For this assignment I chose to focus on the floor mat as my archetypical product. I had generated a lot of ideas from my focus group for keeping windshields from icing over or cleaning them once they had, but since we had practiced with ice scrapers in class, I felt like many of the ideas I came up with would be much too similar.

With that, here's Part 1: Application of SCAMPER


Change grooves to outlets that run to a reservoir
Clean the shoes before they enter the car: brushes underneath
Prevent dirt from leaving shoes: shoe covers
Mat made of absorbent material
Custom fitted mats

absorbant floor mat-1.jpg

Change the thinking - What if they made your car cozier? At the time, I didn't know how I would go about this, but I felt it was important enough to keep in mind throughout these exercises.


I struggled with the combine prompt a bit. If the product is only one piece and one material, how do you combine? I made myself an association map, and while it highlighted areas that I could change, I struggled to see opportunities for combination. Then I thought about maximizing the number of uses and combining different talents. What if I could combine the talents of someone concerned with making people feel comfortable and someone who was concerned about keeping cars clean? Overall, I came up with:

A two part system where one layer seals to the floor, and an attachment similar to a memory foam bath mat goes on top

A floor mat made of material stiff enough to act as an emergency shovel



For this prompt, I first thought about all of the things I could think of that similar in either function or form to a car floor mat.

Drop cloths

When painters want to prevent paint from getting on an edge, they use painters tape. Can I tape off the edges where the mat might not cover?

I realized when thinking about biomimicry that drivers had different needs for their floormats in different seasons. While snow might be a concern in the winter, sand might be a concern in the summer. Could my idea address both?

I realized that one way I've often cleaned my shoes is wiping them on the grass. Grass directs liquids down towards the soil and brushes against things that slide over it. It is also a pleasant sensation for many people to walk on grass barefoot. Grass-like floormats might not be a bad idea.



Attachments for different seasons
Disposable layers
Oversized grooves and edges
Covers the seat too
Heated for foot warmth
Pleasantly scented


Put to other use:

Floor protector for under wheeled chairs (if ridges minimized)
Dish drying mat
Non-slip pad for equipment
General surface scuff protector - for moving

Dish Drying Mat.jpg


Grooves could be eliminated - reservoir
Solve the problem before entering the car - disposable booties, brushed outside, place to take off your shoes or wipe them before getting in
Split the functions of protecting the carpet and dealing with seasonal issues

disposable booties.jpg


What if the grooves were channels instead?
Instead of focusing on the front end of removing dirt, can we focus on cleaning?

Next, I used the Morphological Analysis tool to explore some other ways of accomplishing the functions of a floor mat.

Morphological Analysis.jpg

I selected a couple of different combinations that I thought would work well. I ended up not using the Removable from Car requirement since it was already addressed in the Stays in Place category.

Morphological Analysis2.jpg

sponge mat.jpg

Morphological Analysis3.jpg


Silly Ideas:

My brainstormers were actually pretty practical. Most of the funny ideas they wrote down were sarcastic. For example: A way to keep ice from forming on your windshield... A heated garage. How to deal with it once it's already there? Take the bus.

There were a few silly ones that I could improve, though, and they're listed below.

In my brainstorm someone had suggested a rubber pickaxe for dealing with windshield ice. Everyone else had laughed and associated it with the game Minecraft. While a rubber pickaxe might not be very effective, if we affix a scraping edge to the flat side of the curved axe part, a user can cover more area with the product, and it's a fun joke product for Minecraft fans.

Someone had suggested a non-stick butter spray for the windshield so that the ice would just slide right off. Cooking spray might not be the best idea for a windshield coating due to things like visibility, but a spray that decreases the sticking power of ice is brilliant. The trick would be finding a technology that wouldn't influence a drivers ability to see, or one that would easily wash off with windshield wiper fluid, or a permanent film with the same slippery properties.

Someone had also suggested that any sealing floor mat should be called SaranMats. In fact, the Saran Wrap press and seal has a lot of qualities that we were looking for in a product. Perhaps some of the sealing properties could be included in a floor mat.

After all the brainstorming and focus grouping and revising, the 10 products that I'm most interested in pursuing are:

vacuum sealing liner-3.jpg


sponge mat.jpg

frost resistent film-2.jpg

retractable cover-2.jpg

absorbant floor mat-1.jpg






Hi Naomi,
I like how you chose the floor mat as your archetypical product instead of an ice scraper. Hope you were writing down all the ideas from class though as they are all valid ideas for your final 10 ;)

I really like your documentation (reading the Combine part now). The way you finally approached it definitely works. A few more methods you could have used: Two of the table methods from class, the TILMAG and HIT matrices are combination methods. Crossproducts works as well.

One idea I had in relation to removing/preventing ice on windshields. The AC in the car is already there and usually has a setting where the air blows up on the inside of the windshield. The air, however, is spread over large area and slowly removes ice over that large area. What if you had a device the narrowed that area (such as something that is put over the air input in the car and narrows down into a smaller diameter hose), and you could focus the airflow to where you wanted to melt the ice?


Apologies for the late comment. I've had to negotiate some life issues the past week which unfortunately trumped school. I hope these comments are still helpful.

I wonder about your change in topic? My understanding is that continuting to use different methods on a single topic is meant to push us to new ideas, and refine existing ones. Obviously, I'm not an expert, and I didn't reference the list to see what your topic is, so take this as a friendly observations.

I note that your final 10 ideas include selections in both areas. Is your assigned topic that broad? Improve winter properties of cars?

Your blog entry itself is very good. Your text clearly describes your process. Your sketches are clear and easy to read. Congratulations!

Two brief suggestions... 1) I've always wondered about an outside accessible port to plug in a deicing tool. There are ones that you plug in in the interior of the vehicle. That has always seemed silly to me. 2) Your retractable cover idea... I have consider a horizontal orientation. Small, hand-crank operatus with pulleys at top and bottom of windshield on either side. Cover would be window-width with additional window-width length of wire (top & bottom) before and after. Assume window is covered... I crank from appropriate side, cover disappears (rolled onto receiver), wires following transit the windshield guided by a channel so they are out of driver field of vision. To recover, crank from the other side. Retract again from either side.

Perhaps these notions will be useful. Good luck.


What a Huge Assignment!
You have done a very deep analysis and I admire it.
Loved the implementation at the end.

Cotton Bathmats

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This page contains a single entry by ocho0037 published on November 25, 2013 10:18 AM.

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