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Can digital twins aid excavation work?

4 November 2020

A CIOB Member in Australia is pioneering excavator research

Dr Samad Sepasgozar from the Built Environment Department at the University of New South Wales Australia is developing a digital twin of an excavator, enabling improved diagnostics and analytics. 

Of all the emerging technologies shaping the future of construction the ‘digital twin’ is predicted by experts to shake up the entire construction industry faster than even before.

“A digital twin is a digital replica of a physical entity utilising internet of things – enabling two-way communications between them,” says Dr Sepasgozar. 

“At the strategic level, the digital twin is a new game-changing approach to construction automation.The idea is that for every physical item in the world, there could be a virtual replica with which it connects, housed in the cloud, collecting vital data on the physical item’s performance in real time.” 

He explains: “Industry players might confuse this with building information modelling (BIM). But unlike this previous technology, the digital twin also enables users to control equipment, so, it enables job-site tasks to be performed remotely, which is useful for working through disruptions like covid-19.”