A nice article was published recently on Redshift regarding Kingspan’s new IKON building. The article focuses particularly on describing how IKON furthers Kingspan’s commitment to innovation and sustainability. In this post I thought we’d look in a bit more detail at how Autodesk Research has been involved in the IKON project, specifically regarding the deployment of sensor and camera technology to help create a digital twin of IKON inside Project Dasher.
IKON is Kingspan’s new headquarters and global innovation centre at Kingscourt in County Cavan, Ireland. Here’s an introductory video that talks about this project and shows a couple of flashes of Project Dasher:
Autodesk Research originally started talking to Kingspan at Autodesk University 2018: they had seen the work we had presented from the MX3D project – specifically the skeleton display we put in place for Dutch Design Week in 2018 – and were keen to engage with us on IKON. We were immediately interested in Kingspan’s vision for developing a digital twin of their facility.
A couple of months afterwards I went along to meet with the global BIM team from Kingspan, and talked more about the work we’ve been doing on Project Dasher.
Over the course of the following year or so, members of Autodesk Research – most notably Hali Larsen, Josh Cameron, Jacky Bibliowicz, Michael Lee, Pan Zhang, Liviu Calin, Justin Sun, Alex Tessier and to some degree myself – worked to move the project forward. The work involved creating custom-housed sensor kits that would feed data from IKON into our back-end time-series database, as well as a computer vision system that uses web sockets to stream real-time skeleton information to Project Dasher clients connected via the Kingspan network.
Here’s a video giving a bit more background on the project:
The video was shot when most of the team visited the site in November 2019: it was the week before AU 2019, so it unfortunately simply wasn’t possible for me to be there, too. That said – and despite the fact I’ve still not had the chance to visit the site, what with the lack of travel since the pandemic started – I feel as though I’ve already visited, given the amount of time I’ve interacted with it virtually.
Let’s take a look at a few screenshots of the IKON project. Here’s the overall site:
The model isn’t just architectural, we also have the mechanical, structural, electrical, plumbing, and fire systems modelled. To better explore these systems we built the layer display dialog with a new X-ray mode.
As mentioned, IKON has a computer vision system that provides anonymised skeletons for people in certain spaces. This data stays inside the Kingspan network, so I have to use an old screenshot to show you how it looks. This is the first time we’ve deployed this system in a non-Autodesk office.
Of course we have the typical set of Dasher features working with data coming from the IKON building. Here’s a view of data from a variety of sensors being displayed inside Dasher:
It was very interesting working on this project. I’d like to extend a thanks to everyone at Kingspan who engaged with us, especially Mike Stenson, Brian Glancy, Jonathan Rogers, Brian Carr and Nikita Ticku, as well as to James Newman from our sales team for his ongoing support. I’m looking forward to seeing you all at IKON in person, one day!