The digital twin is an exciting concept and undoubtedly one of the hottest tech trends right now. It merges ideas such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Metaverse, and Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) to create digital models of objects, systems, or processes of the real world. These models can then be used to fit and tune variables to study the effect on whatever is paired – at a fraction of the cost of performing real-world experiments.
Companies around the world are looking to deploy digital twins in a wide range of applications, ranging from the engineering design of complex equipment and 3D immersive environments to precision medicine and digital agriculture. However, applications to date have been highly customized and only accessible for high-value use cases, such as the operation of jet engines, industrial plants, and power plants. Today, leading technology companies like AWS are working hard to reduce costs and simplify the deployment of this technology, with AWS IoT TwinMaker, enabling all types and sizes of businesses to create more easily and more easily their own digital twins.
Some truly revolutionary digital twins have been developed in recent years, inspiring the industry and helping to push the boundaries of what is possible in science, medicine, engineering, pharmacy, sports and many others. Here are some of the most interesting and innovative examples.
The human brain
Let’s start with the most ambitious! The human brain is, to our knowledge, the most complex structure or organism in the universe. Creating a digital simulation of this is incredibly complicated, but that hasn’t deterred people from trying. The EU-funded Neurotwin project aims to simulate specific human brains in order to build models capable of predicting the best treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. There have been other attempts to simulate aspects of the brain in the past, but Neurotwin is the first project that focuses on modeling both electromagnetic activity and physiology. Clinical trials using the model are expected to begin in 2023.
A whole human
Ok, so this one is a bit of a pipe dream right now, but the science exists to make it a reality. Former GE CEO Bill Ruh predicts that one day every human being will have a digital twin at birth, which can be used to design tailored treatments for that person when they fall ill, as well as to model the impact of lifestyle choices on one’s long-term health. Using that person’s unique genome, it will be possible to predict the effects of different drugs, giving insight into the best treatment options if the person is struck down by conditions such as cancer or Parkinson’s disease. This will minimize the unnecessary cost of treatment programs that failed and were never going to work due to the patient’s genetics, and will extend lifespan.
Transportation in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has partnered with the Open Mobility Foundation to create a data-driven digital twin of the city’s transportation infrastructure. First, it will model the movement and activity of micro-mobility solutions such as the city’s network of shared-use bicycles and electric scooters. It will then be extended to carpooling services, carpooling and new mobility solutions that will appear, such as autonomous drone-taxis.
All of Shanghai
The Shanghai Urban Operations and Management Center has built a digital twin of the city of 26 million, which models 100,000 elements ranging from waste disposal and collection facilities to e-bike charging infrastructure, traffic road, through the size and location of apartment buildings. Its creator, 51World, uses data from satellites and drones to build the living model, which, among other uses, helps authorities plan and respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. It can also be used to simulate the effects of natural disasters such as floods to aid response planning.
A sports stadium
Home to NFL teams the LA Rams and LA Chargers, Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles has its own digital twin, which models not only the stadium itself, but also the 300-acre Hollywood Park campus. which surrounds it. Built while the stadium itself was under construction (as of 2020), it collects real-time data from all areas of park activity on a single platform that can be used to answer questions from all event organizers wishing to use the space, to maintenance and janitorial operations. Users engage with the twin through an “app store” model, where they can engage with apps specific to the features and functionality they need to work with.
The world’s first 3D printed bridge
The 12 meter steel bridge spanning the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal in the center of Amsterdam is remarkable because it is the first pedestrian bridge built entirely by 3D printing. It is also unique due to the fact that it has its own digital twin. A sensor array is placed through the structure as part of a project led by the Turing Institute. These sensors collect data which is used to construct the twin, which can then be used to analyze the performance of the structure when stressed during daily use. This is particularly important given that this is the first bridge ever built using this technology, and more data on the safety and strength of 3D printed structures is essential if it is to become a tool for current engineering in the future.
Every Tesla ever sold
Tesla creates a digital simulation of each of its cars, using data collected from sensors on the vehicles and uploaded to the cloud. These allow the company’s artificial intelligence algorithms to determine where breakdowns and breakdowns are most likely to occur and minimize the need for owners to take their cars to service stations for repairs. and maintenance. This lowers the cost to the business of servicing cars under warranty and improves the user experience, which results in happier customers and a greater chance of winning repeat customers.
To stay up to date with the latest business and technology trends, be sure to sign up for my newsletter and take a look at my new book Business trends in practice.
You can also follow me on Twitter, LinkedInand Youtube. And don’t forget to check out my website.