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Inventors of the Year 2017
Digital twins are generated when products or systems are being planned, and up to now they could not be automatically linked and synchronized. But the research scientist Arquimedes Canedo from Corporate Technology in Princeton, New Jersey, has devised a digital graph that can do exactly that innovation.
A product’s digital twin offers several advantages for automation and control: The twin, in virtual form, accompanies the product throughout its life cycle, starting with the idea and extending through production, maintenance and even disposal, which creates more efficiency on all levels. “We receive all the data from the engineers or the product itself and feed that into our software systems,” Canedo says in describing the first step.
His job is to create software for engineering and designing digital twins for new products or systems. In this work, he places particular focus on making these models compatible as well as on synchronizing them. This is necessary because a product or an installation consists of such items as electronic, mechanical and software-specific systems, and each has to have its own digital twin. Different models and diagrams are generated for electronic systems than for those used in the mechanical design of the same products, where, for example, many 3D models are used. Digital twins of the same products generally share few similarities, and until now it hasn’t been possible to automatically link them.
In his work, Canedo developed a digital-twin graph that, similar to a knowledge graph, links information. Canedo draws on the digital models of a product to feed the digital-twin graph and then analyzes this massive amount of data using algorithms he developed. This ultimately makes it possible to create automatic linking. The digital-twin graph employs artificial intelligence methods to then provide new insights about the product.
I’m interested in seeing what the data can deliver in terms of new facts that exceed our current knowledge.