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Real Digital Twins

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1. Experience

The amount of "Discussions" I've had about what is and what isn't a digital twin are beyond counting, (Insert Dig at Dassault here). When BIM was concieved this was the ultimate end game. It really gets me how all these new "Buzz words" keep showing up. So in my understanding and the right understanding BTW is a "real" Digital Twin is not only a virtual representation of a physical object it also has to have a connection of some sort. Without this connection it's just BIM in the construction industry or VIM (Virtual Information Model) for anything else. Yes I know there is a company working on a format called VIM and yes I'd love to see IFC die. So anyway, I went ahead and created a digital twin using of the shelf sensors and connected it Revit. Because a game engine or other would have been to easy....

2. Result

I purchased a mi Smart Home Hub, installed a custom firmware on it and boom we got realtime data. Next we connected it to a Revit model and voila your very own (Supremely Cost Effictive) Digital Twin. With both passive and active controls inside Revit. Below you can see a little promo vid I created. Shout out to the guy that wrote the firmware, I can't find his name but if you google jailbreaking the Mi Smart Home Hub you should find tons of information. The whole process took a little over 2 weeks. The hardest Part was soldiering

3. Role

When said and done it was obvious that Revit isn't the tool to use but it was the challenge and the potential offshoot applications that I was exploring. I ultimately wanted this to be used in conjunction with passive RFID tags and work orders inside BIM360. Then the next step would be connect this to blockchain and payments... The potential is huge, automate the mundane! The whole request/inform construction model is ripe for blockchain integration!

Project Details

Client: AECOM

Date: 23rd October, 2019


At AECOM, we believe infrastructure creates opportunity for everyone. Whether it’s improving your commute, keeping the lights on, providing access to clean water or transforming skylines, infrastructure powers possibilities to help people and communities thrive.
Across the globe, our clients in the public and private sectors count on us to take on the most complex challenges and pioneer innovative solutions that push the limits of what’s possible – the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge, record-breaking sports events, the largest greenfield port development mega project, life-sustaining disaster recovery programs, and the tallest tower in the Western Hemisphere.