Position Paper: Low-cost Prototyping and Solution Development for Pandemics and Emergencies using Industry 4.0

Srihari Yamanoor, Narasimha Yamanoor, Satyakanth Thyagaraja


Pandemics, such as the coronavirus pandemic and other large-scale public emergencies, including floods, volcanic explosions, and earthquakes, require strategic responses for smooth function and restart of industry. Creative, robust, low-cost, scalable solutions must be deployed for underserved and socially disadvantaged communities. This effort requires compressing product and process development from requirements engineering to final testing and deployment, service, and repair, in terms of timeframes, budgets, and related resource constraints. Exceptional circumstances, such as the coronavirus pandemic, add additional pressures such as social-distancing requirements. Several development techniques and tools are available for teams to respond rapidly and effectively to evolving needs in a cost and resource-efficient manner. Industry 4.0 principles can be extended to support frugal development, manufacturing, and operations in diverse communities. Efforts such as the Maker Movement and the availability of licensing techniques for open hardware and software development further add to the abilities of teams to enable virtual collaboration, solution development, customization, and deployment. The paper describes two positions, one that Industry 4.0 can aid in frugal solution development for underserved communities, and two that Industry 4.0 can be implemented frugally to aid production and quality among underserved and vulnerable communities.


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