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Robot Catalog Suggestion Form

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User Guide
Robotics User Guide

Registration and Pricing

All users need to register. Simply register and you will be provided with access within 24 hours.

There is an annual registration fee for each.

Solution Sessions and Training can be provided. Please contact us for a quotation.

How to Use the Catalogs
You should always use a systematic approach. Whilst serendipity can occur, the best results are when you follow a standard method. Basically define the problem first before trying to solve it!

Here's our standard method. 

Stage 1, Define

Answers the question "What is the problem?"  There are a wide range of tools available including 5Ws+H, Nine Windows, Resources, Stakeholder Analysis, Ideal Final Result, System Mapping and Root Cause Analysis. All these are in our desktop software.

Stage 2, Explore
Answers the question "What are the potential solutions?"  It is helpful to understand what solutions have been used for similar problems elsewhere – both inside and outside of your industry.  You can identify potential solutions for your particular problem (which could be elements of an existing solution or combinations of other solutions) using the IdeasApps. Creativity tools are available in our desktop software.

Stage 3, Select
Answers the question "What is the best solution to our problem?"  Here you should use multi criteria decision analysis (MCDA) to screen out unsuitable solutions and, ultimately, select the solution that best meets the objectives of the problem.  It is important to pay particular attention to obtaining evidence in determining performance measures. Use Smart Decisions Online for free. More sophisticated MCDA tools (including sensitivity analysis) are available in our desktop software.

The Ideas Catalogs are used in stage 2 – Explore. To get maximum benefit you must also do stage 1 and stage 3


This is often overlooked or is too superficial to be of any use. Motherhood statements need to be broken down to a lower level.  This mostly results in multiple problems being identified. It is best to solve each one separately but consider as a whole. There are multiple tools available depending on the problem:  5Ws+H, Nine Windows, Resources, Stakeholder Analysis, Ideal Final Result, System Mapping and Root Cause Analysis.


This stage is often done in Brainstorming sessions which is rarely effective or efficient. Brainstorming is based solely on the knowledge & experience of those present.  it is highly susceptible to Groupthink, bias and gaming the results. Structured Brainstorming methods are significantly better and the use of systematic tools mitigate these issues.


Our “Ideas Catalogs” collect potential ideas from a wide range of potential solutions from elsewhere. They are structured to enable elicitation of information based on the problem definition. Participants focus more on extending ideas.



Generating ideas is useful but you need to ultimately choose a preferred solution. This often requires a multi-objective, multi-criteria approach rather than just considering the pros and cons. Most problems are complex and context specific so criteria have to be aligned with the overall objective.


Evaluation frequently suffer from similar issues to Brainstorming since it is done in a similar manner.  Groupthink, bias and gaming the results are all too common.

Mitigate this by using MAUT (multi attribute utility theory) supported with an evidence-based approach to performance measures.

Professional software, rather than Excel, is best for MAUT. It has been designed to separate performance scores from values, display the results in a compelling manner and provide sophisticated sensitivity analysis.



The Ideas Catalogs are a unique reference source.

They show what is already out there and could potential be used to solve, or partially solve, your problem.

They are best used as part of a systematic process:

     Define – problem definition

     Explore – generate ideas

     Select – evaluate and choose a preferred solution

Whilst you shouldn’t rule out serendipity you are unlikely to find a solution by just randomly search the App

Download pdf

What Catalogs to Use?

A)  Are you trying to improve an existing system where there is a conflict or contradiction?  If yes, use "Inventive Principles"

B)  Are you trying to fundamentally improve an existing system?  If yes, use "Standard Solutions"

C)  Are you looking for other ways to carry out a particular function?  If yes, use "Technologies"

D)  Are you trying to solve a problem that requires limited human intervention?  If yes, use "Robotics & Remote Technologies"

E)  Are you trying to clean something that is radioactively contaminated? If yes, use "Decontamination"

F)  Are you trying to measure the environmental conditions of the problem?  If yes, use "Characterisation"

Better than traditional brainstorming

Traditional brainstorming is a trial and error process.  You may get lucky.  You probably won't.  Our technique is built around the concept that someone, somewhere may well have already developed a solution to your problem.  If you could just access information on what's already been done then you will be a lot further forward in solving your problem.  The approach is to first understand the generic problem for your specific problem.  Then, look for solutions to the generic problem. Then you can develop specific solutions.  This approach is significantly more effective at solving problems than the traditional trial & error method of brainstorming.


Technical Support

For general support on the web apps please email us at

We run workshop specifically designed to help project teams generate high quality ideas based on a knowledge of what has been used elsewhere.  These workshops can dramatically shorten the time to identify solutions whilst at the same time significantly enhancing the robustness of the process.  Obviously there is a cost, but the return on investment is significant.  Just calculate the cost of everyone attending workshops based on your current process and determine the savings you would make if you shortened them by half (whilst at the same time improving the quality of outputs).

UK Office

Suite 17, Projection West, Merchants Place, Reading, RG1 1ET

Teelephone: 01189 505 927

US Office

Suite 500, 1101 30th St NW, Washington, DC, 20007

Telephone: 202-625-4336