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Bamzooki – Virtual Reality-Based Approach to Aid Complex Engineering Design Planning Tasks
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Dr Heather Rea, of the Edinburgh Beltane Beacon for Public Engagement stated “By using BAMZOOKi, as a tool for the research, the project was able to simultaneously create a useful engagement activity which inspired a large audience of children at the Edinburgh International Science Festival to make the link between creativity and engineering and involve them in a real research project".

Customers' needs are changing - and organizations across all sectors are increasingly being asked not only to provide products in the first instance, but also to support them throughout their service life. It is important that structured engineering information and knowledge are captured at all phases of the product life cycle for future reference. This is especially the case for long life cycle projects which see a large number of engineering decisions made at the early to mid-stages of a product's life cycle that are needed to inform engineering decisions later on in the process.

A robust solution is required to automatically capture engineering processes/rationale that will fit seamlessly with industry standard design tools.

Prof Jim Ritchie of the James Watt Institute for High Value Manufacturing carried out research to non-intrusively capture and formalise product life cycle knowledge by demonstrating the automated capture of engineering processes/rationale using an immersive virtual reality system. The project addresses the needs of the manufacturing industry in providing product life cycle information to support their products.

Due to the sensitive nature of industrial design information, it was not possible to carry out research on specific company data. A solution was to use a software tool called Bamzooki, which is designed to enable children to build virtual creatures. This software had all of the design characteristics of Engineering CAD data and was a perfect tool to demonstrate the capture of real-world engineering design and planning tasks

The impact of this study has been the demonstration to industrial partners of the ability to automate knowledge capture within the design process. These principles are now being developed with industrial partners to investigate real-world engineering design and planning tasks. The work has also significantly increased public awareness of the computer aided design process with over 400 children having used the system at science fairs. This early engagement will hopefully inspire the next generation of engineers.

For more information contact:

Jim Ritchie
0131 451 4364

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