×C4. Digital twins and mixed reality in practice

Digital twins are digital “mirrors” of physical objects, processes or interacting humans which can semi-autonomously maintain their likeness through the application of cyber-physical systems. A significant topic in both scientific literature and real-world application over the last several years, digital twins are a critical component in industrial automation; designed to be combined with AI, optimisation and computational modelling technologies in order to decentralise decision making, improve forecasting and automate diagnosis, planning and control processes. Alongside recent improvements in sensing and cyber-physical technologies, mixed reality technologies are a significant driver behind the push to implement digital twins. Mixed reality technologies allow the outputs of digital twins to be visualised interactively alongside their physical counterpart within the operating environment.

Digital twins and mixed reality technologies are applicable to a wide range of industry domains, from manufacturing through to mining, agriculture, sports engineering and planning / environment, with usage scenarios that include automated defect detection, production line optimisation, safe equipment handling for personnel, safe human/robot interaction, automated inventory management, automated tool tracking and auditing, waste product reduction and autonomous material handling. A growing number of organisations, particularly those in the IoT space, have implemented or are beginning to implement digital twins in some form to address challenges in parts of their businesses, however, achieving their full potential may require the large-scale integration of digital twins across organisational ecosystems.

This session will explore the practical considerations involved in implementing digital twin and mixed reality technologies in research and industry, including challenges such as operating alongside humans, addressing requirements for high data throughput / capture frequency / availability, maintenance and data engineering, and managing interfaces across organisational boundaries. The aim of the session is to provoke discussion about the state of the adoption of these technologies across Australian industry, examining how this measures up against expectations.

Key topics: Digital twins, Mixed reality, Cyber-physical systems, Computational modelling