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Innovative New Device to Help Anglers

10 December 2015

Fish Spy in action

The ASTUTE Team at Cardiff University were approached by a local company seeking assistance to develop an innovative new product. Cardiff University engineers worked in partnership with local companies to develop the product which is now bringing additional business to the manufacturing industry in Wales, and is providing an extra dimension to the sport of fishing.

The technology behind the new product, Fishspy, an underwater recording device for recreational anglers, was worked on as part of the Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies (ASTUTE) Project at the School of Engineering. It represents the latest in a string of successes for the project, which brought together leading experts from all of Wales’ universities. It has provided support to over 250 Welsh enterprises, and has now resulted in 342 separate products, processes or services being launched.

BVG Airflo approached the ASTUTE team who tested a number of possible options for the design and production of the Fishspy product. Once a suitable technology had been identified the collaborators worked in partnership with the award-winning Newport manufacturer Axiom to refine the manufacturing process for the finished product. A number of other companies were also involved in the design and production of the device including local company Drumlord, who provided design and prototyping support. BVG Airflo placed a large order with Axiom and will be shipping the units to customers in time for Christmas, meaning that innovation developed by the School has helped provide another economic boost for the local area.

FishSpy provides a live feed of the underwater environment direct to a smartphone or tablet, allowing the behaviour of fish to be observed from the waterside. The live video is provided via Wi-Fi connection between the camera and the viewing device, meaning it does not require an internet connection or even phone signal. Despite its small size, it can record up to seven hours of footage and has over four hours of battery life.

The product has a potentially enormous customer base, with around 4 million people estimated to participate in fishing in the UK alone. Retailing online of course opens up an even larger global market, including an estimated 40 million anglers in the United States.

The ASTUTE project which was completed earlier this year, was a multidisciplinary project involving the School of Engineering and the Cardiff Business School, as well as the seven other Welsh Universities. It has been judged to have had an economic impact ‘well in excess of £200M’ in Wales. This represents an eightfold return on the money invested in ASTUTE from the European Regional Development Fund, which was awarded through the Welsh Assembly Government.

A clip of Fishspy in action can be viewed here.

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