure you can fund your project – part of any business plan is budgeting and how you are going to finance this project is a key parameter. There are many financial inputs to be considered when working from an idea to a successful product. How you will find this money can be a project by itself. Either you can pay the development with your own funds or you will need to find investors of some sort to whom you will have to pay a return for their investment.
- Do not hesitate to ask for a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) – whomsoever you speak with about your idea, cover yourself by signing an NDA with them.
- Keep good documentation on your idea’s research and development – an often necessary step to avoid development pitfalls, be able to easily transfer up to date and archived knowledge about your project. It also provides a clear argument when raising funds. For legal purposes, make sure all documents are version controlled and dated.
Once you have addressed the above points, Freelance Robotics can begin working through the process of prototype development.
Developing a prototype may have several aims:
- Testing to ensure the idea works and to resolve any upfront issues found during the early
- Allowing a stronger patent application
- Attracting investors to finance the manufacturing, logistics, and marketing of the product
- Providing a working example for the manufacturing / replication system for the final product
Prototyping is not a standard process. Consequently there may be different or additional phases during the prototyping process, depending on product complexity.
Freelance Robotics can help define those steps.
Documentation is of key importance in developing a successful prototype. Write detailed technical specifications about the product so everything is well defined.
Precision allows proper quoting and helps avoid confusion.
Specifications are a great tool throughout product development and provide a reference document for project milestones. The document evolves from prototype specification to product specification once the product is ready for production.
If you don’t know how to write technical specifications, Freelance Robotics can create these in concert with you to make sure they reflect exactly what is in mind.
Once the prototype is developed, it’s time to set up the manufacturing, logistics and marketing processes. This is the means to obtain sailes and get a return on investment for all your effort. Please not that while Freelance Robotics does not provide manufacturing services directly, we have a network of tried and trusted company partnerships that would be pleased to help.