Custom sensor development
Off-the-shelf sensors span a huge range of functions and price points, but circumstances often demand a new type of measurement or manufacturing approach.
Our custom sensor development covers everything from high-reliability sensing for ultra-harsh environments to low-cost, low-power consumer devices.
With a broad range of expertise and an impartial, technology agnostic approach, we work across the whole spectrum of sensing, selecting the optimum solution for the challenge at hand. Our work in the sensing space includes physical modelling (computational flow dynamics and finite element), analysis for new sensing principles and developing innovative machine vision and machine learning systems for robotics, agriculture and industry.
High-performance, low-cost sensors
The availability of cheap yet powerful microcontrollers and GPUs has enabled much more value to be derived from commodity parts such as CMOS cameras, accelerometers and magnetic sensors.
Through value engineering of established designs, and by using novel DSP algorithms to extract more data, we are able to deliver huge leaps forward in performance while reducing costs.
Classical to cutting-edge
Our sensing experience spans classical physics and electronics through to the latest deep learning techniques. This is underpinned by a keen understanding of the physical and commercial fundamentals that make finished products competitive and efficient.
Our sensing expertise is spread across our Boston, MA and Cambridge, UK offices. While our Boston team has particularly strong mechatronic skills, our Cambridge team leads the way in algorithms and large system integration.
Tech, tools & facilities
Our chemistry labs provide dedicated facilities for industrial, consumer, food chemistry and fluidics research and development. Our microfluidics lab features specialist equipment including our Plant Design Management System (PDMS), Spraytec laser diffraction droplet size analyser and Matersizer particle size analyser. Meanwhile, our beverage lab and wet and dry labs cater for the unique requirements of rapid food-safe prototype development.
Food & beverage lab
Specifically set up to meet the unique requirements of developing food- and beverage-safe systems, our dedicated lab means we have the necessary procedures and equipment in place to design and test new products in-house. Quantitative and scientific testing is fundamental to our science-led innovation approach, but ultimately taste tests are always needed. This is our only lab where the consumption of food and drink is not just allowed but essential!
Our flexible, responsive and agile manufacturing facilities are ideally suited to electronic and electromechanical product builds, enabling us to very quickly set up short product runs built to an extremely high quality. We can build our own PCBAs using industrial representative equipment and ensure manufacture-ability during design. Having our own EPD facility is also extremely helpful in development, driving out DfX activities in eCAD, and feeding test results back into the design process from an early stage.
Our suite optics labs enable us to build complex and high-precision optical layouts, typically for testing prototype designs and novel techniques prior to deployment. Featuring six high-spec optical benches with configurable interlocked controlled areas for high-power (class 4) laser work and specialist facilities for interferometry, spectroscopy, low-noise fluorescence imaging and photon counting. This space can be split into separate laser-controlled areas, allowing multiple experiments to run simultaneously, giving our optical engineers the capability to develop creative solutions without instrumentation restrictions.
Our electronic and mechanical prototyping workshops allow us to produce technically credible prototypes that bring ideas to life and offer a powerful demonstration of their value. All while maintaining extremely high standards of quality that conform to ISO 9001, ISO 13485 and ISO 14001 regulations. Using the latest CNC and milling machines, lathes, welding gear and wire harness and cable assembly tools, we are able to produce parts very quickly and assemble full-scale working prototypes for testing and consumer trials.
We use a range of specialist software for model-based design and simulation. These include MathWorks Matlab and Simulink (including automated code generation and GPU acceleration), dSPACE for model based design, hardware in the loop testing and development of mechatronic systems, and CFD solutions including COMSOL Multiphysics for multiphase flow simulation. Finite element packages like ANSYS Maxwell and HFSS, CST Studio and Microwave Office are used for full-wave, transmission line and magnetostatic simulation. We also employ a dedicated compute cluster for machine learning, neural network training and continuous verification.
Paving the way for low-cost, real-time sensing for smart buildings and smart cities, using machine vision and a low-cost processing platform
Map-based indoor navigation
AXSIS demonstrates the possibilities of intelligent robotic design – robots that are dramatically smaller yet significantly more capable than existing surgical equipment.
Developing biology-based sensors as a cost effective, long-term solution for monitoring environmental public health risks
News & insights
Can Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or “drones”) ever mix safely with existing air traffic? Recent news suggests that the Federal Aviation Authority in the US thinks so...
- Radio systems
Robotics in agriculture face complex challenges when it comes to dealing with speciality produce such as fruits and vegetables. Niall Mottram demonstrates an actuator that senses the pressure...
- Mechanical engineering
- Signal processing
I’ve just got back to the office from a very interesting workshop looking to address the challenge of delivering rapid microbial testing in cell and gene products...
- Synthetic biology
Farming needs to become smarter, to meet global food demand, protect the environment and combat commercial pressures. Advanced sensing technologies and data analytics can make farms more efficient...
- Data science & analytics
The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit 2018 is a key platform for us to showcase our capabilities in how we can help you commercialise technology quickly in the Agri-Tech world.
We can help you achieve the impossible