What is a Robotic Design ?

A Robotic Design is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of a robot or a robotic system (as in architectural blueprints, engineering drawing, operation process, circuit diagrams ). Design has different connotations in different fields. In some cases the direct construction of an object (as in pottery, engineering, management, graphic design) is also considered to be design.

More formally a robotic design is defined as; (noun) a specification of a robot, manifested by a robot designer, intended to accomplish goals, in a particular robotic environment, using a set of primitive components, satisfying a set of requirements, subject to constraints; (verb, transitive) to create a robotic design, in an robotic environment


Robotee is using RSF (Robotee Solution Framework) which is a Developing Structure for robot developers. RSF is a whole of solutions composed of models, principals and road maps developed in order to standardize quality in robot development processes.


You need to determine what problem you are trying to solve and the objectives you want to reach before you attempt to design and build a robot. Take the time to study a number of different situations and once you have decided what the situation is and you understand exactly what the problem is then write a design brief in a log book (this will become your working document as you work on your robot.)

Many times, robot designers, and engineers do not dream up an idea on their own, but are bombarded by the problems of a customer, society, or the environment that has to be solved to achieve a basic “need.” Without a clear definition of this need and the objectives, the engineering design process cannot begin. Much time and many careers have been wasted in the pursuit of an un-defined target.

Step-1 is a short statement which explains
-the problem that is to be solved
-and the objectives  to be reached.

The problem must be accurately and realistically defined in order to go about the process of solving it.
1. Get a clear picture of the Parameters of the problem.
2. Make a list of the Objectives and rank them in order of importance.
3.Define the Constraints of the problem.
4.Many times a robot cannot do everything that a problem presents. It is important to prioritize and design a machine that can do the most things and do a few things very well.



Having written a brief, you are now ready to gather information. First you will need to decide what information you require. This will be different from project to project and will also depend on the amount of information and knowledge you already have.

 What is the practical function of the design?  – What must my robot do?
A design’s practical functions can include:

movement: How will the robot move within its environment?
manipulation: How will the robot move or manipulate other objects within its environment?
energy: How is the robot powered?
intelligence: How does the robot “think?”
sensing: How will my robot “know” or figure out what’s in its environment?

Research must be focused and incorporate new ideas and a thorough exploration of old similar ideas. Sometimes the old ideas are the best. Ever heard the saying, “Don’t reinvent the wheel?” Old ideas that failed are sometimes great research gold mines; that idea may have failed due to a lack of new technology that may exist now.

- Explore other solutions to the same and similar problems,
– Identify specific details of the design which must be satisfied,
– Identify possible and alternative design solutions
– Plan and design an appropriate structure which includes drawings


The first step is to start sketching to get the ideas on paper. Sketching and drawing by hand enables you to tap your creative side. It is important to have accurate and complete sketches in order to translate the idea into hand or CAD drawings and models. This phase also allows for virtual prototyping or testing of the product in the computer. You can find potential, and sometimes costly, flaws in a design before the real world mock-up is constructed.

Draw and talk about ideas with in groups. No ideas are bad ideas. It is important to consider all approaches to a problem. One that did not seem feasible or make sense in the beginning might be the way to go in the end. Not too many projects go through development on the first try or on the best idea at the time. The final project usually consists of a collection of ideas; some that were considered too risky, costly, or just plain crazy.

Solutions must be separated according to their pros and cons. This activity is better accomplished in a group setting. Brainstorming encourages a maximum amount of input from different levels of experience and different approaches to the problem. Alternative solutions can be analyzed and cataloged according to merit and possible use. After these ideas have been distilled to a manageable number, the numbers must be crunched to evaluate the probability and cost of a successful outcome, using the individual solutions. Larger factors come into play here, such as common sense and instinct. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.


The best way to know if a design will work in real-world conditions is to build a prototype.

Sketches and notes are required at this stage. (May be you can  create prototypes using lego for this step. Once you have created a lego prototype, take a digital picture of it.) Print out the picture and jot your notes below the picture in your log book. Once you have settled on a solution, go back over the list of specifications you have made. Make sure that each specification is satisfied.

If an initial design and prototype does not fully solve the problem or specifications, meet the design parameters, or stay within an acceptable cost, a designer may go “back to the drawing board” (or computer). The engineering design process has a loop to go back to the design and refine or redesign.

Now it is the time to produce some working drawings. These are the drawings that will assist you as you begin constructing your robot. (Here again, lego and a digital camera might be your best friend.) You may choose to do your drawings by hand or you might want to use a draw program on the computer to assist you.


The build process must take into consideration materials, processes, construction limitations, and cost. Companies make substantial investments in factories and the infrastructure to build their designs so the more efficiently a design has been handled, the better off the build will be. Once the build process has begun, the company can begin to hopefully make a return on its investments in the entire design process by marketing and selling the product.


As building work progresses, and the design begins to take shape, you will automatically carry out tests on the design. You will also need to complete systems tests at various stages of the construction. If any of the tests show that you have failure in a joint, or that part of your structure is not meeting specifications, then you will have to make modifications in your plan.

When building  is complete, the entire project must be tested to see if it does the job for which it was designed. An evaluation needs to then be written. This should be a statement outlining the strengths and weaknesses in your design. It should describe where you have succeeded and where you have failed to achieve the aims set out in the specifications.

Here is a list of questions which will help you to prepare this statement.
• How well does the design function?
• Does the design look good?
• Is the product safe to use?
• Did I plan my work adequately?
• Did I find the construction straightforward or difficult?
• Were the most suitable materials used?
• Did it cost more or less than expected?
• How could I have improved my design?


A design evolves as you go over on this Robot Design Cycle. Usually the first product is called version 1. As the design evolves it gets better on solving the problem.

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