Everything has already been invented, says Ralph Osterhout, chief executive of the Osterhout Design Group that designs military equipment. Don't try to create something from scratch. Instead look for ideas and take inspiration from what has already been created, then shop for solutions.
"It's like baking a cake," he told DICE Summit attendees. You're just looking for all the right ingredients.
For instance, when the military was looking for an expendable tactical robot for disarming improvised explosive devices, Osterhout came up with a model that has near identical functionality of the $120K I-Robot, but it costs a mere $15K. The difference: many of the parts were inspired or taken straight from off-the-shelf components.