Funding success: Manufacturing in the metaverse
A research proposal titled 'Manufacturing in the metaverse: Conceptual model and future research directions’ – by Dr Nikolai Kazantsev and Professor Chander Velu from the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), part of the Department of Engineering – has been supported by InterAct.
InterAct is a £4.4 million, Made Smarter Innovation-funded, Economic and Social Research Council-led network that aims to bring together economic and social scientists, UK manufacturers and digital technology providers to address the human issues resulting from the diffusion of new technologies in the industry.
The industrial metaverse uses virtual and augmented reality to blend the physical and digital worlds to transform how businesses design, manufacture and interact with objects.
The project aims to provide a coherent interdisciplinary summary of established knowledge from academia and practice on the application and potential benefits of a metaverse in manufacturing, mainly focusing on bridging technical and social insights.
"Highly promising results are expected for the intersection of resilience and sustainability," said Nikolai. "For example, simulation of demand shocks and fluctuations in the virtual world (stress testing) can bring more awareness about the feasibility of responses.
"Moreover, carbon emission and energy consumption within these responses are invisible in the real world but visible in the metaverse. Hence, the metaverse can be used to raise awareness of manufacturing systems, including energy consumption, sources of this energy, and the carbon effects."
The project will start on 5th June and will finish with a public event in September 2023.
The team is open for collaborations on this research. Please contact email@example.com if you are interested.
The purpose of a potential collaboration would be to better inform research on the positioning of the metaverse as a technological tool in manufacturing.
The team are keen to hear from:
- Industrial partners who have already applied some elements of virtual reality or who want to do so soon, but are unclear on how to progress due to the perceived risks or unclear benefits of the technology.
- This could be technology providers, such as Vuforia, Hololens (MST), Meta or creators of alternative augmented reality glasses.
- Early career researchers (ECR) or PhD students who are interested in understanding the metaverse for manufacturing.
For industrial partners, the IfM can offer early access to findings and an invitation to attend the day event at the IfM or one of the Cambridge colleges on 19th September (details tbc.). There is some funding available for ECR or PhD students to cover the related research work.