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Extending Factory Digital Twins through Human Characterisation in Asset Administration Shell

Owing to the research endeavours undertaken in the STAR project, the team at SUPSI has augmented traditional factory digital twins by incorporating the dimension of human characterisation within the Asset Administration Shell (AAS). This enhancement establishes a foundational framework for human-centric control and management systems, as evidenced by the application of an augmented AAS prototype in two illustrative use cases.

Primarily designed for facilitating information interchange across enterprises, the AAS enables the establishment of common semantic frameworks. Nonetheless, semantic definition remains a developing area and is operationalised through the creation of specialised sub-models that delineate the nature and format of information exchange. In this scholarly work, the SUPSI Team introduced an array of sub-models aimed at offering references and guidelines for leveraging AAS in the transition to Industry 5.0 and human-in-the-loop frameworks, resulting in a Human-Asset Administration Shell (H-AAS). These sub-models emanate from a meta-model explicitly designed for the assembly of Human Digital Twins (HDTs). This meta-model outlines the principal classes that require modelling to construct a comprehensive HDT, encompassing factors such as worker attributes, emotional and medical states, psychophysical conditions, and geospatial parameters.

In the context of Industry 5.0, a meticulous digital portrayal of human operators serves as the foundation for data-driven decision-making aimed at enhancing the well-being and resilience of operators. Consequently, the AAS has been expanded to encompass dedicated digital models, replete with a property set designed to articulate the characteristics of human operators and their interactions with their immediate industrial environment.

Two exemplar use cases were constructed within a lab-scale manufacturing system framework. In these cases, equipment and devices were modelled in conformity with AAS standards and interfaced using MQTT protocols, thereby integrating seamlessly with our proposed human-centric AAS extension. Operators were furnished with wearable sensor technology and an informational dashboard, thereby receiving real-time feedback and notifications related to the manufacturing milieu.

Acknowledging the invaluable contributions of Arthur Legal, the work also discussed ethical and regulatory considerations as an integral part of this augmentation process. The discourse underscores that, although the augmented AAS has reached a level of maturity sufficient for the integration of human operators, existing regulations have yet to catch up with these technological advancements.

Get more info in the research paper available at this link.

By: Vincenzo Cutrona, Elias Montini, Paolo Pedrazzoli, Niko Bonomi / SUPSI-SPS Lab, Giacomo Delinavelli / Arthur's Legal Strategies & Systems, Tamás Ruppert / University of Pannonia