Rapid Prototyping: Tesla Model X Door Sensor

Rapid Prototyping: Tesla Model X Door Sensor

2019, May 28    

In this video, Anoop B Sridhar (Product Manager, Fintech Space) is interviewing Murali Srinivasa (Founder, LionCircuits). It is about Rapid Prototyping and we will be taking the specific case of Falcon wing doors of Tesla Model X, that Murali was a part of.

Question: Can you give us a quick overview of Rapid Prototyping in the Hardware Space?
Answer: I would like to compare Rapid Prototyping with Software Agile flow methodology, wherein you define a specific milestone and a timeline and you achieve it to reach towards the end goal iteratively. So, Rapid Prototyping in Hardware is a bit challenging though but there are techniques which can be used to rapidly develop prototypes and go towards the final part.

Question: Let’s jump into the case of Falcon wing doors, Tesla Model X. Can you tell us How you went about this process?
Answer: When we started developing Tesla Model X Falcon wing doors sensors, one of the things that we had to do was to convince Tesla about the possibility of using our sensors from Texas Instruments in the final product. So, in order to do that, we took the EVM that we had and built a very quick Ductape Prototype. We actually just put together the entire prototype in like 4 hours. We did like a Sandwich of the EVM, few mechanical components and sheet metal on top. We used the existing software and we took the demo to Tesla. When we gave the demo, they were extremely happy, they were like so excited about it because one, we did it in like pretty much a day of notice and it resolved the problem that they were facing. So, these two things really gave us and them confidence in terms of talking this prototype to the next stage.

Question: Overall how many prototypes did you have and what was the timeline to reach this?
Answer: So once we had that go-ahead from Tesla, we started putting more resources on it like hardware, software and mechanical teams came together. We had brainstorming sessions on what the final product would look like and how do we reach that iteratively and then we came up with a plan of two or three iterations in a span of like 4 weeks time frame. That involved custom Hardware development, mechanical and electronics and also software. So, all these three functions were aligned parallelly so that when we send the hardware for manufacturing, the software development is in progress and when the hardware comes back we can integrate the software within a day or two and then quickly test it and see the results. So, with such planning, we were able to really accelerate the process and iteratively go towards the final product.

Question: Is there anything that could have been shorter, because you would see the stuff being faster in software development and I think the 4 hours is faster than what folks would use to develop UI, so that is good. But, the 4 weeks, can that be crunched further?
Answer: Exactly, I mean this is a major problem currently in the hardware, right. So, I mean we all wish we had like a compile and run button in hardware. In reality, there are a lot of challenges in terms of handling multiple vendors, the challenges that any hardware engineer would face in terms of manufacturing is definitely a lot. So, that’s why we started LionCircuits. We have a lot of tools, where we enable on click manufacturing. So, we have tools which help designers getting the feedback instantly, we call that InstaDFM. We also have a lot of back end machine learning techniques which help in quality analysis and automated processing. So, with these things what happens is, once you have a design in place, pretty much you can go from design to manufacturing on a click of a button and you don’t have to talk to anybody, you complete the design at midnight, no problem, you just place the order and manufacturing gets started when you are in sleep.

Question: Can you walk us through a few industries that you have already served over the last two and a half years?
Answer: Yeah! So, we have definitely transformed, I would say in the IOT and automotive bike rental space, where we help customers to go from prototype to production. At every stage, we have helped them. Most of the customers start as a low touch platform user and then once they go to the production stage, we help them navigate the process of production. So, the relationship doesn’t end only with prototyping, we help them all the way to production, it’s happening at the bike rental companies currently. But also serve medical industries, educational industries, and some consumer electronics industries as well in India and Abroad.

To know more about LionCircuits you can visit, that’s the website, click and run your order today.