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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 2, Issue 3-4, Pages 187-196

Optimization-Based Layout Design

K. Abdel-Malek,1 Z. Mi,1 J. Yang,1 and K. Nebel2

1Virtual Soldier Research Program, Center for Computer-Aided Design, The University of Iowa, 111 Engineering Research Facility, Iowa City, IA 52242-1000, USA
2U.S. Army TACOM/RDECOM, AMSRD-TAR-NAC/157, 6501 East 11 Mile Rd., Warren, MI 48397-5000, USA

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The layout problem is of importance to ergonomists, vehicle/cockpit packaging engineers, designers of manufacturing assembly lines, designers concerned with the placement of levers, knobs, controls, etc. in the reachable workspace of a human, and also to users of digital human modeling code, where digital prototyping has become a valuable tool. This paper proposes a hybrid optimization method (gradient-based optimization and simulated annealing) to obtain the layout design. We implemented the proposed algorithm for a project at Oral-B Laboratories, where a manufacturing cell involves an operator who handles three objects, some with the left hand, others with the right hand.