Automated design analysis, assembly planning and motion study analysis using immersive virtual reality

J.M. Ritchie, Raymond C.W. Sung, Graham Robinson, Philip N. Day, R.G. Dewar, J.R. Corney, J.E.L. Simmons

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Previous research work at Heriot-Watt University using immersive virtual reality (VR) for cable harness design showed that VR provided substantial productivity gains over traditional computer-aided design (CAD) systems. This follow-on work was aimed at understanding the degree to which aspects of this technology were contributed to these benefits and to determine if engineering design and planning processes could be analysed in detail by nonintrusively monitoring and logging engineering tasks. This involved using a CAD-equivalent VR system for cable harness routing design, harness assembly and installation planning that can be functionally evaluated using a set of creative design-tasks to measure the system and users' performance. A novel design task categorisation scheme was created and formalised which broke down the cable harness design process and associated activities. The system was also used to demonstrate the automatic generation of usable bulkhead connector, cable harness assembly and cable harness installation plans from non-intrusive user logging. Finally, the data generated from the user-logging allowed the automated activity categorisation of the user actions, automated generation of process flow diagrams and chronocyclegraphs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProduct Engineering: Tools and Methods Based on Virtual Reality
EditorsD. Talaba, A. Amditis
Place of PublicationDordrecht, The Netherlands
ISBN (Print)9781402081996
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameIntelligent Systems, Control and Automation: Science and Engineering


  • virtual reality
  • user logging
  • process flow diagrams
  • assembly planning
  • motion study
  • user activity categorisation


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