Dissecting the impact of information and communication technologies on digital twins as a service Articles uri icon

publication date

  • July 2021

start page

  • 102862

end page

  • 102876


  • 9

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2169-3536


  • Recent advances on Edge computing, Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and 5G are stimulating the interest of the industrial sector to satisfy the stringent and real-time requirements of their applications. Digital Twin is a key piece in the industrial digital transformation and its benefits are very well studied in the literature. However, designing and implementing a Digital Twin system that integrates all the emerging technologies and meets the connectivity requirements (e.g., latency, reliability) is an ambitious task. Therefore, prototyping the system is required to gradually validate and optimize Digital Twin solutions. In this work, an Edge Robotics Digital Twin system is implemented as a prototype that embodies the concept of Digital Twin as a Service (DTaaS). Such system enables real-time applications such as visualization and remote control, requiring low-latency and high reliability. The capability of the system to offer potential savings by means of computation offloading are analyzed in different deployment configurations. Moreover, the impact of different wireless channels (e.g., 5G, 4G and WiFi) to support the data exchange between a physical device and its virtual components are assessed within operational Digital Twins. Results show that potentially 16% of CPU and 34% of MEM savings can be achieved by virtualizing and offloading software components in the Edge. In addition, they show that 5G connectivity enables remote control of 20 ms, appearing as the most promising radio access technology to support the main requirements of Digital Twin systems.


  • digital twin; edge; nfv; 5g; distributed system; wireless networks