Copyright ©2018 Protobee, LLC

A full system design

from concept to creation


This customer came to us with a product idea: an audio system that could detect the pitch of a conversation and output similar sounds to fulfill the needs of their specific application. This customer had initial hardware but they wanted a professional looking prototype to demonstrate their system to potential customers.


We decided to use the mass-produced Raspberry Pi controller board as the brains of the system. This reduced initial design risk/cost/schedule and provided us with a reliable core system to run the application-specific audio processing algorithms. We then developed an extensive Linux code set using primarily open-source audio processing libraries and some custom, application-specific C++ code to fulfill the customer's requirements.  


In order to add the audio circuitry required for this prototype, we designed a custom PCB including power systems, a microprocessor to control the system state machine (and conserve power when in the "standby" state), audio power amplifiers and various IO (switches and LEDs) for the specific application. We then integrated the two circuit boards and optimized the system for audio quality and interoperability. 


With a working electrical and software prototype, we then collaborated with one of our mechanical design partners to develop a custom case for this device, one that would provide all of the necessary IO and the look and feel that the customer desired. 


We always strive to meet our customers vision as closely as possible. With this in mind, we were able to query the customer's input at various phases of the design. Our mechanical designers provided the customer with various concepts for the handle and IO interface design and iteratively arrived at the concept shown above.


With the design complete, we then ordered and assembled the custom PCA and printed out the enclosure with our 3D printer. Finally, we assembled the custom cables and pieced the system together. 


After some preliminary testing of each individual system component, we fit the pieces together and began debugging the full system. We optimized audio quality, power supply noise, interoperability between the Raspberry Pi and our custom PCB, software algorithms for the IO and user-interface and look and feel of the complete device. 


We then delivered the finished prototype along with a custom Windows application to aid the customer in optimizing the sound streams for their specific application.