Research unit VAL

The Virtual Automation Lab (VAL) is a research unit in the Faculty of Mechanical and Systems Engineering at Esslingen University. It focuses on the application-oriented development of methods and software which can be used for “Smart Factory Data and Simulation”:

  • Methods for the service-based use of Digital Twins of machines and plants based on the Digital Twin as a Service (DTaaS) approach
  • Methods for the use of Mixed Reality (AR/AV/VR) technologies in industrial production based on Mixed Reality-in-the-Loop Simulation (MRiLS)
  • Methods of intuitive multimodal human-model and human-technology interaction
  • Methods of virtual commissioning and real-time simulation of machines and plants
  • Methods of Digital Twins for machine learning
  • Methods for autonomous and adaptive production
  • Methods for the use of autonomous indoor flying robots in production


PDF Selected publications (2018-2022)

Virtual Automation Lab wins DIVR Science Award 2021 in the "Best Tech" category

The Virtual Automation Lab was able to convince the expert jury at the Places_Virtual Reality Festival 2021 at the DIVR Science Award with the MRiLS project and the Digital-Twin-as-a-Service platform and was awarded 1st place, the DIVR Science Award 2021, in the category "Best Tech". The DIVR Science Award is the most important award for Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) projects in the German-speaking university landscape (

More information:

Homepage DIVR Science Award

Video Award ceremony

Press report


The Virtual Automation Lab of the University of Applied Sciences Esslingen was able to convince the selection jury with its Industrie 4.0 solution for Mixed-Reality-in-the-Loop Simulation in mechanical and plant engineering and was named one of the "100 ORTE INDUSTRIE 4.0 IN BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG" by the Allianz I4.0 and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Tourism Baden-Württemberg. The network initiative Allianz Industrie 4.0 Baden-Württemberg is a network initiated and funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Tourism Baden-Württemberg and coordinated by VDMA e.V. Baden-Württemberg. The network aims to bundle competencies from production technology as well as information and communication technology, to network all key players and to support industrial SMEs in the implementation of Industry 4.0 through innovative transfer offers.

More information:

Homepage Allianz Industrie 4.0 Baden-Württemberg

Laudatio Staatssekretär im Wirtschaftsministerium Dr. Rapp

VAL achieves 2nd place in nationwide competition „AVRiL 2020 – Gelungene VR/AR-Lernszenarien“

The Virtual Automation Lab has been awarded with the AVRiL 2020 - Silver - for the contribution "DigiTwin: didact Maschinen verstehen mit dem Digitalen Zwilling in AR/VR-Lernszenarien".

The competition „AVRiL 2020 – Gelungene VR/AR-Lernszenarien“ is organized jointly by the working group VR/AR-Learning of the GI specialist groups Educational Technologies and VR/AR with the Stifterverband. The goal of this competition is to award current, effective learning scenarios involving VR and AR technologies.

More Information: 

Homepage AVRiL

Press report


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