Our military provides countless examples of how bio-analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and a host of other advanced manufacturing technologies produce more advantageous situations for warfighters. We see better runways, cheaper and higher quality repairs, and prolonged life for machines as a result of these new technologies.
In November, Autodesk University 2020 (AU2020) virtually hosted a wide range of talks, webinars, and classes on digital design and advanced manufacturing, along with product and technology sessions. One session entitled, “How bio-analytics and AI are transforming the design experience,” looked at how bio-analytics, which studies human response to design, and the use of AI could open the door to a universe of new solutions that were previously impossible or unimaginable. The session also explored how these same technologies deliver the capacity for more efficient manufacturing and delivery– which includes everything from weapons to new military vehicles.
Featured speakers for this session came from key technology contributors, including HP, NVIDIA, and Theia Interactive. Joining the panel were Scott Rawlings, Tico Ballagas, Ph.D., Daniel Baldwin from HP, Andrew Rink, Mike Geyer from NVIDIA, and Max Sims from Theia Interactive.
A smarter approach to product design and development
When it comes to manufacturing end-products, the fewer iterations it takes to get there the better and more cost-effective the solution. One advantage of bio-analytics is a greater understanding of the needs of the end-user. This more informed understanding allows for fewer prototypes and shorter testing times.
Design visualization, which relies on optics technology, allows digital tracing of every detail in an environment or situation. This acquisition of information enables designers and architects to understand – in the digital realm – the full spectrum of physical environments for which they are producing solutions. This enables them to iterate more frequently and more quickly before using any materials in manufacturing, saving time, and material costs.
Generative design uses AI to predict and test possibilities, which improves workflows, reduces project time, and minimizes costs. Modeling options allows architects and engineers to optimize designs without having to produce countless physical prototypes. This approach allows a greater number and the best of all the possible solutions to be produced given available resources, project timelines, and available know-how.
Mike Geyer of NVIDIA explains, “It’s a very intense business climate. The costs and overhead of producing physical products are often much greater than other segments like services, retail, or even software. These companies face extreme margin pressure in the performance. Demands on their products are increasing every day.”
Public sector agencies need products that arrive at the speed of innovation. This is forcing manufacturers to overcome obstacles as they happen in real-time. “Companies must be able to adapt to the supply chain disruptions and changing market requirements…at greater efficiency than ever before,” Geyer continued.
Bio-analytics and AI are giving these challenges serious attention. “The concept of simulating everything before physical prototyping can reduce the risk of inventory, driving growth through tailored customization, and ensuring maximum quality,” encouraged Geyer. For examples, warfighters could sit in vehicles and machines that are ergonomically designed for longer use and reduced fatigue.
Leveraging new technologies for better infrastructure
The benefits of these advances extend beyond manufacturing to the design and construction of critical infrastructure– such as roads, bridges, and utility projects.
Autonomous drones and robots can capture 3D renderings of scenarios, both at the beginning of a project and along the way, enabling better project tracking and quick modification, as needed. Information becomes more accurate and useful as it can be captured and used in real-time. This allows smarter decision-making that can produce superior outcomes in a shorter, most cost-effective manner.
It doesn’t take much to see the benefits of these technology advances for public sector organizations. Engineers on large infrastructure projects can deliver better bridges, roads, and systems on time and within budget. The timing of these enhanced design capabilities is ideal, too. If public sector agencies could apply bio-analytics and AI to the design process early on, it would be easier to identify design flaws, shorten project lifecycles, and realize huge savings in tax dollars. “This innovative approach holds the promise of reducing the amount of tedious design work,… and can help improve building designs going forward,” NVIDIA’s Andrew Rink explained.
This technology is increasingly essential, as tight budgets force the military and planning agencies, like the US Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Energy, and Department of Transportation to try to do more with less. Artificial intelligence, bio-analytics, generative design, and a spectrum of advanced manufacturing technologies are paving the way towards realizing more efficient and responsive designs within the public sector.