top of page

Tangible interface simulations to learn about layout and optimization

Parole chiave:

Logistics assistants, Tangible interface, Simulation, Tinkerlamp

Learning objective
Optimize storage and movements of goods in a warehouse, manage the dataflow and stock
2 lesson units
Individual, group
Logisitic assistants
Tinkerlamp, Plastic shelves


This scenario aims to foster students’ reflection about warehouse organization through practice with a mock-up. This scenario uses a mock-up of a warehouse consisting of a set of miniature plastic shelves which serves as a tangible interface for the TinkerLamp, which is a camera-projection system for augmented reality. The TinkerLamp camera, placed above the table, identifies the position of each shelf. The TinkerLamp projector displays augmented information on top of the shelves and on the table, for example, the distance between a shelf and the dock.

Descrizione dell'approccio didattico

A Tangible User Interface (TUI) is a user interface which allows someone to interact with digital information through the manipulation of physical objects. These interfaces build on the intuitive knowledge people have about everyday objects and take advantage of their rich physical affordances.
The purpose of tangible interface development is to empower collaboration, learning, and design by giving physical forms to digital information.
Ohe benefit of a tangible interface is that it enables an enactive mode of reasoning, as well as empirical abstractions of sensori-motor schemes. It favors exploratory behaviors because tangibles are natural and intuitive to use, and at the same time constrain the range of configuration that can be made with the material.


Do It Yourself


This is the original tool used in the scenario.

Other simulators
Other simulators

There are a number of warehouse simulators on the market. Some examples include AnyLogic, Korber Supply Chain, and SimCad Pro. While these simulators do not have tangible interfaces like the TinkerLamp, students can still use them to design and simulate warehouse layouts.

Suggerimenti e trucchi

The Tinkerlamp can be used in other vocational contexts, for example with carpenter apprentices to practice 2D and 3D representations.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 10.39.49.png

Discutere e scambiare

Puoi discutere e condividere la tua esperienza sugli scenari sulla rete comunitaria Skillsnet:


  • Schwendimann, B. A., Cattaneo, A. A., Dehler Zufferey, J., Gurtner, J.-L., Bétrancourt, M., & Dillenbourg, P. (2015). The ‘Erfahrraum’ : A pedagogical model for designing educational technologies in dual vocational systems. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 67(3), 367‑396.

  • Schneider, B., Jermann, P., Zufferey, G., & Dillenbourg, P. (2011). Benefits of a Tangible Interface for Collaborative Learning and Interaction. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 4(3), 222‑232.

bottom of page