‘Digital twin’ tech is twice as great as the metaverse

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    Facebook entered the “metaverse” a year and a half rename to meta $1 billion every month hail maryBoondoggle To achieve relevance in the coming post-social world.

    Here, Meta calls itself “Winter in the Metaverse”- A general decline in investment and excitement about the idea. Meta itself has also laid off thousands of people in both metaverse and social businesses.

    The metaverse is not a set of technologies. It is a vision of future human culture. It’s about what product companies and the public do with a set of technologies. It is mainly about living, working and playing in a virtual world.

    Apple has been developing what it calls “augmented reality” hardware for 20 years, and plans to launch its first pair of goggles later this year. The glasses are virtual reality (VR) ready, but Apple’s focus is on augmented reality (AR).

    Apple currently owns a quarter of the enterprise PC market, half of the enterprise smartphone market, and most of the enterprise tablet market. One of the underrated questions: How will Apple leverage its augmented reality platform to extend its dominance within the enterprise?

    Over the next five years, Apple will continue to expand business communications (bionic conference rooms) and other white-collar applications, industrial design, and—you guessed it!—the coming “digital twin” revolution. There is no VR or AR without 3D virtual space and virtual objects. These have to be designed and built and, in the case of AR, placed in digitized scans of the real 3D environment.

    The most advanced version of all this technology for navigating the virtual space, invoking, designing, building and scanning virtual objects in the real world is for the benefit of not only the “metaverse” but also the “digital twin” platform. is also performed. .

    Digital twins: when failure is unacceptable

    On April 11, 1970, three astronauts found themselves in a spacecraft flying toward the moon at 400 miles per minute. The plan was to make NASA’s third manned moon landing.Suddenly an astronaut boarded Apollo 13 I heard a loud “bang!” It was the sound of a small explosion, blowing off the side of the spacecraft, cutting power and dumping the crew’s oxygen supply into space.

    The astronauts rushed into the Lunar Module (LM) as the cabin was not replenished with fresh air. The LM is a separate detachable spacecraft designed to actually land on the moon while the maincraft remains in lunar orbit.

    Landing has been canceled. Well, he had only one mission objective. Somehow, against all odds, get the astronauts back to Earth alive. To do so, the crew had to reuse and redesign various parts of the spacecraft to do many things those parts weren’t designed for.

    Their lives were ultimately saved because NASA essentially had the world’s only “digital twin” system.

    A “digital twin” is a virtual replica of an existing physical object, system, or infrastructure. For NASA, this came in the form of 15 simulators used for training and testing mission parameters. NASA engineers used the simulator’s computer her simulation capabilities to determine the cause of the problem, test various possible solutions, select the best solution, and communicate it to the Apollo crew. I was.

    The concept was so successful that NASA began intentionally creating a “digital twin” of the spacecraft, separate from the simulator. NASA coined tern digital twin“In 2010.

    A “digital twin” is not an inert model. It is a personalized, individualized, dynamically evolving digital or virtual model of a physical system. It’s dynamic in the sense that everything that happens to the physical system, whether it’s repaired, upgraded, damaged, or aged, also happens to the digital twin.

    Companies are already using ‘digital twins’ for integration, testing, monitoring, simulation and predictive maintenance of bridges, buildings, wind farms, aircraft and factories. But these are still very early days in the realm of ‘digital twins’.

    How to understand the digital twin

    A digital twin system has three parts: a physical system, a virtual digital copy of that physical system, and a communication channel linking the two. This communication is increasingly a relay of sensor data from physical systems.

    It consists of three main technology categories.Imagine a Venn diagram of metaverse“technology” in one circle, “IoT” in the second circle, The third “AI”, The “digital twin” technology overlaps and takes center stage. Unlike models and simulations, digital twins are much more complex and pervasive, and vary with the data received from the physical twin.

    All current implementations of digital twins in many industries are in their early stages.detail digital twin Not yet possible in complex systems. We are still waiting for better AI, better sensors, and better tools like the ones that seem to drive the ‘metaverse’.

    Let’s look a few years ahead to see how digital twins can serve as the foundation for a company’s digital transformation.

    In 2027, a delivery drone company is going all-in on digital twins, creating digital twins for each of the 15,000 drones operating in major cities around the world. All real parts of an individual drone are mapped one-to-one with their digital virtual counterparts. Dozens of sensors embedded throughout the physical drone measure temperature, humidity, vibration, wing stress, and operating efficiency of moving parts. The state of the drone itself — altitude, speed, direction, external humidity levels, and many other metrics update the digital drone in real time. All of this data is fed into a digital drone to change its operation and affect its virtual state.

    Suddenly one of the drones falls out of the sky and crashes. but why?

    A telecommuting engineer puts on VR goggles and summons a digital twin of a crashed drone in a high-definition 3D shared virtual environment. They replay collisions as they move around in the drone, showing him 3D copies of all the parts and sensor-based contextual data (basically his AR in her VR). They soon discovered that the rudder controller had failed due to overheating.

    In a normal aviation scenario, all 15,000 controllers would be replaced at a very high cost, with no guarantee that the new controllers would not fail as well. But in the digital twin scenario, there is a better way.

    Digital twin to the rescue

    Engineers partnered with AI to determine that this particular controller failed because it was operating in Phoenix, Arizona. This controller can handle ground temperatures in excess of 115 degrees in shade and even hotter in direct sunlight. The repeated heating, cooling, and heating over time weakened the controller’s chemical adhesive.

    It gets better! The company also maintains a digital twin of its drone factory. It is a detailed virtual replica of the entire system, updated in real time by a myriad of sensors in every part of the physical factory. So you can track the history of a particular failed sensor. AI notes that its sensors were manufactured in the summer and were among the top 5 percentiles for reaching high temperatures during assembly. The damaging heat stress probably started at the factory.

    Like a chess computer, the AI ​​considers 57 possible “moves” or remedies and recommends the safest and most cost-effective ones. 2) Change the adhesive of the part to one with higher heat resistance. 3) Preemptively replace the controllers of 47 other drones operating in hot weather.

    In this example, the use of a digital twin system saves costs, prevents accidents, improves the environment (by eliminating the need to replace all controller parts), and is critical for both factories and drones. A positive change in operations and manufacturing was achieved without significant downtime.

    This is the final stage of the digital transformation revolution, using advanced technology for agility, cost efficiency, time efficiency, and security.

    It’s time to recalibrate the technology benefits we always talk about. IoT will become a mission-critical technology. AI partners with engineers to optimize every process in real time. And with AR and VR, the digital twin comes to life just like the physical twin.

    Virtual space does more than just create metaverse fantasy worlds. They are good to use to improve the real world.

    Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.


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