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Building a digital twin of a warehouse with omniverse

Designing an accessible and simplified profile tab for patients with schizophrenia symptoms. Rebranding has been done due to NDA.

Project overview

Traditional methods used to manage warehouse operations often face challenges that affect operations and efficiency such as inefficient space management, interrupted order fulfillment, and lack of maintenance capabilities, amongst others.

 

The U.S. Army sponsored my team to explore digital twin solutions to make virtual models of warehouses and storage rooms. For this project, we were asked to develop digital twin functionalities that would optimize packaging, visualization, and other processes.

Timeline

September - December 2023

Role

UI Developer, UX Lead

Tools

NVIDIA Omniverse, Omnigraph, Visual Scripting

Team

Michaela M - Project Management

Cindy G - UI Developer, UX Lead

Matea M - Robot Manipulation

KellyAnne G - Robot Navigation

Phillip N - Obstacle Avoidance


 

An innovation team tasked with optimizing warehouse management 

Traditional methods used to manage warehouse operations often face challenges that affect operations and efficiency such as inefficient space management, interrupted order fulfillment, and lack of maintenance capabilities, amongst others. The U.S. ARMY and COMET Center are seeking to explore the digital twin solutions to make virtual models of warehouses, storage rooms, and processes, amongst others.

 

For this project, we were asked to develop digital twin functionalities that would address warehouse management. Our project sought to target three main problem areas that were more relevant to the goals of the key stakeholders. These are:

MAIN PROBLEMS with traditional inventory management systems

Poor Optimization

  • Traditional warehouse management relies heavily on humans to keep track of data, inventory, and updates which often leads to inventory mismanagement

  • Challenges identifying collision points or bottlenecks within the warehouse layout

Inefficient Packaging and Distribution System

  • Current packaging and distribution systems that deal with organizing, arranging, and preparing items for storage, shipment, or distribution face optimization issues with speed, accuracy, monitoring, and resource utilization

Lack of visualization

  • Challenges visualizing inventory, data, and statistics as they are constantly being updated

Traditional management styles do not offer a single shared space where individuals can control, monitor, and update all of the processes and data that happen inside a warehouse. 

TOOLS

A digital twin in the context of inventory management refers to a virtual replica or representation of the physical inventory and its associated processes.

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Expanding inventory visibility through a digital twin

My contribution focused on expanding visibility into everything that happens within the warehouse. This task required using a visual scripting tool called Omnigraph, and a No-Code UI framework. . 

Impact

Signaling Inventory Status With Visual Cues

I developed a program that detects the number of boxes on a pallet by tracking the collision between both objects using physics. The palette uses a counter function that detects the number of boxes, the number of boxes gets stored in the “Collected’ Attribute. A separate scripting graph defines the threshold (in the demo the threshold is set at 5), and changes the color of the plane from blue to red if the inventory is low by reading the “Collected” Attribute and comparing it to the threshold number. 

Rapid access to data and statistics anywhere in the warehouse

Another scripting graph allows us to display data on the UI. When the user clicks on “Show Pallete Statistics”, the user can see the live inventory count, as well as the size and location of the palette within the warehouse. This tool uses another scripting graph that calls separate prim attributes and gets triggered when the UI button is clicked.

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Updating and manipulating inventory from the user interface

I also developed a UI that remains in the window frame as you navigate the digital twin. This UI includes data visualization and buttons that allow the user to manipulate, update, and visualize the data. An example of this can be seen in the video to the right, where inventory is moved to the delivery area when the UI button “Move to delivery” is clicked. This action will update the database in the back end. This action can also be performed from the database, which would consequently show the update in the digital twin.

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