AWS launches digital twin service
The IoT TwinMaker service integrates data from multiple sources and creates a knowledge graph that connects data sources to virtual replicas of physical systems to accurately model real-world environments.
Digital twins are virtual, 3D representations of buildings, processes or neighborhoods built with real-world data collected from internet-of-things devices like sensors, video cameras and enterprise applications. Cities have turned to digital twins to model infrastructure improvements, explore sustainability options and improve emergency response.
With the general availability of Amazon Web Services’ IoT TwinMaker, developers can more easily create digital twins. The service integrates data from multiple sources and creates a knowledge graph that connects data sources to virtual replicas of physical systems to accurately model real-world environments.
Previously, digital twin developers would have to manually connect diverse data sources and build a knowledge graph that provided common access to all the connected data and mapped the relationships between the data sources to the physical environment. They would then have to create a 3D virtual representation of their physical systems and overlay the real-world data on to the 3D visualization, ensuring that the digital twin updates as conditions change – all before they could extract business insights about the real-time performance of physical systems.
Now, developers can quickly create digital twins by using TwinMaker’s built-in connectors to data sources. The service automatically creates a knowledge graph that combines the connected data sources and understands the relationships among them so it can update the digital twin with real-time information, company officials said.
Additionally, customers can directly import existing 3D models -- CAD and BIM files or point-cloud scans -- to easily create 3D visualizations of a physical system and overlay the data from the knowledge graph on the 3D visualizations to create the digital twin.
So that the digital twin is available for end users, developers can build a web-based application with the AWS plugin for Grafana, an open-source dashboard and visualization platform, that displays the digital twin on end-user devices.
“Sensors for equipment, buildings, and industrial processes are proliferating and generating massive amounts of data,” AWS IoT General Manager Michael MacKenzie said. Even if customers are eager to use their data to optimize their operations and processes, building and maintaining a digital twin has been time consuming and expensive, he said. “With AWS IoT TwinMaker, customers can now derive previously unavailable insights about their operations that inform real-time improvements to their buildings, factories, industrial equipment, and production lines, and make accurate predictions about system behavior with minimal effort.”
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