Planes, trains, automobiles? Not quite yet: Factory 2050 in Sheffield, UK, isn’t building anything you can buy. Instead, the brains behind the project are rethinking the manufacturing process itself, aiming to change how we make everything from airplanes to nuclear power plants.
Inside the factory, things are looking a little unfinished. It opened in January, and the team from the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) are still moving in. The place is sparkling clean, and smells like a newly furnished IKEA, but it’s gearing up to change the way whole industries work by applying virtual reality, robotics and bitcoin’s blockchain.