SCC Day 2 Puts the Spotlight on Exxon Mobil, Customer Applications, and Alliance Partners

By Jon
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providenceGuest Blog by Jon Wiening, SIMULIA Product Manager from the 2010 SCC

As a member of the SIMULIA HQ staff located in Providence, Rhode Island, I am proud to be able to finally show off our home city for the first time to our customers and partners attending the 2010 SCC.  The Rhode Island Convention Center has turned out to be an ideal location for the conference with great flow from room to room, perfect sizing, and a great overall location (read: across the street from the Trinity Brew House, my favorite local watering hole).  Also making me proud has been how interesting all of the presentations have been.  It has not been a challenge to stay awake, even after lunch and a few huge chocolate chip cookies.

bruce_dale_Exxon_MobilThe day started out with ExxonMobil giving an expansive view of their 30 year journey of using Abaqus simulation from the 80’s to the present.  Many people familiar with Abaqus know about the strong relationship between SIMULIA and ExxonMobil, but this presentation added perspective, giving a sense of the range of engineering problems for which they rely on Abaqus simulation technologies including sealing properties of threaded connectors, reservoir modeling, structural analysis of ships, as well as understanding the effect of iceberg gouging on the ocean floor and buried piping.

While icebergs carving up the sea floor is pretty amazing, the life sciences presentations tend to provide some of the best eye candy.  Watching Abaqus/Explicit simulate a prosthetic lens being rolled up into a tube and injected into an eyeball had no problem holding the audience’s interest.

speaker_silouette2And after personally attending more than ten presentations over the past two days, it is noteworthy how widely represented Abaqus/Explicit is in the conference papers this year. A substantial percentage of the sustomer papers are showing off what Explicit can do, and with impressive and highly accurate results.  Customers have certainly become very comfortable using both Abaqus/Standard and Abaqus/Explicit, selecting the right tool for the job.

With customers becoming so comfortable with the range and robustness of Abaqus simulation technology, it now seems only natural that the new sessions on Simulation Lifecycle Management and Isight for simulation process automation and design optimization have been standing-room-only throughout the conference.  As Kyle Indermuehle put it, “an engineer’s time should be spent on engineering, not text editing.”  SIMULIA now boasts products that take care of many of the repetitive tasks and let engineers focus on engineering.  Read the press announcement on Isight 4.5 that we released during the conference to learn more about this valuable solution.

The final presentation of the day was the highly anticipated Abaqus 6.10 overview and demo, which showed off the new CFD capabilities and many enhancements of the new release. The audience licked their chops and dreamed of playing working with the new release when they get back to their desks.

Enjoy the video from Day 2 of the SCC,

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5 Questions for Humanoid Nao’s Maker, Bruno Maissonier

By Kate
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I’d like to introduce you to Nao.

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Although he could, Nao (also pronounced ‘now’) won’t be speaking at the upcoming National Innovation Directors Meetings.  Instead Noa’s maker Bruno Massonier will contribute to a discussion entitled “Product Conception for the General Public; Combining Low Cost and Very High Performance”.

Dassault Systèmes is one of the event’s partners, so I’ll be live blogging the first day.  Meanwhile I wanted to give you a taste for the innovators who will be present, starting with the President and Founder of Aldebaran Robotics.

Did you know the 21st century robotics industry will be more massive than the 20th century automotive industry?

Read the 5-question interview to learn why:

Q1.  In 2007, Albdebaran Robotic’s “Nao” robot was selected by the prestigious RoboCup organizing committee to replace Sony’s “Aibo” as the league standard robot.  How did your French start-up outsmart and beat the robotic giants?

BM: We were a very small company in 2007, with less than 20 people working for Aldebaran Robotics. I think that we prevailed thanks to these points:

maisonnier2Among the robots presented to the RoboCup committee, Nao was the only humanoid. The RoboCup’s aim is to get a team of humanoid robots able to beat a human soccer team before 2050, and the choice of a humanoid seemed to be more convenient.

Moreover, as we started to design Nao with a mass market goal, we were able to offer Nao cheaper than any other opponent. And amongst these two advantages, even if Nao was still a prototype, it was the most advanced product showed in Atlanta.

From my point of view, the main error of our competitors was to develop a specific product for the RoboCup and trying to make this market profitable, while it is a marketing investment for us as we do not earn any money with the RoboCup.

Q2.      You’ve been quoted as saying the 21st century robotics industry will be even more massive and impactful than the 20th century automotive industry.  Why?

BM: Actually, the economic office of the UNO plans it. The survey says that in several years there will be as many robot units sold than TV screens. Just like the automotive industry, the robotics industry will be an incredible economic growth engine, creating millions of jobs and a lot of other connected industries like electrical motor, battery or even software and personal assistance.

The main reason for this is that the occidental populations are getting older and there won’t be enough active workers to take care of our old people. Robots won’t replace humans but they will be excellent tools to give back autonomy to dependent individuals.

Q3.      What innovations are missing to help the robotics industry leap to the future (robots everywhere for our personal assistance, entertainment and surveillance)?

BM: It is not really innovations we are lacking, but dedicated components. For example, two main electric motors exist. One of them is very cheap but limited to a few hours of usage, and mainly used for automatic car windows. The other is very robust but very expensive as well! Robotics will need a better mix between robustness and price. Another example is batteries, mainly developed for computers or phones. Robots will need more power, but for an equivalent weight.

Q4.       Do you use 3D software and collaborative research platforms to invent your products?  If so, how does this impact your innovation cycle?  If not, why?

BM: Of course, our mechatronics design team is fully equipped with your SolidWorks solution. It helps us a lot to work collaboratively as all the parts are shared on a single server and everyone may modify or integrate those parts. By the way, since there are very few robots that exist, we had to imagine new solutions, step by step, for our specific problematics and the simulation software included was more than helpful!

Q5.      What does innovation mean for you?

BM: As we are not a research lab but an engineering company that develops commercial products, I think that innovation, here at Aldebaran, is everything : We always designed Nao on a “Customer-driven” basis which means appropriate solution for specific problem, robust, functional and not expensive, to offer the best price to our customer.

Merci Bruno!

Now tell me, what type of robot would you like to have in your home within the next few years?

(I know someone who just bought a robot vacuum cleaner.  She sets him loose and vroom!)



P.S. Please let me know if you’ll attend the event on May 25 & 26 so I can meet up with you.

The New PDM & Your Patient Records

By Kate
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Resonate on iPhone

When I was still living in America, I didn’t have to think about my patient records because my doctor administered my tests onsite and her admin staff filed them there.  In France things are different in that you only get your consultation at the doctor’s office.  For example, for bloodwork I must make an appointment at the independent bloodwork lab (a few blocks away), go for my test, and dutifully bring the test results back to my doctor for evaluation.  No centralization, lots of legwork.

So when I learned about our partnership with echoBase for centralized patient records on the iPhone and iPad, I got excited.  Wouldn’t that be cool if little ole me in France could tote around my patient records on my iPhone and share them with my doctor electronically!?

I think I’ll have to wait, but you folks living in America have some geeky goodness in store for you when it comes to your patient records and what I call The New PDM: Patient Data Management.

For the record (ha ha), PDM also refers to Product Data Management (aka ENOVIA software).

Unlike for American healthcare patients, American healthcare providers (doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, etc.) must wrangle with your patient records and data lodged in different systems and places.

To get the story on how the same data federation and security capabilities being used by the Department of Defense will be used for your patient records, please read the press release.

Meanwhile, I wanted to ask a few questions to the folks at echoBase about The New PDM.    VP of Sales and Marketing Rod Miller kindly agreed to answer them.

And now over to Rod!

Q1. How close are you in the US to having 100% patient data managed by one federating system? What will it take to get there?

RM: We are there now with our architecture based on the ENOVIA platform.  We have the database schema ready for 100% of patient data including any data format.  ENOVIA is one of the premier products for managing dissimilar data types and applying role-based security.  In order to get there we are actively pursuing hospitals to implement this today.

Q2. Will the iPhone and iPad replace desktop computers in hospitals and medical practices?

ipad_resonate_imaging_print-sizedRM: Not totally at first, but I have been in the information technology for 38 years and everything continues to get smaller and more powerful.  Over the next 3 – 5 years, the need for desktop and laptop PCs will be very limited.  The smart phones and workstations like the iPad are much more flexible and easier to use than the traditional keyboard mouse methods of interacting with the computer.  Mobility and security are the keys to the next generation of healthcare applications.

Q3. Your application photo shows the image of an x-ray. What other types of exam results will be accessible from Resonate? Any plans for 3D imagery?

RM: Resonate, utilizing the ENOVIA platform, has the capabilities to store virtually any data format.  ENOVIA is utilized everyday to manage all types of data formats in the engineering and manufacturing industries, dissimilar data management is a hallmark of ENOVIA.

Regarding plans for 3D imagery, we have had conversations with Dassault development on the subject of utilizing 3DVIA to view MRI and other 3D data.  echoBase is very interested in further discussions on this.

Q4. What’s the future of Patient Data Management?

photo1RM: Patient Data Management (PDM) will become the prevailing healthcare data architecture in a very short time.  Manufacturing and engineering have been utilizing PDM (Product Data Management) architectures to communicate dissimilar data types between dissimilar systems to individual engineers for decades.  In healthcare, we need to provide the same type of architecture to enable a single user interface for doctors.  Beyond this the reasons PDM will be the prevailing healthcare architecture are simple:

  • The number of different healthcare back office systems that are in existence (355+) today. Many hospitals have multiple systems installed and they were not designed to communicate with each other.  In order to connect to regional and nationwide health information exchanges, the hospitals will want a single interface to all outside entities that can be securely controlled.  Without a PDM system that federates the data between their multiple systems and gives them a consistent level of security, each back office system will need to be modified to do things that were not originally expected.

  • The amount of money that is being invested into new, best of breed healthcare applications. All the new money flowing into healthcare information systems is encouraging many new startup software companies to make the newest, latest, best of breed application that will solve a specific need.  As hospitals are exposed to these new applications, they are going to want to implement them.  Most of these new applications will rely on patient medical records to perform their “magic”.  Without a PDM system that provides a single secure access to the patient charts, any new application must be interfaced to all individual, existing back office systems.  With a PDM system, there is one interface to all the patient’s chart data, making it simpler and less expensive for the IT department to implement.

  • Constant doctor training when upgrading back office systems. Doctors are not clerks, they don’t like to preform all the clerical tasks required.  They especially do not like to be retrained every time a back office system is upgraded.  With a PDM system, the doctor has a single view of all the patient chart information regardless of which or how many back office systems hold the data.  Back office systems can be upgraded and the doctor’s user interface remains unchanged, reducing the need for constant retraining.

  • High availability.  Resonate synchronizes the patient charts as they are available with the back office systems.  Resonate provides the doctor a single user interface to the total patient chart without having to rely on the back office system(s) to be available.  With the acceptance of encrypted patient records on mobile devices, the doctors and other healthcare providers could have data available 100% of the time with or without a network connection.  This is very important in healthcare environments where instant, 100% available data is a requirement.

Many thanks Rod; I look forward to following this!

So all you healthcare patients and providers– what do you think about this?



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