Scottish companies develop new technology that monitors railways

Based in Edinburgh Machines with vision partnered with product development specialists Large blue develop a new device that helps railways monitor track conditions more effectively.

The device is said to be 100 times more accurate than GPS and can operate in harsh environments such as tunnels. It uses cameras and sensors mounted on the train to create a map of the ground beneath the train providing accurate data as to the location of the train; the system can capture and process images up to 200 km / h with millimeter precision.

Complex algorithms and machine learning are then used to analyze the collected data. The benefit for railways is an inexpensive and efficient way to collect data to optimize maintenance.

However, one hurdle they had to overcome was to obtain EMC compliance and rail regulatory approval for the product prototype. For help, they turned to Glasgow-based product development company Wideblue.


Wideblue implemented a redesign of a key aspect of the system based on the results of an internal investigation and exploratory testing. Support was also provided for subsequent re-testing, allowing the product to be certified for full regulatory compliance.

Mark Sansom, Project Manager at Wideblue, said: “It was essential that Machines with Vision equipment did not interfere with other systems on the train.

After investigating certain malfunctions and identifying the root cause, we redesigned the main power supply to the system to make it compliant with railway regulatory standards for electromagnetic emissions and immunity.

“Some mechanical modifications were also undertaken to accommodate the new power supply design and ensure that a robust solution was provided to Machines With Vision. “

Machines With Vision co-founder and CTO Tim Lukins added: “It has been a good experience working with the Wideblue team. We’re not EMC compliance rules experts, so it was great to have a partner with a detailed understanding of regulations, product design, and electronics to resolve the issue.

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