Digital Twin: Collaborative Virtual Reality Environment for Multi-Purpose Industrial Applications

Vladimir Kuts*, Tauno Otto, Yevhen Bondarenko, Fei Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Industrial Digital Twins (DT) is the precise virtual representation of the manufacturing environment and mainly consists of the system-level simulation, which combines both manufacturing processes and parametric models of the product. As being one of the pillars of the Industry 4.0 paradigm, DT-s are widely integrated into the existing factories, enhancing the concept of the virtual factories. View from the research perspective is that experiments on the Internet of Things, data acquisition, cybersecurity, telemetry synchronization with physical factories, etc. are being executed in those virtual simulations. Moreover, new ways of interactions and interface to oversee, interact and learn are being developed via the assistance of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies, which are already widely spread on the consumer market. However, already, VR is being used widely in existing commercial software packages and toolboxes to provide students, teachers, operators, engineers, production managers, and researchers with an immersive way of interacting with the factory while the manufacturing simulation is running. This gives a better understanding and more in-depth knowledge of the actual manufacturing processes, not being directly accessing those. However, the virtual presence mentioned above experience is limited to a single person. It does not enable additional functionalities for the simulations, which can be re-planning or even re-programming of the physical factory in an online connection by using VR or AR interfaces. The main aim of the related research paper is to enhance already existing fully synchronized with physical world DT-s with multi-user experience, enabling factory operators to work with and re-program the real machinery from remote locations in a more intuitive way instead thinking about final aim than about the process itself. Moreover, being developed using real-time platform Unity3D, this multiplayer solution gives opportunities for training and educational purposes and is connecting people from remote locations of the world. Use-cases exploits industrial robots placed in the Industrial Virtual and Augmented Reality Laboratory environment of Tallinn University of Technology and a mobile robot solution developed based on a collaboration between the University of Southern Denmark and a Danish company. Experiments are being performed on the connection between Estonia and Denmark while performing re-programming tasks of the physical heavy industrial robots. Furthermore, the mobile robot solution is demonstrated in a virtual warehouse environment. Developed methods and environments together with the collected data will enable us to widen the use-cases with non-manufacturing scenarios, i.e., smart city and smart healthcare domains, for the creation of a set of new interfaces and multiplayer experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ASME 2020 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. : Volume 2B: Advanced Manufacturing
Number of pages7
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
Publication date2020
ChapterIMECE2020-23390, V02BT02A010
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-7918-8449-2
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventThe ASME 2020 International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition (IMECE2020) - Online
Duration: 16. Nov 202019. Nov 2020


ConferenceThe ASME 2020 International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition (IMECE2020)


  • Collaboration
  • Digital twins
  • Industry 4.0
  • Multiplayer
  • Virtual reality


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