Imperial College London

ProfessorPeterChilds

Faculty of EngineeringDyson School of Design Engineering

Head of the School of Design Engineering
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 7049p.childs Website CV

 
 
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Location

 

10 Princes Gardens10-12 Prince's GardensSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
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176 results found

Baxter W, Aurisicchio M, Childs PRN, Tear Here: the Impact of Object Transformations on Proper Disposal, IAPRI 20th World Conference on Packaging

Efforts promoting proper disposal of packaging generally focus on infrastructure and messaging. Significantly less attention has been given to how the attributes of packaging can be used to change disposal behaviour. This research shows how changes in packaging attributes (e.g. alterations in shape, colour, or size) influence two disposal behaviours: recycling and littering. Specifically, we use an implicit association test to measure the subconscious tendency to categorize altered objects as trash rather than recycling. The results indicate that 82% or respondents showed at least a slight effect and 53% showed a strong effect towards associating altered objects with waste. Next, we evaluate object transformations on littering behaviour through an observational field study. Observations (N = 2823) indicated that littering is influenced by deformed, torn, disassembled, and partially full packaging. No significant effect was found with regard to packaging that is wet, sticky, has undergone colour changes or that is has remains (e.g. sauce) on it. These findings suggest that the (re)design of packaging can significantly influence proper disposal. Based on this, packaging can be (re)designed in two ways. First, many types of packaging have scripted alterations such as the iconic ‘tear here’ indicator. These can be changed to preserve properties associated with recyclables and non-littering. Second, packaging can be designed so that there are fewer alterations during use. This work can also help identify inherent attributes that encourage proper disposal.

CONFERENCE PAPER

Baxter W, Aurisicchio M, Mugge R, Childs Pet al., Decontaminating experiences with circular offerings, Product Lifetimes and The Environment (PLATE) 2017

CONFERENCE PAPER

Baxter W, Aurisicchio M, Mugge R, Childs PRNet al., Positive and negative contamination in user interactions, ICED17: 21st International Conference on Engineering Design, Publisher: Design Society

The purpose of this paper is to present contaminated interaction as a design construct. Interactions with an object can be altered,positively, neutrallyor negatively,due to some prior use. In such cases, the interaction departs from the designed condition and is said to be contaminated. This is particularly significant as objects, physical or non-physical, have multiple uses or are shared amongst users. We propose an ontological model of contaminated interaction based on a review of literature and an analysis of user experiences. The model outlines the process of contaminated interaction including the drivers and outcomes. In a negative context, contamination can lead to consumers misusing, negatively experiencing, or avoiding the object altogether. Positive contamination sees the opposite effect in which usability can increase, users report more positive experiences and users seek out or cherish the object. Together, this model presents an approach to understanding and addressing contamination in the design process to enable the creation and maintenance of meaningful experiences.

CONFERENCE PAPER

Chen L, Shi, Han J, childset al., A network-based computational model for creative knowledge discovery bridging human-computer interaction and data mining, ASME 2017 IDETC/CIE

CONFERENCE PAPER

Childs PRN, Holloway M, Julia M, Folding mechanism for a remotely deployable robotic vehicle, International Symposium on Robotics

An innovative design for a folding robotic vehicle is presented that can deploy through small openings into crawl spaces and underfloor voids to survey and carry out operations within them. The mechanism employs a four bar linkage, enabling the axles to be extended away from the chassis and the axle to be deployed in line with the chassis, thus producing an elongated but small cross sectional area. In its low cross-sectional area form the device can be fed in through a small opening and once in position, the axles can be rotated into their functional position and locked in place. To remove the robot the mechanism works in reverse, with the axle is unlocked and rotated in line with the chassis This transformation is a key enabler for deployment and practical applications of this type of robot. The mechanism has been commercially developed and used for both survey and applying treatments in a wide range of building applications, although other uses are possible. This paper describes the practical aspects of the mechanism as an enabler for the transformation of a robot chassis for accessing confined spaces.

CONFERENCE PAPER

Childs PRN, Holloway M, Julia M, A robot for spray applied insulation in underfloor voids, 47th International Symposium on Robotics

This paper focuses on the application of robotics in a new field for applying surface treatments in building voids and thedevelopment of the architecture of the robotic vehicle for use in this application. The nature of the application means thatthe robotic vehicle must be capable of accessing voids through small openings and this has led to a deployable architecturefor the vehicle which can be fed through an opening and then reconfigures its form to enable practical operation. A typicalapplication for the robot is to apply thermal insulation to the underside of wooden or concrete floors in buildings. Theterrain is varied ranging from sand to impacted dusty hard core, can be strewn with builders’ debris such as bricks andtimber, and is interspersed with retainer walls that support the floor above. Within this environment the robot needs to beable to navigate and deploy a spray applied insulation fed by a hose assembly. This paper describes the robot architectureand its development with particular focus on deployable features enabling access to confined spaces, the traction systemused to negotiate diverse surfaces while pulling the umbilical hose assembly, the sensor array and how it is used to controlthe spray patterns. The resulting robots have been commercially developed, and are successfully spraying thermal insulationin a wide range of building applications.

CONFERENCE PAPER

Childs PRN, Julia M, Holloway M, Reinoso Oet al., Autonomous Surveying of Underfloor Voids, 47th International Symposium on Robotics

In this paper, a novel robotic system that solves the problem of autonomous mapping an underfloor void is presented. The approach is based on a 3D laser scanner. A real time navigation system and a new high level planner that selects the next best scanning position controls the motion of the robot. Multiple scans are aligned using ICP and graph optimization techniques. Finally, a point cloud fusion algorithm creates a global model of the environment from the aligned scans. The survey robot has been successfully deployed in a commercial application for scanning underfloor voids before and after the application of thermal insulation. Using this system, the robot was successfully able to autonomously map the controlled test scenario. For some applications the quantity of rubble within the void caused the real time navigation to fail and teleoperation and manual initialization of the ICP algorithm was necessary.

CONFERENCE PAPER

Childs PRN, Michalakoudis I, Harding J, Using functional analysis diagrams for production cost optimization, IEEE-ICAMSE 2016

This paper presents a methodology combining Failure Modeand Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Value Engineering (VE),assisted by a set of hierarchical Functional Analysis Diagram(FAD) models, and its pilot introduction in a UK-basedmanufacturing Small Medium Enterprise (SME). Theproposed methodology suggests the parallel execution of bothprocesses, using a combination of FAD models and the FMEAtabular tool to yield results for both FMEA and VE. Theresulting Risk Priority Number (RPN) is used to identify andprioritize not only the high-risk components requiringimprovements (highest RPN values), but also the potentiallysuperfluous components (lowest RPN values) that could besafely downgraded to reduce unnecessary costs.

CONFERENCE PAPER

Han J, Shi F, Chen L, Childs Pet al., The Analogy Retriever – an idea generation tool, 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17), ISSN: 2220-4342

CONFERENCE PAPER

Lee S, Jiang P, Childs P, Gilroy Ket al., Functional Analysis Diagrams with the representation of movement transitions, ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2013

A study on utilising a graphical interface to representmovement transmission within products has been conducted tosupport a creative conceptual design process that separates theconsideration of functional requirements and motionrequirements. In engineering design, many representations ofproduct structure have been proposed to assist in understandinghow a design is constituted. However, most of theserepresentations demonstrate only functions and are not able todemonstrate design structure. Functional Analysis Diagrams(FAD) provides a solution for this. An FAD shows not onlyfunctions but also physical elements by the network of blocksand arrows and thus it is capable of demonstrating varioustypes of information and the design scheme. This characteristicgives FADs an advantage for designers to combine differenttypes of information including useful and harmful interactionsto gain an overview of the design task. This study focuses onusing circles instead of arrows to represent movement attributesof mechanisms and machine elements in a KinematicFunctional Analysis Diagram (KFAD) and explores methods ofutilising it in mechanical design. A commercial case study ofmedical equipment design conducted with the assistance ofKFADs and a component database, mechanism and machineelements taxonomy (MMET), is described to illustrate theprocess. The design outcome shows that it is feasible to followthe proposed conceptual design process. With the help ofKFADs and the machine elements taxonomy to enableconsideration of movements, diverse considerations and designsolutions are possible.

CONFERENCE PAPER

Baxter W, Aurisicchio M, Childs P, 2017, Contaminated Interaction Another Barrier to Circular Material Flows, JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY, Vol: 21, Pages: 507-516, ISSN: 1088-1980

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Baxter WL, childs PRN, 2017, Designing Circular Possessions, The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Product Design, Editors: Chapman

The notion of possession is one of the most fundamental concepts that guide everyday behaviour. Paradoxically, it is often poorly understood. This is particularly true in a circular context where consumer interactions with possessions are being altered and in some cases redefined. Thus, an understanding of possession serves as a useful, if not necessary, prerequisite to designing circular products, services and systems. This chapter explores the idea of possession: what it is, how an object becomes one and why it is important for the circular economy. Possession is understood through a human-centred lens that considers the consumer’s state of mind towards and relationship with an object. A state of possessiveness can be attained for material or immaterial objects and for objects that may or may not legally belong to the person. The discussion is presented within a design framework that discusses the motives and routes that lead to the state of possession. This framework is substantiated by looking at affordance principles and paths associated with possession. Each section includes a theoretical discussion as well as practical examples and insights that can be incorporated into the product design process itself. This chapter aids in understanding interactions relevant to the circular economy such as the maintenance and care that comes with object attachment and adoption of access-based consumption models. Understanding and designing for these desired interactions should be the first priority of designers followed by an establishment of laws, regulations and policies to support them.

BOOK CHAPTER

Chen X, Liu X, Childs P, Brandon N, Wu Bet al., 2017, A Low Cost Desktop Electrochemical Metal 3D Printer, Advanced Materials Technologies, Pages: 1700148-1700148, ISSN: 2365-709X

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Han J, Park D, Shi F, Chen L, Childs PRNet al., 2017, Three driven approaches to combinational creativity, Pages: 259-268, ISSN: 2220-4334

Creativity is a crucial element of design, and a human attribute that has aroused significant attention. However, few studies have focused on the factors and motivations that drive creativity. The aim of the study is to investigate the driving forces behind combinational creativity for developing original creative products. We propose three driven approaches to combinational creativity, the problem-driven approach, the common-driven approach, and the inspiration-driven approach, based on previous research projects on design process, design strategy, and design cognition. A test involving two-hundred practical products has been conducted to validate the three approaches by means of expert evaluation. The test results have indicated the validity of the three driven approaches. The three approaches proposed in this study have provided an understanding of how combinational creativity is driven in design, which could lead to a better comprehension of human creativity in design. The study enables indication that the three approaches can be applied by designers to aid in the production of creative designs for and in resource-limited societies.

CONFERENCE PAPER

Hu Z, Rao C, Tao C, Childs PRN, Zhao Yet al., 2017, A case-based decision theory based process model to aid product conceptual design, Cluster Computing, Pages: 1-18, ISSN: 1386-7857

© 2017 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC In new product development, the rapid proposal of innovative solutions represents an important phase. This in turn relies on creative ideas, their evaluation, refinement and embodiment of worthwhile directions. This study aims to describe a CBDT based process model for product conceptual design that concentrates on rapidly generating innovations with the support of decision-making rationale. Case-based decision theory (CBDT), derived from case-based reasoning, is applied in this paper as a core method to aid design engineers to make an informed decision quickly, thus accelerating the design process. In the process of utilizing CBDT to support a decision, as for the similarity function, the proper value assignment methods to the selected attribute set for calculation are discussed. In order to assist with innovative solution, aspects of the theory of inventive problem solving (TRIZ) are integrated into the case-based reasoning process. Accordingly, a CBDT-TRIZ model is developed. Quality-function deployment is used to translate customer wants into relevant engineering design requirements and thus formulating the design specification. Image-Scale is used to offer an orthogonal coordinates system to aid evaluation. Finally, a case study is used to demonstrate the validity of the proposed process model based on the design of a cordless hand-tool for garden and lawn applications.

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Li W, Zhang J, Mi P, Zhao J, Tao Z, Childs PRN, Shih TI-Pet al., 2017, The effect of gravity on R410A condensing flow in horizontal circular tubes, NUMERICAL HEAT TRANSFER PART A-APPLICATIONS, Vol: 71, Pages: 327-340, ISSN: 1040-7782

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Michalakoudis I, Childs P, Aurisicchio M, Harding Jet al., 2017, Using functional analysis diagrams to improve product reliability and cost, ADVANCES IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, Vol: 9, ISSN: 1687-8140

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Ramos Cabal A, Guarracino I, Mellor A, Alonso Álvarez D, Childs P, Ekins Daukes N, Markides CNet al., 2017, Solar-Thermal and Hybrid Photovoltaic-Thermal Systems for Renewable Heating, Publisher: Grantham Institute, Imperial College London

Headlines Heat constitutes about half of total global energy demand. Solar heat offers key advantages over other renewable sources for meeting this demand through distributed, integrated systems. Solar heat is a mature sustainable energy technology capable of mass deployment. There is significant scope for increasing the installed solar heat capacity in Europe. Only a few European countries are close to reaching the EU target of 1 m2 of solar-thermal installations per person. One key challenge for the further development of the solar-thermal market arises from issues related to the intermittency of the solar resource, and the requirement for storage and/or backup systems. The former increases investment costs and limits adaptability. An analysis of EU countries with good market development, suggests that obligation schemes are the best policy option for maximising installations. These do not present a direct cost to the public budget, and determine the growth of the local industry in the long term. Solar-thermal collectors can be combined with photovoltaic (PV) modules to produce hybrid PV-thermal (PV-T) collectors. These can deliver both heat and electricity simultaneously from the same installed area and at a higher overall efficiency compared to individual solar-thermal and PV panels installed separately. Hybrid PV-T technology provides a particularly promising solution when roof space is limited or when heat and electricity are required at the same time.

REPORT

Shi F, Chen L, HAN JI, CHILDS PETERet al., 2017, A data-driven self-learning network analysis for ontology-based design knowledge retrieval, ASME 2017 IDETC/CIE, Publisher: ASME

With the advent of the big-data era, massive information stored in electronic and digitalforms on the internet become valuable resources for knowledge discovery in engineeringdesign. Traditional document retrieval method based on document indexing focuses onretrieving individual documents related to the query, but is incapable of discovering thevarious associations between individual knowledge concepts. Ontology-based technologies,which can extract the inherent relationships between concepts by using advancedtext mining tools, can be applied to improve design information retrieval in the largescaleunstructured textual data environment. However, few of the public available ontologydatabase stands on a design and engineering perspective to establish the relationsbetween knowledge concepts. This paper develops a “WordNet” focusing on design andengineering associations by integrating the text mining approaches to construct an unsupervisedlearning ontology network. Subsequent probability and velocity network analysisare applied with different statistical behaviors to evaluate the correlation degreebetween concepts for design information retrieval. The validation results show that theprobability and velocity analysis on our constructed ontology network can help recognizethe high related complex design and engineering associations between elements. Finally,an engineering design case study demonstrates the use of our constructed semantic networkin real-world project for design relations retrieval.

CONFERENCE PAPER

Baxter W, Yang X, Aurisicchio M, Childs PRNet al., 2016, Exploring a human-centred design of possessions, 12th Biennial NordDesign Conference on Highlighting the Nordic Approach, Publisher: DESIGN SOC, Pages: 53-62

CONFERENCE PAPER

Baxter WL, Aurisicchio M, Childs PRN, 2016, Materials, use and contaminated interaction, MATERIALS & DESIGN, Vol: 90, Pages: 1218-1227, ISSN: 0264-1275

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Chen X, Mi P, Childs PRN, Sokolova E, Li W, Yan Yet al., 2016, EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF EVAPORATION HEAT TRANSFER INSIDE HORIZONTAL MICRO-FIN TUBES, ASME Summer Heat Transfer Conference, Publisher: AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS

CONFERENCE PAPER

Childs PRN, 2016, Nanoscale Thermometry and Temperature Measurement, RSC Nanoscience and Nanotechnology No. 38, Thermometry at the Nanoscale: Techniques and Selected Applications., Editors: Carlos, Palacio, Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry, Pages: 3-22, ISBN: 9781849739047

Nanoscale temperature measurement concerns the determination of temperature or temperature difference at the sub-micron scale. Applications where it is important to be able to measure local temperature at the nanoscale include microelectronics, optics, microfluidics, chemical reaction and biochemical processes, such as living cells and nano-medicine.

BOOK CHAPTER

Gronneberg I, Childs P, 2016, Organizational Principles Oriented to Maximize Innovative Ideas of Blue-Collar Employees in Manufacturing, 12th Biennial NordDesign Conference on Highlighting the Nordic Approach, Publisher: DESIGN SOC, Pages: 288-297

CONFERENCE PAPER

Han J, Shi F, Childs PRN, 2016, THE COMBINATOR: A COMPUTER-BASED TOOL FOR IDEA GENERATION, 14th International Design Conference (DESIGN), Publisher: DESIGN SOC, Pages: 639-648, ISSN: 1847-9073

CONFERENCE PAPER

Hua M, Huang S, Childs P, 2016, From linear to systemic: an integrated design solution for sustainable household consumption in Iceland, 12th Biennial NordDesign Conference on Highlighting the Nordic Approach, Publisher: DESIGN SOC, Pages: 186-195

CONFERENCE PAPER

Michalakoudis I, Childs P, Harding J, 2016, Using Functional Analysis Diagrams for Production Cost Optimization, IEEE International Conference on Advanced Materials for Science and Engineering (IEEE-ICAMSE), Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 554-557

CONFERENCE PAPER

Shi F, Han J, Childs PRN, 2016, A DATA MINING APPROACH TO ASSIST DESIGN KNOWLEDGE RETRIEVAL BASED ON KEYWORD ASSOCIATIONS, 14th International Design Conference (DESIGN), Publisher: DESIGN SOC, Pages: 1125-1134, ISSN: 1847-9073

CONFERENCE PAPER

Southgate DFL, Childs PRN, Bull AMJ, 2016, Sports Innovation, Technology and Research, Publisher: World Scientific, ISBN: 9781786340412

Sports Innovation, Technology and Research gives an insight into recent research and design projects at Imperial College London. It presents the on-going development of a diverse range of areas from elite rowing performance to impact protection to sporting amenities in communities.Also included are descriptions of some of the latest innovations that have been developed as part of the Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge, an initiative that tasked engineering students to design, build and implement Paralympic and other sporting equipment. It offers a glimpse at the breadth of creativity that can be achieved when human centred design is applied to an area such as disabled sport. It also shows the potential that design and engineering have to contribute to healthy lifestyles and the generation of whole new sporting domains.

BOOK

Baxter W, Childs PRN, Aurisicchio M, 2015, Using psychological ownership to guide strategies for slower consumption, Product Lifetimes And The Environment (PLATE), Publisher: Nottingham Trent University

CONFERENCE PAPER

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