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By Ken Hurst

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This could also be termed employing empathy for problem solving, since empathy involves becoming the part and seeing things as the item or artefact we are considering. A further useful source of ideas comes from analogy with nature. Nature is a powerful solver of a wide range of problems and many modem engineering inventions replicate nature. For example, consider the following: • As a bat flies (Fig. 6) it emits sharp cries which bounce off obstructions and warn the bat of their position. In other words the bat uses sonar.

The concept generation stage may be considered as divergent, in that the boundaries set in the PDS are fully explored. The next stage in the engineering design process involves selecting concepts and is convergent. It involves making decisions and rejecting the majority of concepts generated. The concept selection stage is clearly identified in Fig. 5 by means of the decision arrow between concept and detail. 2. They show the cost and opportunity for change in product development and a representation of the all too frequent pattern of engineering changes.

9. The Dyson vacuum cleaner has Dual Cyclone filtration and many other patented design features. The main advantages claimed over conventional vacuum cleaners are that no bag means 100% suction, 100% of the time and no bag odour. The vacuum cleaner has the largest electrostatic filters found on any vacuum cleaner, is designed to sit on the stair, has integral tools, the large rear wheel/small front castor design of the Dyson makes it easy to manoeuvre around comers. The body of the Dyson Dual Cyclone is made from ABS and polycarbonate.

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