Digital twin–based asset inspection and user–technology interactions

Hans Voordijk*, Faridaddin Vahdatikhaki, Lars Hesselink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: With the emergence of digital twins, the construction industry is looking toward improving the inspection and maintenance of all kinds of assets, such as bridges, roads and utilities. The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into how the development of an interactive digital twin creates a variety of interactions between users of this technology and assets to be monitored. Design/methodology/approach: The development of a digital twin inspection model, focusing on the specific case of a sewage pumping station, is chosen as the subject of a case study. Through the development of this model, this study explores the various user–technology interactions that can be designed in a digital twin context. Findings: Users interact with digital twins by following virtual instructions in a certain way, which creates a “quasi-other” relationship. A digital twin based on virtual reality (VR) also make users feel as if they are within the created VR of an inspection site, thereby immersing them in the VR environment. The design of a VR-based digital twin, which is determined by decisions made during the development process, shapes the context in which users interact with the technology and assets. Originality/value: This study shows that a digital twin in construction practice may play different “actant” roles having different types of influences. Analyzing these actant roles and influences in terms of force and visibility adds a new perspective on the interaction between users and digital twins in construction and asset monitoring practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2023


  • Digital twin
  • Inspection
  • Technological mediation
  • Virtual reality
  • NLA


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