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PassiveLogic digital twins enable autonomous buildings
- November 13, 2023
- Steve Rogerson
Utah-based PassiveLogic has revealed a suite of hardware and software that enables autonomy for any controlled system, leading to smart, autonomous buildings.
“Today, buildings and industrial systems are the world’s largest decarbonisation opportunity,” said PassiveLogic CEO Troy Harvey. “They consume more than 68 per cent of the world’s energy, which is more than double the entire transportation industry, and they account for the largest proportion of wasted energy due to inefficient control. Buildings also stand as the world’s largest robotics challenge, with the biggest ones trending towards one million sensors and controllables. PassiveLogic has built the technology to make buildings autonomous, enabling buildings to be 30 per cent more energy efficient through system controls optimisation alone.”
With this platform, PassiveLogic is empowering anyone to design and implement their own autonomous system using the Quantum Standard, the first physics-based digital-twin ontology that emulates and predicts a building’s operational needs with real-time control at the edge.
This ability is a fundamental requirement for unlocking the technology PassiveLogic calls “generative autonomy”, which advances artificial intelligence (AI) technology from monolithically trained, single-purpose applications to flexible, dynamic general-purpose systems.
Generative autonomy enables autonomous systems that beginners to experts can apply to many different domains in multipurpose ways.
“These products both democratise autonomous systems for everyone and advance energy efficiency, climate impact and ESG,” said Harvey. “Our work to bring generative autonomy to the market expands AI beyond its current narrow scope and mainstreams it into the built and industrial world to not only solve current market problems, but unlock autonomy for everyone, building a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable future.”
The firm has developed a platform that lets users easily design their own digital twins and generate control systems to power autonomous control for any given system in a matter of minutes. It has developed a digital-twin standard that encapsulates the physics of the objects it represents. With this self-knowledge, objects on the Quantum Standard understand how they should function and their role in the overall system, unlocking a performance requirement for fully autonomous predictive control.
PassiveLogic has built an ecosystem of six digital-twin-based applications that enable end-to-end workflow for the whole building lifecycle: design, build, operate, maintain and manage. Users can begin experimenting with generative autonomy with three of the software products from next month:
- Building Studio: A generative modelling tool and design environment for building energy engineers and architects powered by Quantum. Building Studio, enabling fast 3D design, site modelling, and energy analysis for buildings in one software application.
- Quantum Lens: A mobile generative design app that makes it easy to scan and survey new projects, commission installed systems and IoT devices, store digital twins in its Hive platform for off-line use at the project site, and interact with live digital-twin data in an AR view in the building and across all PassiveLogic tools.
- Quantum Explorer and API: Quantum Explorer is a software tool that empowers users with a real digital-twin integrated development environment (IDE). With the Query Builder, users can visually explore their own physics-based digital twins by dragging and dropping objects and attributes. Once created, they use the built-in GraphQL interface to see what that query looks like in the Quantum API syntax.
All these innovations require a new AI framework that expands AI for industrial and edge applications. PassiveLogic has assembled a differentiable compiler team that has advanced differentiable Swift in its AI compiler, powering training times a claimed 322 times faster than TensorFlow and 238 times faster than PyTorch. Integrating differentiable Swift into the programme language opens systems and applications for the next evolution in AI.
By integrating AI systems and automation into existing buildings and industrial systems, there is an immediate potential for a 30% reduction in energy consumption, or the equivalent of taking all petrol-powered automobiles off the road. That’s simply automation applied to all building control systems alone, not adding better insulation or different equipment, or other options to the building.
“We at PassiveLogic believe you should have incredible products that are fun to use, that democratise autonomous systems for everybody,” said Harvey. “We believe these products should make your work go faster, and more efficiently, but cost the same as what you are paying today for old-fashioned control systems. Perhaps most importantly, we believe energy efficiency, climate impact and ESG are a right that come for free; we don’t monetise our future on this planet. Our goal is to make efficiency easy and to have the greatest impact possible.”
The hardware and software are available to select partners and will become open to the public in December 2023.
PassiveLogic (www.passivelogic.com) aims to change the future of the built environment by powering autonomous building systems and providing the foundation for smart cities. The current technology behind building controls has remained unchanged for decades. PassiveLogic has reimagined how to design, build, operate, maintain and manage buildings using deep physics digital twins and AI-enabled future-forward controls.