Hardware Showcase – Building a digital twin to extend hardware offering and increase sales

The Problem

AHEAD is a design and innovation studio. Their team has more than 50 years of combined experience in science, arts and technology. Their work spans mobile, web, connected devices, robots and AI, working closely with clients.

Ahead’s flagship product is STELLA – an open, repairable, and modular robot dog kit. Already embraced in over 7 countries across 3 continents, STELLA serves as a captivating tool for exploration. Ahead want to expand their sales into countries where they do not have sales representatives, and this means they do not have demonstration units available for potential customers to try. However due to the cost of the robot customers are hesitant to buy before they can try.

Ahead are looking to combining a digital offering of STELLA for their customers to try virtually, and provide a digital support service for behavior building and simulation.

The Project

In order to create and deliver a new digital service offering for the STELLA robot lots of technical work was required. Originally STELLA was not ROS compliant and used a proprietary operating system. This meant she was not able to easily work with other robot packages and components.

While Ahead was preparing STELLA to work on ROS2 Asimovo were able to create a dedicated project space for STELLA and all of her potential add-ons. These include cameras, lidars, and even a robotic arm.

Digital models of STELLA and the components all had to be prepared and added to the dedicated project space. Additional sample test environments were prepared, to show STELLA in different potential applications. Example simulation workstations were prepared so potential customers can run the scenarios and immediately get an idea of what it is like to control the robot either via the computer terminal or remote control.

The Solution

Ahead and Asimovo believe that by combining their propositions they can create a new value proposition for Ahead customers. They can accelerate the Ahead sales cycle and adoption of the STELLA  robot across their customer base.

By embracing and creating a digital twin of the robot and making it available for potential customers to try is an innovative use of Asimovo and a very tangible way for customers to experience STELLA remotely.

In addition to the digital twin of STELLA for people to try  there can be standard test environments, test protocols and behavioral libraries.

By providing a library of items people can select and work with the Asimovo Platform Project space becomes a digital service and development area for STELLA. Allowing people to develop and test on top of STELLA  and her existing behaviors.

The Outcome

What started as an interesting development project has turned into an interesting partnership business model. This example illustrates how Asimovo can be used to build a dedicated development area for different Robotics hardware solutions. This can be at components level (cameras and lidars) or a robot level (carts, drones, quadrupeds).

These digital assets combined with the development capabilities of the platform make this a high value addition to the hardware offering. Making it possible to immediately build new behaviours for new use cases.

Key PArtners
Key tools used

Imported CAD model

Simulation environment & Scenarios

Standard test environments
Standard behavior libraries
Modular components

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