A new place to test smart sensors

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// The Living Lab at UWA launched as a one-stop hub for WA-based innovators who are seeking to test new smart sensing products.

Innovators in the Mining Equipment, Technology & Services (METS) sector have a new support service at UWA to help bridge the gap between development and deployment for Internet of Things (IoT) products through testing and trials.

Startups and SMEs with smart sensor systems or devices can look to accelerate the path to their customers by using equipment on campus to simulate real or near real-world testing environments.

Recognising a major obstacle to deploying a new IoT product to a plant or mine site is the inability for METS innovators to demonstrate they meet required product and site access standards, the Living Lab provides a roadmap for accelerated life testing and derisking site trials.

This Living Lab is looking to accelerate commercialisation of Western Australian METS companies’ products, and provide a valuable link between industry and universities by making students and facilities available to assist local companies and support innovation.

Some of the Living Lab team (Source: METS Ignited)

The support team comprises of leading engineering students from the System Health Lab at UWA and campus facilities management. The support team designs, builds and executes bespoke testing equipment and tests products by generating realistic failure modes in an accelerated time scale.

The service includes procedures and legal agreement templates to enable testing and deployment. Prof. Melinda Hodkiewicz, asset management leader, BHP Fellow for Engineering for Remote Operations at UWA and Director of the UWA System Health Lab explained at the launch.

“System testing, evaluation and validation are a vital part of a product’s development life cycle, however few organisations retain in-house capability to do this. With the Living Lab, we are establishing a community to support these tests, by connecting the university’s students, professional staff and equipment to our local METS innovators,” said Prof. Melinda Hodkiewicz.

“Furthermore, we are providing our students with work-integrated learning supported by METS partners, the CORE innovation ecosystem and UWA’s professional staff. We want to share these outcomes by replicating our Living Lab model at other test sites and universities in the future.”

At the launch event the student project team presented the advanced research equipment and facilities available, the technical and commercially critical processes and challenges supported, and a recent case study where the lab completed a testing program for a major miner.

Expressions of interest from companies seeking support are open via the Living Lab website https://livinglabproject.com/.

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Main image source: Microsoft News