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Clearwell Caves – BatNav

Rob Olins first approached Cubik Innovation in the summer of 2018. Rob a sculptor working cross media, informed by Architecture, the Urban Environment, Landscape, acoustics and modern engineering techniques; with particular emphasis on achieving a high quality, crafted end result. Working on behalf of Clearwell Caves, his latest installation concentrated on the variety of bats that call the caves home, utilising funding from; the Arts Council, Foresters Forest and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The purpose of this new exhibit within the caves is to enable education on a bat’s ability to navigate the pitch-black caves using a sonar system called echo location. Rob had the idea after noting the similarities on this ability to the rear parking sensor in his car, and the idea was born.

BatNav Image
BatNav Image
BatNav Image

It was decided that a connected chain of sensors would be placed either side of one the cave passages, near where the bats roost. These sensors would be triggered as someone approached, sounding a repetitive beep that speeds up the closer they get. This enables the visitor to close one’s eyes and zig-zag through the tunnel without bumping into the wall, an achievement that managed to evade our lead engineer, Marijan, but one that seemed to be an achievable feat by the recent school class visits to the former Iron mines and natural cave system.

Having the exhibit live for around a month, and with much input and experimentation on proximity from Rob and his colleagues, the folk at Clearwell Caves are satisfied with the final set up with the sensors. Rob Olins deems the project successful, stating that his experience with Cubik was “really great, I gave the a challenge, which like many simple problems require complex solutions, which they solved, on time and within budget too!”

Cubik themselves really enjoyed working on the project, relishing the challenge of design such a system which had to survive the harsh conditions of the quote. Too top it off we were excited to be given the opportunity, not only to go and see the system working, but to have a private tour of the cave system, learning from all the other exciting exhibitions Clearwell Caves offers.




Adrian Schmieder of HiETA commented: “Cubik’s quick turn-around of a functioning PCB has sped the delivery of the project and enabled me to focus on areas of the project in which HiETA has expertise.  The project is a great success and produced valuable information even from its first use.  I am very impressed with the support Cubik provided me throughout the project, from initial concept through to PCB delivery.  I will not hesitate to engage with them again as future PCB projects arise.”


Speaking about the collaboration between Inductosense and Cubik Innovation, Founder and CTO Dr Chenghuan Zhong (Bamboo) stated: “It was great working with the knowledgeable and experienced team at Cubik Innovation. They always provide full support as well as useful and thoughtful advice to us, helping us find solutions for really difficult problems.”


Geoff Jones, Aquabar Inventor: “It was a pleasure to work with Cubik on our project. Paul and Sam understood the concept at one meeting, and produced a solution filling the brief within two weeks which has enabled us to find a potential partner. We will certainly use Cubik for our production units later in the year, Many thanks.”

Plymouth University

Paul Davey, Associate Professor (SL) Plymouth University: “If you need a prototype developed to a high standard and on time you would be hard pushed to find someone better. They have highly trained, experienced engineers who get the job done.”

Clean Energy Prospector Ltd

Damon Rand, Head Product Design: “Paul and the team have really helped us speed up the turnaround on our prototypes and assure the manufacturability of our designs. If you’re designing electronics in the South-West, then Cubik is a great choice for short-run manufacturing.”