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Conquering the Parallel World

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Conquering the Parallel World

CHAPTER 1 – Virtual Pretenders
CHAPTER 2 – The Charm of the Replicants
CHAPTER 3 – The Power of Habit
CHAPTER 4 – Venturing into a Digital Second Universe
CHAPTER 5 – Outro

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Chapter 1 – Virtual Pretenders

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Chapter 2 – The Charm of the Replicants

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What will this foreign world we are about to enter look like? What conditions await us in space? And what will it do to us and our vehicles?
No other industry faces issues like this, with this level of uncertainty, quite like the space travel industry. Someone who is building a robot for use on Mars will never have the opportunity to test it under real conditions; someone who is launching a moon lander simply cannot afford a breakdown. For this reason, the first digital twins were created by NASA, the US space agency, which used them to test robots in simulated atmospheres and to simulate conditions for factors such as drag, fuel combustion and heat during a flight.
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There are similar challenges in architecture: The same applies here, as it is necessary to simulate areas that do not yet exist in real terms but must be fully functional in the near future. The tradespeople involved in the construction can use digital, three-dimensional models to integrate their components and see how they will work. Planners and future users can explore and correct the building’s functions and dimensions before any money is spent on construction.
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One example of this is the Center for Virtual Engineering (ZVE) at the Fraunhofer Institute in Stuttgart. During its planning phase, the 3,200-square-meter construction, the brainchild of UNStudio and ASPLAN Architekten, was recreated in a three-dimensional, to-scale virtual reality model. Every two to four weeks architects, planners, craftsmen and builders met in this simulated building model to discuss the construction. 3D glasses were put on and high-performance projectors started up to project the three-dimensional model onto a room-sized screen known as a powerwall. While the meeting participants looked around in the virtual model, motion-tracking cameras captured each of their movements and adjusted the viewing perspective on the powerwall to the viewer’s perspective. This enabled planners and users to explore, understand and optimize the building. They already “knew” it before it was actually built. Using this approach, factors such as room sizes, traffic routes, the arrangement of windows and so on could be adapted to suit requirements, because the future users had already walked through the rooms, inspected them and experienced them virtually.
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About 70 per cent of the components in a car are produced not by the manufacturer itself, but by its suppliers. This means that dozens of subcontractors, development partners and suppliers are involved in the design process of a car. Changes to one component have direct and indirect effects on many other components, on manufacturing processes and on production partners – all of which require modified plans. But with a digital twin for planning, it is easy to insert components and simulate the effects they have on components from other production partners.
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Experts believe that the greatest potential lies in the planning, operation and maintenance of large production plants. On the one hand, the interaction between various stakeholders, components, technologies and influencing factors is so complex that it is scarcely possible any longer to rely on two-dimensional planning; on the other hand, faults, production defects and downtimes in industrial scenarios are particularly costly and painful.
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Chapter 3 – The Power of Habit

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Chapter 4 – Venturing into a Digital Second Universe

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Chapter 5 – Outro

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