A Multi-Loop Development Process for a Wearable Computing System in Autonomous Logistics

A Multi-Loop Development Process for a Wearable Computing System in Autonomous Logistics

Jakub Piotrowski, Carmen Ruthenbeck, Florian Harjes, Bernd Scholz-Reiter
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-042-6.ch046
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The chapter examines a multi-loop development process for a wearable computing system within a new paradigm in logistic applications. The implementation of this system will be demonstrated by an example from the field of autonomous logistics for automobile logistics. The development process is depicted from selecting and combining hardware through to the adjustment to both user and operative environment. Further, this chapter discusses critical success factors like robustness and flexibility. The objective is to present problems and challenges as well as a possible approach to cope with them.
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The Product Development Process

To stay competitive in today`s complex and fast changing markets, developing new and innovative products has become more and more important. Accordingly, the process of planning and constructing these products is a central research topic (Rügge, Ruthenbeck, & Scholz-Reiter, 2009). Varied concepts for product innovation have been developed, differing in their range within the innovation process and the products they can be applied to. In literature, those concepts are often roughly divided into heavyweight and lightweight models (Pomberger, 2006). The differentiation is made by the degree the processes are formalized. Most heavyweight models are descriptive and phase-oriented, which means they consider the design of innovations as a sequence of steps. This leads to less flexibility, as there are little possibilities given to cope with changing demands and requirements. The Waterfall Model (Royce, 1970) and the Stage-Gate-Model (Cooper, 2001) are typical exponents of heavyweight approaches. On the other hand, the Spiral Model (Boehm, 1988) can be seen as a lightweight approach. Lightweight approaches are less formalized and therefore more flexible than heavyweight approaches (Pomberger, 2006). Hybrid forms like the so-called “V-Model” (Boehm, 1979) and the Pyramid Model (Ehrlenspiel, 2009) combine properties of both. In the following the approaches are sketched.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mobile Work Process: A work process that is performed in motion via mobile technologies, distributed across different locations or an extensive large object (airplane during maintenance, vessel on a shipyard).

Development Process: The development process aims to the design of new and innovative products. The process is generally performed in specialized divisions of single companies or within enterprise networks.

Automobile Terminal: An automobile terminal provides complex services in the range of storage management, technical treatment and transport of vehicles between manufacturers and automobile traders within the import and export of vehicles.

Autonomous Control: Upcoming new paradigm in logistics. Central issue is the turning away from centralized control in hierarchical structures. The paradigm is based on processes of decentralized decision making in heterachical structures by means of intelligent objects with the capability to communicate with each other and to control themselves autonomously.

Wearable Computing: The adjective “wearable” means suitable to be worn. A “Wearable Computing System” is a combination of IT-components carried directly on the body. The associated IT-components are integrated in clothes, shoes, gloves, bags and so on. Possible IT-components for a wearable use are Ultra-Mobile PCs (UMPC), Head-Mounted-Displays (HMD), special input and output devices (keyboards, touch screens, etc.) or sensors (GPS, RFID, etc.).

Mobile Technologies: Hardware like laptops, PDAs or mobile phones which are portable but not useable in motion.

IT-System/-Infrastructure: System for information processing within enterprises. Can often be divided into parts for the front and back office and warehouse management systems.

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