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  • 1.
    Holmqvist, Sofia
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Machine Design.
    Svensson, Moa
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Machine Design.
    Development of an Indoor Cultivation Product for Restaurant Environments: Developing a Product Specification and Creating a Product Concept using User-Centered Design2019Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    In today’s society there is a growing awareness of where food is produced and there is a trend to use locally grown produce in restaurants. One way for restaurants to differentiate themselves is to grow the produce inside the restaurant. This thesis has the aim on identifying the problems and user needs for an indoor cultivation solution and developing a new indoor cultivation product that solves the identified problems and meet the user needs. To achieve this aim, a usercentered design approach was utilised and the following three research questions were answered:

    • How can the needs of the user be translated into a product specification for indoor cultivation in restaurants?
    • What are the functionality, usability, and construction requirements for an indoor cultivation product in a restaurant?
    • What product concept can be designed to grow classic herbs in restaurants based on the needs of the user?

    To identify the needs interviews were performed with the users. The needs were then translated, together with the company’s needs, into a product specification. This was done in two steps, identifying the metrics and setting values. Some of the most important requirements are that a hydroponic system is used, that the product is easy to clean and is moveable.

    The product development process was iterative and included different ideation, development and evaluation methods. The users were involved in some of the evaluation methods to give input on the final design. Their opinion, together with evaluations based on the product specification, were used when choosing the final concept Lärad. Lärad uses a circulating hydroponic system and have three separate growing containers each containing 16 plants. The growing containers can be pulled out to enable easy access of the plants. Both the water system and the LED grow lights, that replaces natural sunlight, are controlled automatically to minimise the users’ involvement. To test the concept, to see how well the product specification is fulfilled, both a CAD model and a functional prototype were created. The results from the tests were, even at the concept stage, that 97% of all the tested requirements were fulfilled which shows that the concept is suitable for indoor cultivation in a restaurant environment. Some further work that includes refining the design and optimising for production will be needed to launch the product.

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