Industry News

20,000 Petabytes Under the Sea: Exploring the Potential of Underwater Data Centres

Humans have become very good at polluting vast areas of the planet by dumping waste in the sea, so perhaps it’s about time that something we put in the sea has the potential improve pollution rather than just adding to it?

Mid-September saw the completion of Microsoft’s first ever experiment with underwater data centres off the Orkney Isles, and the reports have made for intriguing reading. The formal results have yet to be released, but initial signs suggest that the deep sea may turn out to be the next piece of invaluable real-estate for data centre operators.

There seem to … Read More »

Plasma Technology used to Produce Environmentally-Friendly Fertiliser

Plasma Technology used to Produce Environmentally-Friendly Fertiliser

Belgian scientists have found a CO2-free way to produce ammonia. This will enable farmers to produce environmentally friendly fertilizer themselves.

At one point back in the eighties of the last century, ammonia was the main villain in the environment. It was partly to blame for acid rain. Nowadays, scientists see it as a green energy source because you can make it easily and cheaply. Belgian scientists have developed a new method for the CO2-free production of ammonia.

Ammonia is a very important chemical building block. But it is also one of the main contributors to CO2 emissions. By combining two … Read More »

New Gas Shield Welding Solution Developed for the Aerospace Sector

New Gas Shield Welding Solution Developed for the Aerospace Sector

The aerospace sector can now call upon a new welding solution that reduces reworks considerably thanks to a Sheffield-based tooling specialist.

Engineers at MetLase took just two months from the major aerospace engine manufacturer’s initial enquiry to design and manufacture a customised Gas Shield for controlling argon delivery within shielded welding, preventing the age-old problem of oxygen or water vapour affecting the quality of the weld.

Using precision laser cutting technology and patented joining methodology, the Rotherham-based company identified an engineering grade metallic foam that dissipates the argon gas in a precision manner, providing an almost perfect inert atmosphere for … Read More »

Cornwall Joins the UK Green Hydrogen Race

Cornwall Joins the UK Green Hydrogen Race

The UK government is starting to draw up a plan to create a ‘world-leading’ hydrogen market that can help meet its goal to zero out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

As a consequence, the renewables sector is urging the government to support the rapid development of commercial green hydrogen. AeroSpace Cornwall is playing its part by awarding grant funding to companies building the future of energy. One such company, PV3 Technologies, a Cornish company on a mission to advance low carbon technologies across the world, has received vital funding from AeroSpace Cornwall to help support new research and development projects … Read More »

Scientists at University of Birmingham Develop New Brain injury Detection Method

Scientists at University of Birmingham Develop New Brain injury Detection Method

Using chemical biomarkers released by the brain immediately after a head injury occurs, researchers are able to pinpoint when patients need urgent medical attention. This saves time in delivering vital treatment and avoids patients undergoing unnecessary tests where no injury has occurred.

The technique was developed by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers in the group of Advanced Nanomaterials, Structures, and Applications (ANMSA) led by Dr Goldberg Oppenheimer at the University of Birmingham.

Following a proof-of-concept study, the group has now completed Innovate UK’s commercialisation programme, iCURE, to identify commercialisation routes for the technique, identifying potential partners across eight countries.

The … Read More »

Maiden Voyage for ‘UK’s first’ Sea-Going Electric Ferry, the e-Voyager

Maiden Voyage for new electric ferry e-Voyager

The UK’s first sea-going electric ferry has set sail for the first time in Plymouth.

The e-Voyager vessel uses repurposed Nissan Leaf batteries, and an advanced electric motor, which replaces the traditional diesel engine.

The green ferry will undergo rigorous running trials, before carrying passengers on ferry routes from April 2021.

The project was designed and developed by the cruising, ferry, and fishing company Plymouth Boat Trips (PBT), the boatbuilder Voyager Marine in partnership with the University of Plymouth, the University of Exeter, the manufacturer Teignbridge Propellers and the engineering technology company EV Parts.

Scientists from the University of Plymouth … Read More »

Revolutionary Floating Wind Turbine Platform Tested in Cornwall

A platform designed to aid in the building and launching of floating wind turbines is being researched and tested in Cornwall.

The innovative design has been created by TUGDOCK Ltd, which is based in Falmouth. The company has patented and produced a novel floating solution to lift structures for various uses.

Lucas Lowe-Houghton, director of business development for TUGDOCK, said: “The Floating Offshore Wind sector is growing fast worldwide, with enormous opportunities now emerging in the Celtic Sea and beyond.

“However, very few ports have sufficient water depth and assembly space to enable the commercialisation of these huge turbine floaters. … Read More »

Testing Begins on an Autonomous ‘Mayflower’ Ship ahead of its Atlantic Voyage

Testing Begins on an Autonomous ‘Mayflower’ Ship ahead of its Atlantic Voyage
Humans aren’t the only ones to have had their travel plans ruined by the coronavirus. A robot-powered boat that was due to cross the Atlantic this month has been forced to delay its voyage until next April after the virus caused complications in its development.

Plymouth University in partnership with Plymouth-based autonomous craft specialists MSubs and yacht designer Shuttleworth Design launched a project to design and build the world’s first, fully autonomous, unmanned research ship called Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship (MARS), in July 2015.

The autonomous 15-meter trimaran has been built to push the boundaries of autonomous shipping while gathering … Read More »

Designing Innovative Touchscreens in an Increasingly Interactive World

We live in a world that expects every display to be interactive. When a child approaches a screen in a shopping mall, they instinctively touch it. They’re surprised if it doesn’t react. Touchscreens are a natural part of our everyday lives. From smartphones and tablets to ticket machines and self-service check-outs, touchscreens are everywhere.

Despite the fact that they’re everywhere, many product and industrial designers still opt for generic touchscreens in their designs. They fear high tooling costs and lack of flexibility when it comes to prototyping. Designers create a product and choose a generic, rectangular touch panel. When actually, … Read More »

Innovative Ways We’re Cleaning Up the Ocean and How You Can Help

Innovative Ways We’re Cleaning Up the Ocean and How You Can Help
Over the last few decades, plastic has become an essential part of our everyday lives. From grocery bags to toys and bottles, plastic is one of the most used materials to date. However, this material is, unfortunately, causing a great deal of harm to ocean life too.

A whopping 8 million metric tons of plastic is found in seas and oceans every year, which is bad news for marine species. Plastic became a popular material because of its ease of manufacture and durability, but when this trash is disposed of and finds its way into the ocean, some products and … Read More »

Lessons Learned From The Demise Of An Iconic Innovator

Lessons Learned From The Demise Of An Iconic Innovator - Briggs and Stratton

Have you heard the news? Briggs & Stratton has applied for bankruptcy in the United States. Never heard of them? You might want to check your lawnmower, pressure washer, or other motorised tool in your shed. There’s a chance it’s powered by a Briggs & Stratton-designed engine.

The downfall of Briggs & Stratton comes as a shock to the business world, market watchers, and the innovation community in general. Before 2020, it was the world’s largest manufacturer of small gasoline engines and employed thousands of people.

Here’s our take on the demise of a great American manufacturing company and the … Read More »

How robotic laparoscopic surgery is being cut down to size

How robotic laparoscopic surgery is being cut down to size
Minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, in which a surgeon uses tools and a tiny camera inserted into small incisions to perform operations, has made surgical procedures safer for both patients and doctors over the last half-century. Recently, surgical robots have started to appear in operating rooms to further assist surgeons by allowing them to manipulate multiple tools at once with greater precision, flexibility, and control than is possible with traditional techniques. However, these robotic systems are extremely large, often taking up an entire room, and their tools can be much larger than the delicate tissues and structures on which they operate.… Read More »

First batch of aviation biofuel produced by Spanish energy company Repsol

First batch of aviation biofuel produced by Spanish energy company Repsol
SPANISH energy company Repsol has produced the national market’s first batch of aviation biofuel. The 7,000 t batch, which was derived from biomass, will prevent 440 t of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

Spain’s Integrated National Climate and Energy Plan 2021–2030 acknowledges biofuels as the most widely available and widely used renewable technology in transport. Furthermore, it adds that in sectors such as aviation, such fuel will continue to be the only way to reduce fossil fuel use over the coming years.

The biojet – biomass-derived jet fuel – produced by Repsol has a less than 5% … Read More »

Latest Assistive Exoskeleton Innovation Unveiled for Industrial Use

Latest Industrial Assistive Exoskeleton Unveiled

 Ekso Bionics, an industry leader in exoskeleton technology for medical and industrial use, today unveiled EVOTM, an endurance-boosting assistive upper-body exoskeleton that alleviates the burden of repetitive work. Building on the Company’s trailblazing EksoVest technology, EVO’s innovative design is the next step in the evolution of industrial exoskeletons.

Through collaborations with leaders in global manufacturing and construction, Ekso Bionics has accumulated a wealth of in-the-field customer insights that allowed it to reimagine its weight-assist exoskeleton technology. EVO is lighter and more flexible than its predecessor, with an optimized human-machine interface that is cool and comfortable to wear for all-day use, … Read More »

Innovation uses ‘stethoscope’ to monitor machine quality, functionality

Innovation uses ‘stethoscope’ to monitor machine quality, functionality
Researchers at Purdue University have announced a system for efficient, low-cost monitoring for machine health, including overall quality, condition, and operation status.

The Purdue team’s innovation uses audio-based artificial-intelligence technology to monitor the overall conditions of machines in factories, hospitals, and other locations. The Purdue system uses a stethoscope-like system as a sensor and analyzes the data with a neural network-based framework.

“Our solution is to use the concept of doctors listening to a body to assess the initial condition or experts listening to the machine sounds to know what is going on,” said Martin Jun, a Purdue innovator and … Read More »