Real Space virtually transforms manufacturing

Posted on 11 Oct 2017 by Jonny Williamson

North West-based start-up, Real Space, has revealed plans to bring a virtual reality experience to the Liverpool City Region to bolster its manufacturing offering.

Translucent prototype enclosure for SingleReality headset optics (illustrated on child's head) - image courtesy of Real Space.
Translucent prototype enclosure for SingleReality headset optics (illustrated on child’s head) – image courtesy of Real Space.

With backing from business support programme, LCR 4.0, Real Space will develop a ‘Single Reality’ optical headset that works by using innovative optical design to change the perceptual information received by the wearer, adding depth of field to a 2D image or video.

The immersive headset, which will give users a virtual reality experience via a normal device, has the potential to benefit many aspects of manufacturing, including detailed inspection of components or reduction of eye strain in certain complicated procedures.

Through the LCR 4.0 innovation hub, Sensor City has been working with Real Space to provide access to academic and industrial collaboration, as well as the latest technologies. Skills offered by LCR 4.0 have also provided Real Space with a number of computer-aided designs which have inspired its own team and could prove critical when seeking additional funding.

Backed by the Department Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the European Regional Development Fund, Sensor City is a joint venture between Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool, and is one of four University Enterprise Zones (UEZs) in the country.

Sensor City will help Real Space to develop the design and aesthetic of its working concept that could lead to a ‘market ready’ design for a number of industries. The design will also be tested and calibrated in Sensor City’s optics lab later in the development process.

LCR 4.0 technical lead, Dr Andy Levers explained: “The innovative ‘Single Reality’ concept that Real Space is developing offers real benefits for the manufacturing sector in the Liverpool City Region, and opens us up to national and international investment and partnerships.

Rob Black, CEO, Real Space.
Rob Black, CEO, Real Space.

“Not only that, but it’s a perfect demonstration of how Industry 4.0 technologies can have a real impact on industries, namely manufacturing in this case.”

CEO of Real Space, Rob Black commented: “Since moving into Sensor City and being part of the LCR 4.0 programme, I have been really inspired by not only the investment in facilities, but also the approach to academic and industrial collaboration.

“We now have access to hi-tech equipment meaning we can 3D print our ‘Single Reality’ model in over 20 materials, explore it in virtual reality, project it into context in augmented reality and use remote collaboration to visualise the model.”

Part of the Liverpool City Region Local Growth Hub, the LCR 4.0 programme is being delivered in partnership by some of the region’s key knowledge and scientific assets: the University of Liverpool’s Virtual Engineering Centre; Liverpool John Moores University (Faculty of Engineering and Technology); the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Hartree Centre; the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LCR LEP), and Sensor City.

The UK’s biggest digital manufacturing show!

Liverpool and the North West’s advanced manufacturing is in the spotlight as the region plays host to 4,000 manufacturers from across the country at The Manufacturer Smart Factory Expo.

The UK’s largest standalone Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) expo coincides with the government’s much anticipated Industrial Strategy, and features:

  • Dedicated Exhibition Zones – Industrial Automation, Digital Transformation, Smart Factories, Industrial Internet
  • Free conference content – Close to 100 presentations from world-class manufacturers and technology experts over two days
  • Innovation Alley – lifting the lid on the UK’s manufacturing tech start-up scene
  • Hack & Pitch – real engineers, tackling real problems, in real time!