I mentioned the Artist Ideaboard last week, but since then I’ve had chance to use one. I’m happy to say that I am as impressed with the implementation as I was the idea. This is definitely something that will see a lot of use at our robotics team meetings. The large one ended up being a little large for my crowded cube at work, but I trust the smaller ones will work great there.
Bhushan was kind enough to send me one of the pre-production units for test, and we’ve given it a good workout. It’s been great for drafting ideas for our robotics team, and keeping track of strategy ideas. After discussion most of these drawings go into our engineering notebooks, but it’s nice to fully flesh out the idea before committing it to paper.
The ideaboard includes a few clear sheets between the opaque white sheets. We would draw the basic shape of the robot on the white sheet, then overlay a clear sheet to iterate through our designs. This way we didn’t have to redraw the basic outline, or drive-train repeatedly. We also used a Sharpie to draw a one inch grid of dots on the clear sheet. This allowed us to draw the mechanisms to scale and actually hold parts up to the drawing to see how things might fit together and even trace them.
The construction is well thought out and should last a while. I had a few suggestions for improvements, and it appears that they had already considered them and were tweaking the design. If you have ideas, be sure to speak up on the comments. Bhushan is watching them closely and considering ideas that make sense and don’t add significantly to the cost of the project. One idea they are already kicking around is using the 3M velcro tabs to hold the sheets to the wall. The tabs stick well for as long as you need them, and come off easy when you’re done.
If this sounds like a cool project, you get in at $25 for a mini board, or $35 for a two pack. The larger board is a bit more. I’m down for two mini boards at least. Find out more, and pledge some support at The Artist Ideaboard Kickstarter.