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Lessons Learned From a Project-Based Learning Approach for Teaching New Cognitive Product Development to Multi-Disciplinary Student Teams

[+] Author Affiliations
Torsten Metzler, Kristina Shea

Technische Universität München, Garching, Bavaria, Germany

Paper No. DETC2011-48168, pp. 589-598; 10 pages
doi:10.1115/DETC2011-48168
From:
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 5th International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems; 8th International Conference on Design and Design Education; 21st Reliability, Stress Analysis, and Failure Prevention Conference
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5484-6
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME

abstract

This paper presents lessons learned from a project-based approach for teaching new cognitive product development to multi-disciplinary student teams. Within the class, interdisciplinary teams with students from mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science are formed. To date, the class has been run five semesters using different themes and developing more than 15 new products. Cognitive products are tangible and durable things with cognitive capabilities that consist of a physical carrier system with embodied mechanics, electronics, microprocessors and software. The surplus value is created through cognitive capabilities, e.g. perceiving, learning and reasoning, that are enabled by flexible control loops and cognitive algorithms. Common product development processes are often not applicable to this high level of interdisciplinarity and require extension and refinement. Therefore, project-focused, technical lectures, balancing technology-push and market pull, are given and specifically tailored to cognitive product design. Additionally, software and hardware prototyping workshops and toolkits are provided in combination with the support of technical and process coaches to assist the teams. Attention is especially paid to giving students hands-on experience in developing their own cognitive product starting with the generation of ideas, turning the best idea into a product concept and finally building a functional and a design prototype. Lessons learned through the refinement of the product development process and methods used as well as from student questionnaires are presented and discussed.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME

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