A consortium of leading researchers, care providers and robotics experts have received a major award of over £2m from Innovate UK to develop a modular robotic solution for the home to revolutionise long-term care by giving people the choice to stay independent in their own homes as they age.
The CHIRON project is developing a connected system of modular robotic components, which can be adapted to different assistive tasks. CHIRON’s various components will be designed to be mixed and matched. This will enable the person using CHIRON to undertake a wide range of domestic and self-care tasks independently, which for some people could mean that their carer would then have more time to spend providing valuable social companionship. The project will create a prototype that will lead to the development of a commercially viable product.
The CHIRON consortium is led by Designability, formerly the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering and now a national charity specialising in assistive technology to enhance people’s lives. The key technology partners are Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) and Shadow Robot Company, experts in conducting pioneering research and development in robotics. Award winning social enterprise care provider, Three Sisters Care will bring user-centred design to the core of the project, with Telemetry Associates providing project management support. Smart Homes & Buildings Association, specialists in telecare and assisted living, will bring sector knowledge to the project to support commercialisation.
The project will draw upon the consortium’s expertise of working with end-users, clinicians, and health and social care providers, to develop an effective robotic solution that offers adaptability to a person’s changing needs.
Designability Director, Professor Nigel Harris said: “We are tremendously pleased to contribute to this work, focusing on the Long Term Care Revolution. This project is all about technological innovation and perfectly compliments other work that looks at social innovation.”
Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult centre to drive innovation in multi-billion pound market.
Compound semiconductors such as gallium arsenide (GaAs) and gallium nitride (GaN) are central to development of the 5G network, new high-efficiency LED lighting, power electronics for the next generation of electric vehicles and new imaging techniques for a variety of uses from security to health diagnostics, with the global market for compound semiconductors expected to be £125 billion by 2020.
The centre is backed by wafer maker IQE and Cardiff University who set up the £20m Compound Semiconductor Centre, which will form a key resource to the new Catapult. The partnership will help transform leading edge research at Cardiff University’s new Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS) to be built on the University’s new £300m Innovation Campus.
The Catapult for semiconductors will be the 11th Catapult centre. Catapults already exist in:
- cell therapy
- high value manufacturing
- offshore renewable energy
- satellite applications
- transport systems
- future cities
- precision medicine
- medicine technologies
They are overseen by Innovate UK and join entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists with state-of-the-art facilities that allow them to create new products and services.
A new application programming interface (API) created by Bristol City Council will provide easy and free access to a huge wealth of transport data in one place, making it possible for innovative technologies to be developed.
The Bristol API (Transport) supports the Council’s approach to opening up data sets, as it already does through the Bristol Open Data portal and is being further developed by the Bristol Is Open project. The wider aim is to work with the tech community to explore ways to use and present the data framed around relevant and actual transport challenges in the city.
A transport-themed Challenge Event at Watershed on Saturday 23 January from 10:00-17:30 is offering £1,000 worth of customised app design assets from creative agency Big Mallet for the best application using the API from app and software developers, as well as the broader tech community.
The new web-based service has been specifically designed to provide information such as live bus and train times, stop locations, route maps and other data. Developers interested in building apps, websites, connected devices or even customer information displays will be able to use transport data for Bristol and the West of England region completely free for the next year.
The Bristol API is not restricted to public transport as it also gives instant updates on occupancy in local car parks as well as electric vehicle charging locations. It is currently possible to provide live statistics on bicycle dock availability in London and New York, meaning the API will be attractive to developers who have global success in their sights and further adding to the benefits of The Bristol API.
The council’s City Innovation team appointed UrbanThings earlier this year to develop the API. UrbanThings is the company behind the successful BusChecker app, which has been downloaded more than two million times worldwide and has received significant critical acclaim. The Innovation team are therefore confident that this collaboration will be hugely beneficial for Bristol citizens and businesses.
“The introduction of the Bristol API (Transport) is a huge step for Bristol City Council and could improve predicted timings as well as help with journey planning for the public,” said Stephen Hilton, Director of Bristol Futures. “Using data in this way shows how the council is actively trying to tackle the challenges in the city by collaborating with the tech community and leaders in the industry such as UrbanThings.”
“UrbanThings is delighted to be harnessing the Internet of Things to empower intelligent mobility,” said Director of UrbanThings Carl Partridge. “We were delighted to be selected to provide this cutting-edge API and we’re hoping that developers and engineers are inspired to build some amazing innovations. We look forward to working with them to further enhance the API and help Bristol become a world-leading Smart City.”