Failures are educational and they should be shared with the world. Too often you see awesome projects on the Internet and wonder ‘How did he do that?’ but rarely do you see the failures behind these projects.
I’m planning an ‘educational’ project currently code-named ‘Madox-Kart’ that I’ll get around to writing about, the summary is that it is a educational and fun project for kids to make programmable RC cars on the cheap (<$25) to teach electronics and 3D printing. To test out the concept, I decided to make a prototype.
Prototype was ‘quick and dirty’ and looks something like :-
It took a few hours to print because I printed at 0.2mm resolution and ‘fine’ as usual, in hindsight that is overkill for a quick prototype. Mistake 1. Don’t overkill on quality on a prototype.
Started modelling at around 8pm, the modelling was straight forward as was the printing so everything was printed by midnight. Next comes the mistake, it is a BAD idea to code after midnight. I had most of the code prepared as part of a previous run, with meticulously commented code. Of course 1am me thought that code was bad and decided to ‘correct it’ – turns out it was the correction that was the bug and kept me debugging until 3am. Mistake 2. Avoid coding after midnight… This and the fact that I wanted to play it safe and test with both a wired and wireless Wii Nunchuk, on the assumption that the wired would be easier and more reliable. Of course I was wrong and the wired Nunchuk is/was probably defective. Mistake 3. Don’t assume things…
After sorting all that out I got lazy and instead of putting in the designed batteries, I slapped on a rather large LiPo battery with duct tape on the thing and tried it out. This video shows the ‘ooops’ result.
Mistake 4. Duct tape doesn’t really solve everything…
More lessons to be learnt next time!