Tech Projects South West

6 amazing cutting-edge tech projects happening in the South West right now

Take your pick from driverless cars, smart city networks, invisible touch controls, 3D-printed artificial limbs and custom-built bikes, and multi-million pound motion-capture studios
19th July 2016

It’s been a busy few months – the cluster has grown, TechSPARK has grown, and there has been some amazing techie developments that have captured our attention. To celebrate, we have collected six of the most exciting tech projects happening in the Bristol and Bath area right now, all in one place, just for you:

Bristol Is Open

The smart city scheme brings internet of things tech, 5G networks and 3D visualisations of data to the South West. This project is one of the reasons behind Bristol being named as the smartest city outside London. The developments will have a direct positive effect on the locals and residents. You can read more about it here.

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Self-driving cars hitting the streets of Bristol

Venturer Cars consortium shows off its progress in bringing autonomous vehicles to the South West. TechSPARK was invited to the Williams F1 Advanced Engineering Centre to find out how they worked, and when they would be let loose on our busy roads. Read the full story here.

Venturer cars collage

Custom-built 3D printed bike

Additive manufacturing (basically 3D-printing using metal and other materials) and optimising simulation techniques help Robotbike.co to create “the best mountain bike frames possible”. This means you can input your measurements on a website and in a few seconds it designs the correct size and shape frame for you and then the connecting lugs of the frame are 3D-printed in titanium to your exact specifications.

TechSPARK saw how the bike was made and found out how recent advancements in technology and exciting collaborations have made this possible. And if you like, you can see our editor falling off it!

Robot bike gif
 

Ultrahaptics: invisible controls you can touch in mid-air

A new partnership with haptic and optic researchers Shinoda & Makino Lab, at the University of Tokyo, have allowed the Bristol-based startup to extend its innovation in mid-air haptics. Possibly, the most futuristic project to be happening in the South West right now. Read more about the exciting partnership here.

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Open Bionics: Robotics firm selected for Disney Accelerator programme

Affordable 3D-printed hands are making robotic prosthetics more accessible to amputees all over the world. This tech-for-good has captured attention stateside, and have received a rare package of investment with contributions from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and ESPN. Read more about Open Bionics’ journey across the pond here.

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CAMERA – Bath’s £5 million state-of-the-art motion capture studio

CAMERA uses motion capture tech to help in the fields of film, game VFX, health and sport, and they are looking for people to get involved. TechSPARK went along to their showcase event and got our hands on some of the very expensive equipment, including 10 linked 4K (ultra-high definition) cameras worth £7.5k each. You can read the full story here.

CAmera gif
 

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Alternatively, we exist in real life too! Why not come along to one of our friendly events? Join our Bath meetup group and/or our Bristol meetup group where you can often meet the people behind the projects, and TechSPARK’s roving reporters looking for tech things to shout about!