#StayAtHome – in the lab

Stay at home, but still work in the lab and meet with co-workers

In the new virtual simulation lab, you can experience the latest developments in field of simulation and digital twin technology almost as if you really were at the Siemens location in Munich. 

Mathematics comes alive in the simulation lab. For example, there’s a demonstrator that lets you see just how challenging it can be to shake dust residues from the production process out of all the corners of a 3D printed hollow structure. Using two joysticks, you can rotate a hollow cube with a complex internal geometry in any direction. When the cube is turned correctly, fine sand trickles out. The program developed by Siemens research scientists uses simulation to solve this problem much more successfully, as the demonstrator will show you.

Of course due to the Corona pandemic, no one can be physically present in this lab right now – no scientists, and certainly no visitors or customers. But it’s still possible to use the dust remover and many other demonstrators, only in a different way: virtually.

Best with VR glasses

“We had the idea of creating a virtual simulation lab a long time ago,” says Theo Papadopoulos, of Siemens Corporate Technology. “It was the winner in an in-house competition for digital solutions. At the time, of course, none of us thought of the possibility of a pandemic that would oblige all of us to stay home. But it’s still possible to visit the virtual lab, which we can use like its real counterpart to create our most important solutions. Our customers and project partners can look in to find out what’s happening, and we can do our work there. Using VR glasses and controllers, it almost feels like we’re really in the lab.” Christoph Heinrich, Group Leader at Siemens Corporate Technology who devised the in-house ideas competition, adds: “It took just two weeks to turn the idea into reality. And the fact we can now carry on using the demonstrators from our home offices makes it even more satisfying.” 

 

Meet & Greet

It’s even possible for co-workers to meet up virtually in this way.  “In fact, the various visitors who use the lab at the same time can be in different countries,” Papadopoulos explains. “But it feels like we – or our avatars, at least – are all standing there together. At some point we’ll be able to meet again in person without risk, but perhaps the virtual lab is also a model for the future, to help us avoid unnecessary travel, which uses up a lot of energy.”

Aenne Barnard  - April 2020

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