In the previous blog in this manufacturing series we went through the top 10 British inventions, as voted for by the public. Now, we would like to take a step out of the past and see what is happening currently. What are the innovations that will come to define this period to the future generations? Magma Digital have selected three that we find particularly exciting:
Raspberry Pi – A new take on computing
Raspberry Pi is a very small computing device, roughly the size of a credit card. Its raison d’etre is to enable computer programming and encourage the creativity of the user. It was invented by 4 academics at the University of Cambridge as an educational tool enabling users to learn the basics of coding.
In 2008, they founded the U.K.-based Raspberry Pi Foundation, a registered educational charity with the mission “to advance the education of adults and children, particularly in the field of computers, computer science and related subjects.” In 2012, manufacturing was moved from China back to Britain and the manufacturing plant is an award-winning factory.
A revolution in prosthetics
An amazing breakthrough has been made in the field of prosthetics, with new technology allowing the world’s most advanced bionic limb to be manufactured. It is called the “I-limb” and all the products are assembled by hand in Scotland. The latest iteration is the “i-limb ultra revolution”.
The prosthesis contains more than 250 custom-designed components and has 5 digits capable of moving independently, with a thumb that can automatically rotate. It is the first upper limb prosthetic that can be controlled via a mobile app and this project forms part of the burgeoning digital health trend.
New technology for mining under the sea
Could the world be about to experience its next gold rush? The International Seabed Authority has chosen British company Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) to develop and build equipment suitable for mining in the subsea environment. SMD is a Newcastle based company that leads in the specialist subsea manufacturing field.
With easy-to-reach mineral supplies becoming depleted, mining on the seafloor is becoming more of a necessity. The high-tech seafloor mining tools will be able to operate at water depths of 2.5km and are remotely operated by pilots on a ship at the sea-surface. One of the first licenses to have been issued is for the seabed off Papua New Guinea and this could be the catalyst for a widespread deep-sea mining trend.
There are a whole host of amazing projects that will advance people’s lives being worked on as we speak. Please let us know what you are excited about in the comments below.
The last blog of this series will look at the topical skills gap in the manufacturing industry. How is the industry going to address the lack of talent needed for the sector to thrive in the UK? Upon conclusion of this series we will start to explore certain key topics through in-depth feature blogs e.g. smart manufacturing/industry 4.0 and fracking.
N.B. The three projects selected were chosen from the “Pioneering Great British Products” magazine produced by the EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation.