Innovation in the team

Upcoming Presentation

Presenter: Justin Beck

Presenting at "Inspiration from Unusual Sources: Integrating Innovation into Your Work"


“Engineering Expo as Catalyst for Innovation” Session Description: Dual Monitor laptops... Autonomous Robots... Automated backup system... Web Controlled Christmas lights... These are some of the innovative projects developed by the Expo Robotics group, students at UW-Madison’s College of Engineering. They relish the opportunity to share what inspires them and how the biannual Engineering Expo serves as a catalyst for innovation on campus. In what ways might this University foster creativity among its students? How might we support the transformation of creative ideas into innovative solutions to real challenges facing society? Please join this creative student group in pursuing answers to such questions.

Download: Presentation Supplement
Download: Presentation Slides


Dual Monitor Laptop

  • Do a wood prototype
  • Pairs work well
  • Communicate: once you break the trust its broken
  • Communicate: Expectations
  • Communicate: Level of commitment
* Its like a relationship! only worse, you actually have to produce something!

Web Controlled Christmas Lights

  • got an idea: take the initiative "you go first"
  • take the design time when needed, it normally doesn't take long
  • People will join naturally
  • Resourcefulness means EVERYTHING
  • Remove Bureaucracy (duh)
  • After movement -> Bust out delegation


  • Initial prototype = existing technology (less hurdles = further progress)
  • There is nothing cooler then building something that looks cool
  • It doesn't have to be right to work
  • The more people you involved in a project the more overhead you build, make sure you got the balls to do the maintenance

Darpa: Urban Challenge

  • Yes lack of support = failure *
  • People don't have to be right to affect you {negatively}
  • When people loose physical proximity... you loose so much
  • Make sure you take a break from your work
* Your wife's support of your projects is mandatory.