Nvidia and PassiveLogic team up to drive integration for autonomous buildings

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Nvidia has invested $15 million in PassiveLogic, a pioneer in autonomous building control systems. The investment will help drive integration between PassiveLogic’s tools and Nvidia’s Omniverse platform for the industrial metaverse. 

PassiveLogic is developing a growing ecosystem of tools built on top of digital twins to enable generative design, autonomous systems and next-generation artificial intelligence (AI). These help architects, engineers, contractors and building owners improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of building operations.

The platform helps users quickly collaborate around AI controls, test them on digital twins of the building, and then deploy them into operations. The company claims its Hive control platform is ten times faster to install and reduces energy consumption by a third compared to conventional automation solutions. 

PassiveLogic is also driving the quantum digital twin standard for autonomous systems that helps describe system-level interactions between components, equipment, assemblies and environments. 

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Visualization meets automation

According to PassiveLogic’s CEO Troy Harvey, “Nvidia’s Omniverse and PassiveLogic’s Quantum are each focused on different and complementary aspects of describing the world through digital twins.” 

The Omniverse is very focused on geometry and visualization and providing the integration to universal scene description (USD) workflows for industrial digital twins. PassiveLogic’s compiler and compute technology runs the AI for these digital twins at the edge on Nvidia GPU technology. Integration between the platforms will make it easier to embed digital twins into AI control systems to support autonomous building controls that can adapt to changes in user needs, the environment, or the equipment itself. 

“As a partnership, we are really excited about the breadth of applications our combined technology platforms can address,” Harvey said. 

Other components that PassiveLogic’s platform include are: 

  • The Quantum Creator which provides a CAD system for creating digital twins that describe what something is, how it works and why it would do specific actions. 
  • An Autonomy Studio that enables users to build autonomous systems by composing digital twins into systems and environments through a drag-and-drop interface that outputs a system-level digital twin. 
  • The Hive platform consumes these digital twins to provide real-time automation of buildings. 
  • The Passport feature allows individuals to create and share their own personal digital twin reflecting physiological, ergonomic and comfort preferences.

New workflows

These integrations can improve the control systems for any kind of equipment. In the short run, Harvey is most focused on opportunities for autonomous buildings to improve sustainability. He estimates that buildings consume about 41% of the world’s energy, and believes the company’s platform can help reduce that by 30%. 

PassiveLogic can help teams at the beginning of a project to clarify project goals, iterate prototypes with generative design, and then automate control systems. Nvidia’s Omniverse then provides the visualization, animation and 3D exploration of the virtual world, once the project is underway. Omniverse also simplifies USD integration with other tools. 

The new funding from Nvidia brings PassiveLogic’s total funding to more than $80 million. Other investors include building-asset owners, equipment manufacturers and venture investors such as Addition, Brookfield, Keyframe, RET, Era and A/O Proptech. This investment is part of a broader trend around using USD as a core data layer to simplify workflows across various tools. It complements efforts to integrate USD and IFC and Nvidia’s recent partnership with Siemens to grow the industrial metaverse on top of USD.

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George Lawton