Towards Digital Twins for soccer robots: a use case in reusing artifacts

  • Gijs Walravens

Student thesis: Master

Abstract

Digital twins (DT) and related concepts have recently received significant attention both in industry and academia. A DT can be seen as a pair of two entities, one physical and one virtual, between which historical or real time data exchange takes place. The virtual entity is then able to mimic its physical counterpart very closely, both visually and functionally. Using DTs it is possible to gain a greater understanding of the entity in question, develop tools to better analyze the process, and ease testing, to name a few.

Various sources propose that the ideal time to start developing a DT is during the prototyping phase of a product. With DTs being a relatively new concept, quite often the physical counterpart already exists. Given this context, a different approach may thus be necessary. In particular, the reuse of existing artifacts that have been created over the years is of interest. These could potentially reduce the time to realize the DT, and make the DT easier to maintain and use due to the reuse of already applied technologies. Present research on DTs does not cover this specific aspect of development, making it an interesting candidate for an engineering case study which investigates the possible benefits that can be reaped from the reuse of artifacts.

The goal of this project is to take steps towards realizing a DT for Eindhoven University of Technology's robot soccer team Tech United's soccer robots, most notably for the virtual entity. Tech United's soccer robot team is a well-supported project that has existed for over ten years. This makes it an excellent candidate for exploring the advantages and disadvantages of reusing artifacts from an existing project in creating a DT. The currently existing artifacts, such as 3D CAD models, Matlab models and simulator, were utilized to aid in creating this DT. We have underlined which techniques we applied in our creation process, how the artifacts have saved us a significant amount of time, but also that they were not without issues. Lastly we have also explored possible future applications and expansions in the context of robot soccer as well.
Date of Award24 Mar 2022
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorLoek G.W.A. Cleophas (Supervisor 1) & Hossain Muhammad Muctadir (Coach)

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