Date published: September 08, 2016
Things you may not know about Salford University
Sssshhh…we have one of the world's quietest rooms
While university life is rarely quiet, at Salford you can experience some real quiet, and I mean real quiet – as we have one of the quietest rooms in the world inside one of our buildings!
Sound levels in our anechoic chamber total at around minus twelve decibels, pretty impressive when you consider that the average human’s hearing threshold is zero decibels. It is used to test very quiet products or to measure people’s ability to hear very quiet sounds. Interestingly, in 2003 researchers used the chamber to disprove the theory that a duck’s quack has no echo.
To prevent sounds entering from outside, the chamber is actually a room within a room and sits on the kind of rubber springs that the Bridgewater concert hall in Manchester is built on. Soft foam wedges are lined from floor to ceiling to remove any sound reflections or echoes.
We’ve made robotic human hands!
We’ve all dreamed about having our much-needed cup of coffee brought to us in the morning haven’t we? No? Ah well, just me then. Anyway, our robotics department could be leading the way after developing human-like hands which can grasp, turn, push and work just like ours.
As well as being specialists in developing ‘soft robotics’, we are also working to secure a more efficient, more green future for production lines, particularly in the food industry and aerospace.
We’re also making our very own imprint in the world of health. This began back in 2013, when Researcher Antonio Espingardeiro developed a robot that could remind elderly people to take medication and exercise, answer questions and even tell them jokes.
Soon we plan to take this even further, when we install 24/7 robotic ‘nurses’ into the homes of elderly people in partnership with Salford Royal Hospital Trust. The ‘robotic’ nurse will be able to monitor the movement and routine of ‘at risk’ people and trigger alarms to inform the hospital of anything of concern.
Our Sport Analytics Machine goes up against Mark Lawrenson every week
Our Sport Analytics Machine takes on ex-Liverpool and Republic of Ireland player Mark Lawrenson every week, as they both predict the weekend’s Premier League scores on BBC Sport and Football Focus.
Developed by Professor Ian McHale and Tarak Kharrat, the machine takes into account multiple factors to come up with its weekly predictions, such as recent results, which team is at home, the strength of teams that both sides have played as well as the quality and the form of the players on the pitch.
The machine uses a series of algorithms and is able to forecast the results of a variety of sporting fixtures, although currently it is adapted to focus on the top flight of English football.
Our Energy House received praise from Jeremy Corbyn
Praised by Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn as an ‘exciting and ambitious’ development that could help improve housing efficiency and tackle fuel poverty, our Energy House is the only brick construction in an environmental chamber in the world and the only full-scale house inside a test facility in Europe.
The Energy House has been designed and developed to allow leading academics and researchers to conduct scientific research, to improve the energy efficiency of hard to treat properties, in collaboration with industry.
This includes the development and testing of new materials, systems and products as well as looking at behaviour change associated with the adoption of energy efficiency measures in the home.
The Energy House has real-life external weather conditions, with rain (up to 200m each hour) able to fall on the house, wind up to 10m/s able to blow on the house and temperature able to rise and fall, from -12ºC to +30ºC.