Enterprise Ireland recently announced that Nimbus Research Centre was one of 43 successful applicants for their €6 million Capital Equipment Fund. The winners were chosen based on a strong track record of industry engagement, a significant industrial need for the new equipment, and space to service and maintain the equipment according to international standards.
Nimbus Research Centre has, for years, focused on remaining at the forefront of innovation by maintaining an ecosystem of information and technology that will enrich society and transform industry. This mission has now become a more fruitful reality with the Capital Equipment Fund.
So what will Nimbus do with the money? The future seems to be focused on Augmented and Virtual reality. Nimbus proposes to develop an infrastructure consisting of VR/AR/MR Reality technologies for the purposes of supporting and growing our innovation capacity to service the needs of industry 4.0 client requirements. It is envisaged that Nimbus will develop a dedicated and adaptable AR/VR/MR innovation lab which will be used as immersive environment optimally suited towards industry 4.0 digital transformation strategy needs, which cover a broad range of applications and use cases covering learning, simulation training, measuring operational effectiveness, equipment/facilities maintenance and safety monitoring to name just a few.
The AR/VR/MR innovation lab will be a dedicated, safely monitored environment where Nimbus and Industry partners can creatively explore, design, develop and test the latest advancements in AR/VR/MR technologies, concentrated upon solving the needs of Industry 4.0. Within industrial and manufacturing domains there is a growing demand for VR/AR/MR applications as to resolve the many challenges faced towards improving operational effectiveness balanced with ensuring high safety regulations and standards are met. There are examples of reputable companies whom have published positive results, which have demonstrated the potential to be garnered from AR.
In an Industry 4.0 context the use cases which will thrive, are those generating the highest value, enabling clients to avoid risks, issues and downtime whilst optimizing the end-to-end manufacturing process and workflows in the best possible way. This offers productivity and satisfaction to the experience of field engineers, factory workers, customers and stakeholders.
Through Design Thinking, (A user centred research and design methodology) workshops will be facilitated by Nimbus researchers in collaboration with industry 4.0 stakeholders. Taking a more collaborative and co-creative approach with our industry partners, industry 4.0 experiences (e.g. learning, simulation training, operations, safety etc…) can be designed and constructed more attentively according to needs identified. This includes defining a digital transformation strategy. Furthermore, immersive simulation experiences will be custom-built designed and developed by Nimbus staff (AR/MR/VR developers, multimedia designers, software developers, systems integrators etc…) based upon requirements gathered from design thinking workshops.