For the first week's assignment we had to propose and communicate a concept for our final project. Below is the visualization and description of my initial idea:
The idea for a smart storage system was born out of pure necessity. For our new Fablab at the European Space Agency we were looking for options to store the archive and supplies in the room (see photos above) more efficiently to free up floor space for Fablab activities. As the room is about 9 m high there is a lot of unused space under the ceiling. This space high up offers an excellent storage room without posing any limitations onto the lab activities.
There are 7 different types of supplies in the room, from food and beverages to tools and machinery (see photos above). These supplies could roughly be divided into 4 categories which correspond to a specific types of storage units. These different types of units correspond to 4 zones (see room plan above) based on the activities in that zone. For example, in zone 3, where the office space will be created should be connected to the storage system of archive and documents, whereas zone 4, where the main lab activites take place, should be connected to tools/ machinery and materials storage system. The exterior design of the units will be used to indicate different functions of the zones in the room (see room cross section above).
The 4 different types of storage units (a. documents, b. tools/ small machinery/ materials, c. exhibiton objects and d. food/ drinks/ cleaning supplies) are built up based on same principles but adjusted according to storage needs. The units are assembled from same size modules which can be added to the existing ones when larger storage space is needed. The interior of the units can be adjusted to the shape and size of the objects by collapsable walls (see drawing above).
The units are hung from the ceiling with the help of an automated pulley system. This system is driven by a motor that controls the speed and direction of rotation of pulleys. As the units are high up and packed tightly together it is necessary to know the contents of each unit so that the right unit could be lowered for the loading/ unloading activities. Therefore, all supplies going in or out of the unit should be scanned and that information should be stored in a database. This database should be accessable through a mobile app or a software on a pc so that the user knows the exact location and amount of the supplies. The concept of the 2 electronic systems are visualized above.