Egemin Hybrid Automation for Warehousing Kernel (E'Hawk)
The E'Hawk project is situated in the domain of hybrid warehouses:
semi-automated storage facilities that need to interact with human
actors in order to complete their tasks. The integration of human
actors in automation solutions is far from trivial, however. The main
reason for this is that humans can not be modeled as machines: humans
err more easily, humans prefer a certain degree of autonomy to complete
their job, human behavior is not predictable, ... Currently, there is a
lack of support for human integration, both at the initial modelling
level and at the level of actual design/implementation of the resulting
system. In addition, hybrid warehouses are only one step in the entire
logistic process and must be integrated with many other services
already present (such as production facilities, transportation,
business management software etc.) To combine these different systems,
a Service Oriented Architecture is used.
A first goal of the E'Hawk project is therefore to extent current modelling techniques and software architectures to better model human actors and their interactions with the software system during the entire software development process. These detailed models will then be transformed into software/hardware systems using techniques from model driven development. The project also includes development of necessary tools to support this proces.
The second goal of the E'Hawk project is to address the problems which are specific to logistic systems. The different services which are present in the service oriented architecture, are typically independently developed. As such, problems arise with duplication of functionality or data. In addition, the SOA must also be able to deal with the strict requirements of performance typically encountered in logistic systems.
A final aspect of this project involves the development of novel algorithms for optimization of the hybrid warehouse layout. DistriNet is responsible for the first two goals, whereas the last aspect of the project is executed by our academic partner, the Rotterdam School of Management.