We are frequently forced not to create brand new stuff, but to add shiny features to the existing solutions – and make sure nothing breaks. The existing solutions already make money and there are customers who are ready to buy them, they simply want that little high-tech extra on the top – without dramatic change in pricing.
Coming from the software development world, it is also quite weird to face the brutal reality of hardware, walls and ceilings. Plus incomplete or incorrect requirements. How about us working diligently (using formal and rather detailed spec) to design a computer vision solution for injection molding equipment based on a robotic arm from Kuka, only to discover that on a shop floor there is not enough space to install that robotic arm close to the target equipment. Ended up with rather simplistic setup: cameras attached to the end of a pole, being moved by a servo-motor.
As a consolation, while CAD-modeling and simulating computer vision cameras’ field of view, coverage, kinematics etc, we’ve got some very nice pictures.