Digital Twins is a technology that replicates objects, places, physical systems or processes. In addition, it is possible to generate artificial scenarios for all types of industries with the Internet of Things. Digital twins can show reality through a combination of physical and virtual data. For this data collection, it is necessary to incorporate sensors that nowadays combine augmented or virtual reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the internet of things that show in real-time but in a simulated fact what is going on in the real world.
The use of sensors prevents or predicts countless situations and checks all types of scenarios without testing with an expensive prototype. Digital twins aim to become part of our reality and a core in industry 4.0.
About Vilanova i la Geltrú
Vilanova i la Geltrú is a city specializing in emerging and immersive technologies. Since 2006, it has established itself to promote the innovative ecosystem, boosting information and communication technology businesses, the media and the creative industries.
The city collaborates through Neàpolis with the Polytechnic School of Engineering of Vilanova i la Geltrú (EPSEVG-UPC), the Foundació i2Cat, the European Network of Living Labs and the DIH4CPS network, among other partners.
Neàpolis is the Public Innovation Agency of the Vilanova i la Geltrú City Council. The function of Neàpolis is to strengthen education, entrepreneurship, and policies of economic promotion, focused on information, communication and creative technologies.
Neàpolis is an ecosystem where entrepreneurs, citizens, companies, public administration and research centers work together.
Neàpolis is part of an ecosystem in which innovation and research environments, training and technological dissemination and business activity coexist. It has more than twenty
international strong connections, collaborating on different projects. These are some related projects with disruptive technologies that Neàpolis is leading:
TechRevolution: This is a project part of a transfer network called URBACT Transfer Network. It is an initiative that started in the UK, focusing on a successful business
assistance programme in Vilanova i la Geltrú and Digital Media Center (DMC).
DIH4CPS: The initiative for Fostering DIHs for Embedding Interoperability in Cyber-Physical Systems of European SMEs will create an embracing, interdisciplinary network of DIHs and solution providers, focusing on cyber-physical and embedded systems.
Penedès 5G: This project focused on different strategic issues like improving energy efficiency, IoT health, mobility and connected vehicles, media with a virtual lab Fi2cAT located in Neàpolis and European project MedGaims. Vilanova i la Geltrú, through Neàpolis, has streamlined the processes and integrated hyper-connected public administration services, thanks to 5G support.
MEDGAIMS is an international project based on research and experimentation on gamification applied to tourist destinations to improve tourism experiences. This project will develop games in physical and virtual format to create 10 different experiences that players will follow, thanks to geolocation at Vilanova i la Geltrú.
VR Lab: Laboratory of virtual reality managed by the Media Internet Area of the i2CAT Foundation. Crea&Play is a new space located in Neàpolis dedicated to applying new technologies and a gamification centre to guide entrepreneurs and companies.
About the VNG Digital Twin project
Neàpolis and the City Hall of Vilanova i la Geltrú are leading the project, and they have the power to manage public goods to promote entrepreneurship, internationalization, technology, and creativity.
The City Hall owns different kinds of data: from community assistance, from the economy, from business, from energy, etcetera. Therefore, it is necessary to implement the Internet of Thing technology and introduce sensors around the city to manage all this data.
In Vilanova i la Geltrú, different types of sensors are implemented to collect data. Still, this project aims to manage all data provided by implementing digital information systems with the assistance of emerging technologies.
This project’s main objective is to implement new methodologies and technical resources, creating a platform for Digital Twins models for a smart management of the city and the different economic activities. The development of a Digital Twins City platform (in which real data on the given subjects will be integrated) could be used for the administration and the local economic stakeholders. The platform will show city life in real-time and allow simulations to make decisions on city operations.
The Digital Twins platform will have several functionalities like a repository of all the data collected from the sensors disseminated through the city and a city database presenting real-time data. To feed this database, we will use historical data and also the data collected by the sensors. In addition, we will assess the possibility of using other territorial databases, such as the Sentilo from the Diputació de Barcelona (provincial government).
This platform will have a set of artificial intelligence tools allowing it to make forecasts, simulations on the impact of decisions and automatic comparisons. For example, the platform will establish automatic comparisons between data from different city neighbourhoods or between Vilanova i la Geltrú and other cities.
However, with the advance of 5G technologies and further innovations in Smart City technologies, it is necessary to include immersive realities. For that reason, Vilanova i la Geltrú continues collaborating in R+D+I with i2Cat Foundation and the Polytechnic School of Engineering EPSEVG-UPC. The new project is to introduce images collected in 3D and 360º immersive technologies in a database. On the other hand, it is needed to use sensors that include this technology to accumulate in the database and on the other hand, the platform has to show all the images captured by the sensors in real-time. Furthermore, the City Hall of Vilanova i la Geltrú is preparing a fleet of Smart Cars to incorporate immersive technologies.
Another aim of the project is to provide integral visibility of the city operation to serve as a model for public administrations, businesses, knowledge centers, or organizations on managing complexity in the era of artificial intelligence.
The project aims at defining singular strategies of cities. That is, helping in the definition of development strategies based on each city’s singularities that want to apply disruptive technologies.
We are creating a city model which will provide means for building various scenarios on different aspects of our town—mobility, sustainability, silver and the digital economy-.
Vilanova i la Geltrú is pioneering the Digital Twin concept in cities, which means that all is still to be learned on this new idea.
This city is a center of reference in immersive technologies to add value and generate new scenarios conducive to investment and implementation of science and innovation in Europe.