In March, we attended this conference organised by Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). It had a range of speakers from KTN and companies they have funded plus about 30 exhibitors. It was a good event and an ideal place to meet like-mined people and collect information for the Idea Catalog.
Interesting Technologies on Show
There were plenty of exhibit booths which enabled us to meet and discuss their technology. Whilst there were many that had interesting technology on display, here are three that we feel are worth mentioning.
Sensing Feeling was, probably, one of the most innovative technologies we have seen in a long time. Normally, someone, somewhere is developing something similar but in this case it is pretty unique. It aims to recognise people's emotions just from taking pictures of their faces. Cool or scary? Feasible or unlikely? Whatever your views, it is pushing the boundaries of technology and is worth keeping an eye on to see how it develops further.
Shadow Robot Company have been developing their human-like hand for a few years. Several other companies across the world are doing something similar but, so far, no-one has made it into a commercial environment. What they have done recently, that is particularly innovative, is to operate the hand remotely - in this case someone in California used a haptic glove to operate the hand that was in London while people in Tokyo gave directions. It's called a Telerobot Hand. The medical industry is also doing a lot of work along similar lines since it clearly has the potential for surgeons to operate remotely. Let's hope the broadband connection doesn't go down half way through!
Clogworks launched their new quadcopter at the show called Dark Matter (great name). They already have a hexacopter. The number of drones available is huge (we have 399 in the catalog to date with plenty more to add) so new products need to be sufficiently different to gain customers. In this case they are producing highly modular drones where you can switch in and out elements easily to meet your requirements. They are focusing on long(ish) flight times, tethers and heavy(ish) payloads to enable customers to utilise a wider range of sensors and cameras for characterisation and inspection.
This month, we also attended Waste Management and added a number of new technologies and updated a lot of existing ones. (PaR, James Fisher, Mirion, RadComm, ISEC and Iso-Pacific to name just a few companies). We also updated a lot of the technologies used at US DOE sites - particularly Hanford tank emptying and inspection. Just filter on Manufacturer, Site or Industry in any of the different catalogs.
Also, this month, there have been several interesting videos released that will be of interest to those in the nuclear cleanup sector.
RoMaNS is an project run by NNL. It stands for Robotic Manipulation for Nuclear Sort and Segregation and they have published a video on "Assisted Teleoperation Grasping".
RFDs are devices for pumping liquids that have no moving parts. They are in use all across the world and NuVision Engineering have recently published a helpful video on how they work (plus one on pulse jet mixing).
Sellafield Ltd have published a video on the kit being used to grab waste from the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo (PFCS).
We've added and updated hundreds of technologies this month. For instance we now have 2,440 robots making it, by far, the largest and most comprehensive technology catalog in the world.
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