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Are digital twins the future of physical assets and infrastructure management?

Are digital twins the future of physical assets and infrastructure management?,
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Cities, companies, and public authorities are beginning to see what benefits can derive from the use of perfect digital representations of the real world assets – from the conduction of what-if scenarios and imaginary manipulations of those assets to the future predictions and forecasts, such digital copies have the potential to bring transformation in many sectors. The public authorities in Shanghai, for example, already use such digital twin models of the whole city in order to monitor the buildings and local transportations systems and simulate natural disasters for better planning. The demand for digital twin solutions has increased further after the Covid-19 pandemic since one of their applications is connected to the remote monitoring and management of physical assets. 

Co-founded by two high school friends – Yavor Mihailov and Mihail Georgiev, MYX Robotics is a Bulgarian AI and data analytics startup that specializes in the development and the market commercialization of digital twins and has the vision to develop an international 3D data platform where businesses will be able to buy accurate information and data analysis. Recently the startup attracted its first €350K investment in the form of a convertible bond, out of which €150K came from the Bulgarian early-stage VC New Vision 3 and the rest €200K were raised from private investors with the goal to expand its team and be able to finance its R&D product validation projects and improve its AI digital twin platform. 

The birth of a digital twin 

The creation of the digital twins of MYX begins with the collection of imaging data of assets which is done with the help of drones, IoT devices, and satellites. After that the data is put into the proprietary automated processing pipeline of MYX which creates the 3D visualization and in the end, based on the needs of every business, the AI technology of MYX develops reports with data insights. So far, MYX has conducted a couple of pilot projects and in the future, their platform has the potential to build a digital twin of the whole telecom network of Bulgaria and with the help of IoT devices to enable the real-time monitoring of the system. 

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By using drones and satellites to capture images of large areas of agricultural crops, MYX can apply its technology in farming to help businesses to monitor and manage their crop fields. Their technology can develop a 3D digital representation of any real-world asset and use AI algorithms for data analysis and offer insight to clients. Even though the solution has the potential to be used in almost any industry, as of now MYX focuses primarily on the infrastructure, especially telecom and city infrastructure, agriculture, cultural heritage, and real estate industries.

The turnkey infrastructure maintenance solution for telecoms 

By providing telecoms with 3D digital and interactive cell towers models, MYX Robotics helps its clients conduct a remote preventive inspection and take accurate remote measurements and coordinates of assets which saves time and is less risky. The AI algorithms of MYX then produce tailored automatic reports and depending on the needs of the client provide data and analytics such as that for antenna detection, rust detection, and crop growth. 

Therefore, the solutions of MYX allow users to improve the planning and management of their cell tower infrastructure, make more accurate data-driven decisions and eliminate the need for human personnel to do hazardous site inspections. Moreover, by having access to automated and consistent analysis reports, telecoms are able to decrease equipment downtime and save up to 80% of their costs.  

In light of the long-awaited introduction of 5G networks, the accurate 3D visualization of signal patterns which is called radio network and frequency planning (RF) is of key importance as it allows telecoms to make propagation models and increase their network efficiency. Moreover, the digital twins of MYX can allow telecoms to visualize their planned cell installations before they are built. 

Applicability in other sectors 

The solution of MYX can also be used for the preservation of cultural heritage as it allows any monument to be digitally viewed in its smallest detail. Digital twins of agricultural fields can be used for accurate weather forecasting and to help crop owners optimize their fertilizer monitoring and planning as well as their crop’s health management. The MYX team is also testing the applicability of its solution in the real estate and insurance sectors where the technology can be used for the remote inspections and remote maintenance of properties, as well as for the digital management of insurance claims. 

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Elena is an Innovation Reporter at The Recursive, an online media dedicated to the emerging tech and startup ecosystems in Southeast Europe. She is keen on sharing the innovation stories that shape the regional ecosystem and has a great interest in fintech, IoT, and biotech startups. Elena is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Political Science at the American University in Bulgaria.