Rockwell Automation logo

Bringing manufacturing to the metaverse.

At a Glance

Rockwell Automation and Aquent Studios teamed up to create a digital twin of a physical assembly line in their Milwaukee corporate visitor center to preview the factory of the future for potential customers.

Capabilities Engaged

  • 3D Design & Animation
  • Agile Practices
  • App Development
  • Art and Creative Direction
  • Information Architecture
  • Product Management
  • Systems Integration
  • UX Strategy

Project Overview

Challenge

Rockwell Automation had all the infrastructure to create a factory of the future. What they didn't have was the ability to create real-time 3D graphics and write code to make them interactive. That's what was required to bring a digital twin of their automated assembly lines to life—and why they chose to partner with Aquent Studios on this immersive project.

Approach

With just three months before launch, Aquent Studios engaged UX Designers to imagine a visitor user experience. They simplified as much as possible to make the concepts digestible to visitors of every age and skill level. With the user journey and wireframe mockups complete, our team migrated CAD assembly line data to a game engine and connected data streaming from the physical assembly line to the digital twin assembly line so they were synchronized based on live or simulated data.

What We Did

UX Design

Designed an intuitive touchscreen interface

Our Designers used instantly recognizable icons so that users knew what would happen before touching the screen.

3D Design & Animation

Converted CAD data to real-time mesh data

All robots and assembly line components provided by Rockwell Automation in CAD were converted to the FBX file format for use in the Unity game engine for real-time visualization.

Cloning the robot movement in the virtual space

We animated each component's repertoire of motion in Cinema4D to make the virtual assembly line and robots move convincingly like their real-life counterparts.

App Development

Design the infrastructure for an app driven by streaming data

Our team designed the software architecture so that our standalone app integrated with the FactoryTalk® DesignSuite's API to stream real or simulated digital twin data.

Built the digital twin in a game engine

The 2D front-end interface was also built in Unity. Streaming digital twin data triggered movement and animation.

Related Work