Prototype development at Topseven

Challenges, hurdles, highs and lows

The development of prototypes plays a decisive role in the market launch of innovative products. And this is precisely the goal we at TOPseven have set ourselves: creatively and constructively enriching the market with innovations.

Particularly during the development of hardware such as the new camera for drone-based visual inspection of wind turbine generators and complex infrastructure our engineers and developers face a multitude of tasks and challenges.

This article examines the most important steps and the difficulties that can arise during the development of prototypes and presents possible approaches for successful transition from prototype to marketable product.

Collecting requirements

Market research

Before the development of a prototype camera for drones can start at all, it is crucial to undertake comprehensive market research and analysis. During this process, existing technologies and customer needs should be investigated in detail. The identification of the requirements and expectations of the market permits the preparation and development of precise design specifications for the camera.

From the prototype to the product

Design optimisation and preparation for production

A functioning prototype is a major step toward a marketable product, however further optimisation and preparation for production is required. Design optimisation covers the fine tuning of the housing, the selection of suitable materials and the integration of components to meet weight and size limitations. Furthermore, it is necessary to specify and analyse the production processes so that efficient, cost-optimised series production is possible.

Test runs and quality assurance

The importance of validation

Before the camera prototypes can go into production, comprehensive test runs and quality assurance procedures are imperative. These measures include checking the image quality, the stability of the camera while the drone is flying, the damping of vibration and shocks, and much more. Systematic tests and validation ensure that the prototype complies with the requirements and also actually achieves the required performance.

Only once compliance is assured does the camera go into production. It is now necessary to draw up work instructions for the production department, production documents must be written and appropriate figures prepared, parts lists created for procurement, suitable suppliers selected, etc. A prerequisite for all these tasks is a high degree of teamwork, which is not always so easy.

Continuous improvement

Incorporating feedback from users

Also, after the successful introduction of a product based on the camera prototype, it is necessary to collect feedback from customers and users. This information makes it possible to identify possible weaknesses or potential for improvement. By incorporating this feedback in the development process, it is possible to further develop and optimise the camera continuously to address the changing requirements of the market.


The development of prototypes involves a variety of challenges. From the collection of requirements, through design optimisation and preparation for production, to the test phase and continuous improvement, there is a need for extensive expertise and close cooperation between specialist areas within TOPseven. By avoiding communication problems and with the aid of a systematic development process, we can master these challenges successfully to create, ultimately, a marketable product that meets the requirements of drone technology. Always true to our motto: MAKING DRONES SMARTER.