Get to know about prototyping…
A preliminary version of a device or vehicle from which other forms are developed is called prototype. There are many advantages of working on a prototype before developing the actual device include: it is easy to detect the missing functionality, it can be reused by the developer for more complicated projects in the future and it is easy to detect errors.
Before working on a prototype, we had to generate “How can we” statements from our visit and interview in Amana Hospital. After that we had to brainstorm on ways to solve various “How can we’s”. This helps a developer to know which things should be used to make an early prototype.
Figure showing some of the “How can we’s” and some ideas on how to solve them
After that design objectives should be set that help to guide the design process and measure the results. Our design objectives involved objectives, method of measurement and target criterion. This can also be done after doing the low fidelity or early prototype so as to improve it to a better one.We then made our early prototype that involved the use of low fidelity materials like plastic cups, cardboards, bottles and juice tubes.
Figure showing design objectives set for the prototype
An early prototype was improved by the addition of a sensor (ultrasonic sensor) to control the taping system. A rating chart was added so as to get feedback from system users.
Figure showing improved prototype
Most people make mistakes by confusing a prototype and the real or finished project. We are still working on our prototype based on the problem that Amana Hospital is facing which is water overflowing in hand washing stations. The above figure is a prototype not the real prototype so stay tuned for my next blog to see the difference between them.