Belvoir Rail Showcases at the 2024 RIA Innovation Conference

It was an exciting few days for us at Belvoir Rail as we showcased our cutting-edge work at the 2024 RIA Innovation Conference. Held on the 26-27 March at the ICC in Newport, Wales, over 450 attendees from across the industry immersed themselves in keynote speeches, Tech Talks, Exhibitor Spotlights, TOC Pitch Sessions, and a captivating Future Focus Zone.

Now in its 14th year, the conference, hosted by the Railway Industry Association brought together entrepreneurs, rail professionals and innovators. With the theme 'Inspired by Innovating,' this year's conference underscored the pivotal role of innovation in shaping the future of the rail industry.

At the heart of the conference was the largest exhibition hall yet, featuring over 60 companies, including Belvoir Rail. Our stand was co-hosted with our partners from WMG - University of Warwick and highlighted some of the innovative solutions we're developing to address challenges in the rail sector.

Central to our exhibit were our remarkable robot inspection dogs, offering delegates a glimpse into their extraordinary capabilities. Alongside the endearing qualities of our robot dogs; jumping, running, dancing, sitting, rolling and even hand shaking, they have serious and powerful applications in rail.

Our robot dogs can be equipped with a variety of tools and sensors, enabling them to navigate and inspect rolling stock and railway infrastructure with exceptional detail. They can conduct visual inspections of train exteriors and perform detailed assessments of underframes, axles, and wheelsets. By doing so, these robots not only promote safer working practices for maintenance teams but also gather invaluable data on asset conditions. This data serves to enhance planning and maintenance procedures, and ultimately, enable better decision-making.

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We were thrilled to have one of the stands larger robot dogs join RIA Innovation Director, Milda Manomaityte on stage to kick off the event. It was truly an honour to showcase the ability and power of these innovative technologies.

Additionally, we demonstrated augmented reality headsets and their potential applications in depot settings. By projecting and overlaying drawings, parts and maintenance procedures, these headsets could provide maintenance teams with enhanced visualisation, empowering them to efficiently tackle tasks with precision and clarity.

We also shared our progress in areas such as leaf clearing and in-service infrastructure monitoring, emphasising our commitment to equipping maintenance teams with the best tools so they can focus on higher value tasks.

Commenting on the partnership, Mike Harmer, Chief of Strategic Operations at Belvoir Rail said "WMG - University of Warwick's engineering expertise has been invaluable in advancing our shared objectives and introducing fresh ideas. It has been a pleasure to showcase the projects we have been working on and we're committed to shaping a future where extraordinary innovation is the norm in rail."

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During a spotlight session led by our Managing Director, James, we shared insights into our innovation journey and its pivotal role in driving the industry forward. In an industry often associated with tradition, we recognise the imperative to harness innovation to fuel growth and productivity. We serve as a bridge between tradition and transformation, adopting an outside-in approach that begins by understanding the needs and challenges of both the industry and our customers.

Our participation in the 2024 RIA Innovation Conference has been exciting. We are thankful for the opportunity to engage with fellow industry leaders and showcase our innovative solutions. The enthusiasm displayed by attendees reaffirm our belief in the transformative potential of innovation within the rail sector and we remain committed to driving positive change and shaping a brighter future for the industry.