Hi-tech team to tackle electronic 'bugs'

A START-UP company developing technology which could help prevent a host of problems with electronic equipment has set up an office at Essex University.

A START-UP company developing technology which could help prevent a host of problems with electronic equipment has set up an office at Essex University.

Ultrasoc Technologies, a university spin-out started in 2005, is developing systems to iron out problems with bugs in electronic systems before they leave the manufacturers.

It is working in partnership with Essex University's computer science department on the new technology, which is already attracting interest from car manufacturers.

Three staff at the university, including the firm's technical director and founder Dr Klaus McDonald-Maier, work part-time for the company.

Electronic equipment from cars and planes to washing machines and mobile phones were prone to develop technical problems due to bugs in their electronic systems. The company was developing software and hardware to help solve the problems, explained Dr McDonald-Maier.

“It's very likely to have a significant impact. We are talking to car system manufacturers that are very interested in the things we are looking at,” he said.

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“We are building systems and technologies that basically prevent those faults from happening.”

He welcomed the partnership with the university as “absolutely excellent”.

“There is significant equipment and experts at Essex that will basically help us to move forward and in return, Essex will get quite a bit of exposure to Ultrasoc's activity,” he said.

“We are very pleased to open our new office at Essex which will complement our commercial offices at Cambridge and on the Canterbury Enterprise Hub at Canterbury.”

He pointed out that the cost of the bugs, most commonly caused by human error, cost a huge amount. In the US, it was estimated they cost its economy around $60billion per year, he pointed out.

“This is a very exciting time for the company. We are developing useful technology which is receiving real interest from both academia and industry.”