Leveraging Ideas: What can you Learn from NASA’s Latest Mars Lander?

One important question for innovators on a tight schedule: why invent from scratch when borrow for free? Designers and engineers for rover Curiosity have taken that lesson to the max.

According to a recent article entitled The Creative and Business Lessons of the Mars Rover on the FastCoCreate website.

“Before it even reaches Mars, the Mars rover Curiosity has already influenced and borrowed from an eclectic range of industries back on Earth.

“Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in Pasadena, CA tapped business sectors as disparate as film, motion-capture animation, road cycling, sky crane helicopters, automated paper bag stacking, and art for inspiration…They even spent a day exchanging ideas with Disney’s Imagineering arm regarding workflow and problem solving processes. Concurrently, Curiosity’s ingenious solutions have prompted inquiries from defense, oil companies for deep-sea drilling, and agriculture for automated fruit picking. A rover test chassis even provided sounds for Pixar’s Wall-E.”

Rarely, is the schedule not tight, so what problem are you trying to solve that might find a solution in another industry? How will find it? Maybe social media can help? And like the Curiosity engineers, will you share your new solutions with others?

By Chuck Frey

About the author

Chuck Frey Senior Editor, founded InnovationTools.com and served as its publisher from its launch in 2002 until the partnership with Innovation Management in 2012. He is the publisher of The Mind Mapping Software Blog, the definitive souce for news, trends, tips and best practices for visual mapping tools. A journalist by trade, Chuck has over 14 years of experience in online marketing, and over 10 years experience in business-to-business public relations. His interests include creative problem solving, visual thinking, photography, business strategy and technology. His unique combination of experience and influences enables him to envision new possibilities and opportunities.