All about gitamini's design
We all know and love gitamini, our small-but-mighty, cargo-carrying robot, but have you ever wondered about our design process? In this series, we’ll be diving into how gitamini came to be!
To start, we picked the brains of Jerry, our Senior Design Manager, and Hailey, a Mechanical Engineer, to learn how they brought gitamini to life. Here’s what they had to say-
The idea of gitamini actually stemmed directly from customer feedback. Our team talked with users of our original robots, who were asking for a smaller, more lightweight version. “They wanted a version of gita with a smaller footprint that could maneuver through tighter environments, indoor and outdoor, and could get along with other transportation options. That’s when we started looking into gitamini,” Jerry said.
So, the team began designing a product that addressed this feedback. “We received a lot of feedback from customers, observed the use cases of our robot in public spaces, and better understood the limitations of the manufacturing processes to bring a consumer robot to market. I have seen how gitamini was designed to be lighter in the use of more molded plastics compared to bent sheet metal used in gita and we consolidated our camera's sensors into a more compact assembly on the front face of the robot for better following,” Hailey said.
The team had to make sure that a smaller-sized robot would still meet a majority of use cases. It needed to fit in the backseat or trunk of a car, be lightweight enough for someone to lift it over curbs, up and down stairs, and into the car, and that the ground clearance was high enough to clear in-home doorway thresholds while still maintaining a useful cargo bin size.
When imagining the shape of gitamini, the team spent a lot of time watching how people pick up a 30 lb ball-shaped model, how they hold it while walking up a few stairs, and how they place it on a table in order to best inform the shape and placement of the handles.
Regarding color selection for gitamini, Jerry said that we “always look at gitamini’s colorways together and separate to make sure they compliment each other as well as serve the customer's taste from both ends - Attract and Refine. Spark Citron is a bright and attractive color for a leader who enjoys a little bit of attention from the bystander. While the Boardwalk Beige tunes down the tone and blends into the environment better but keeps the premium fashion shade.”
Hailey recalled that her team also reviewed portions of gitamini’s shape and color from a technical standpoint. “For example,” she said, “we verified how well certain colors mix and can be manufactured consistently by vendors, tested color fading versus maintaining colors from prolonged exposure to sunlight, and reviewed the overall shape chosen by our Design Team and made that shape into moldable body panels around the robot.”
We asked Jerry and Hailey if there is something interesting about gitamini’s design that the average person might not notice -
Jerry noted the shape of the UI button, which took into consideration differently sized fingertips and the feel of the touch in the height of gitamini. He also noted that the continuity of the parting lines across the robot’s body is another detail that people generally don’t notice at first glance.
Hailey likes the logo on the back of the robot, right above the power button. She mentioned that, “while it looks simple in design, I understand the work that went into making that portion of the part to be consistent with manufacturing requirements of a plastic molded part. There are items such as radii, draft considerations, tooling directions, spacing of the letters, and material thicknesses for plastic flow that were dialed in to make the gitamini logo look as seamless as it looks.”
When asked about their favorite design aspects of gitamini -
Hailey said that the team applied lessons learned from the design of the inaugural gita to the design of gitamini, while also trying to understand how to design for future products like gitaplus. The Mechanical Team worked hard to create more cross-functional components and took a long look at the manufacturable options of injection molded plastics, die cast components, and sourcing subassemblies.
As for Jerry, he loves how gitamini combines sounds, lights, and movements to communicate with people in such an innate way. Thus, people can understand gitamini without moments of friction, treating it like a living creature “even if it doesn't have any legs or googly eyes.”
Want to learn more about gitamini or gitaplus? Follow us on social media and let us know what questions you have and who you want to hear from next!
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