You may not realise it, but almost every industry relies on sensors. From the meat industry to medicine, from space to automotive, sensors are absolutely critical, which is why they form a key focus at the CoInnovate 2018 Collaboration PitStop, a workshop environment to explore topics of collaboration. The advancement from analogue, to digital, to high tech is being driven by enterprises just like Sensor City and the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology, both of which are sending speakers to reveal insight into the future of sensors at CoInnovate 2018.
Alison Mitchell of Sensor City and Dr Tim Cox of the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology are committed to solving real world problems through data, and we at CoInnovate are delighted to host them as part of our morning session examining ‘Future Tech’.
Sensor City prides itself on being ‘positioned at the intersection of industry and academia’, and acts as a global hub for sensor research, development, and commercialisation. Even aspects of life that you may not think could be sensed, such as fatigue management, are being explored and revolutionised.
Alison Mitchell, Executive Director at Sensor City, says: “The increase in IoT adoption means that sensor technology has also become part of our everyday lives, providing a vital link between technological devices and the world around us. Recognised as “indispensable and integral in digital ecosystems”, sensor technology is all around us and is capable of capturing everything from our heart rates and footsteps through to temperature and pressure.”
The Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology has been purposefully established to cultivate collaborations between academia and industry, with a drive towards ‘consolidating talents and experience from across a range of subject areas’ to advance understandings and practical outworking in sensor technology. The exact remit is as broad as the possibilities: from ‘the development of novel technology for detection and measurement of biological systems to the integration of biological systems into novel sensing technology’.
It can sometimes feel a little like science fiction, until you remind yourself that technology as simple as automatic sliding doors and as complex as iPads both gained their inspiration from fictional television show, Star Trek. For example, one of the projects currently being developed by the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology is bioluminescent bacteria, which will indicate contamination using gene editing to give a lovely yellow glow.
The applications for bio-sensing technology are as broad as the projects. Vapour sensing using electrochemical sensors can detect hams that haven’t cured correctly, and prostate cancer. The paramagnetic particle-based detection system utilises natural biological interactions to create a bio-security detector. Microbial fuel cells utilise chemical waste products to generate electrical energy to power remote sensors.
The results from both the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology and Sensor City are high technology products, but thanks to the interactions between academics and industry, they are creating real-world products that solve genuine problems. That is the essence of what CoInnovate 2018 strives to encourage, and both Tim and Alison will be speaking and contributing to panels at CoInnovate 2018 this year on the incredible advances – and as yet unsolved problems – in the world of sensors.