The first two days of one of the most important events in the world, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, the GTC 2021 conference are over.
The most important consideration, in this case, is how BMW is using the Omniverse platform in conjunction with the Isaac Robotics Platform.
It is worth remembering that for the first time the concept of such robots was shown by the corporation at a conference in 2019. Last year it offered access to the platform for single customers, and at the end of 2020 launched open testing. Recently, the founder of the company announced that the Omniverse is now open to everyone.
The platform was created for the joint work of geographically distributed teams on 3D projects for a wide variety of purposes. Whole three-dimensional worlds can be created there, so realistic that they are difficult to distinguish from photography. It is a great tool in the production of films and video games. Also, the platform allows you to work with scientific simulations, for example, to develop new drug molecules. The European Weather Center, for example, has created simulations of the entire Earth for weather forecasts and climate change predictions. The virtual clone of the planet is powered by 20,000 NVIDIA graphics cards. Also, the system allows you to create digital twins of complex industrial objects and train robots.
BMW was among the first to test the system. The company sets up digital factories to make cars before actually building them. Then he connects the software developed on NVIDIA ISAAC to the simulation. It is a software development platform for robots with tons of tools and libraries. This integration allows you to see how the machines will behave in the factory.
Omniverse recreates all the laws of physics, the behavior of various materials, objects, and even particles in virtual space. Therefore, here you can study how the manipulator of an industrial robot will interact with a part of the future car, where paint drops will fly, if you direct the robot with a spray gun in one direction or another, where a mobile platform transporting components can get stuck, at what speed the body of a worker weighing 80 kg will fly shot down by a robotic arm and so on.
Previously, the real movements that factory employees make, for example, moving loading carts at the factory, were recorded by BMW using special suits with sensors and special monitors, which are used for filming. Now, thanks to innovative discoveries and new technologies, there are digital people, all this can be done in simulation.
A special additional feature - domain randomization, generates objects of a certain type in various colors, shapes, and sizes. This can be, for example, plastic containers for small parts or boxes for large components, carts, cans, and so on. After generation on these virtual objects, you can train or test a virtual robot. As in real life, machines can be sent on an autonomous mission and take over control if something goes wrong. The automotive concern has already created digital clones of the Omniverse factory.
In the corporation's vision, the factory of the future is a robot that controls autonomous robots that are capable of creating huge machines and equipment (self-driving cars, for example). The physical copy of such an enterprise will be in constant contact with the digital twin, filling the resource management and financial accounting system with real-time data.
Interestingly enough, the company now does not have a clear division of product lines for unmanned vehicles and autonomous robots, putting everything in one category. Although at the moment, for testing unmanned vehicle systems, the company offers a separate NVIDIA DRIVE platform, where a variety of road conditions and situations have already been recreated.
At the last GTC conference, for the first time, it sounded so clearly and convincingly that NVIDIA is a corporation engaged in the development and not just hardware.