News: April 2017

First investigation of eye-tracking in Electronic Gaming Machine play

New research, funded by GambleAware used eye-tracking to investigate how machine players pay attention to Electronic Gaming Machine (EGM) displays in local bookmaker offices.

The research, conducted by Professor Robert Rogers and colleagues at Bangor University's School of Psychology is the first study to use eye-tracking to improve our understanding of how machine players pay attention to roulette and slot games in commercial settings. The study describes the distribution of visual attention towards the game features of roulette and slots, and offers methodology for studying and optimizing the timing, placement and content of harm-minimisation messaging. The data show that problem gamblers look less often at the roulette wheel while placing bets and while it spun, compared to non-problem gamblers, and tended to look away from the machine more frequently. By contrast, in slot games, problem gamblers looked more frequently at amount-won messages.

Publication date: 26 April 2017

Teaming up for cheaper energy from ocean tides

Oceanographers at Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences are launching a major project to study tidal turbulence at the Menai Strait in Wales. Just how can this project help reduce development costs, leading to cheaper energy from the tides?

Ocean energy represents a vast and largely untapped renewable energy resource. The global market for marine energy has been estimated to be worth around £76 billion between 2016 and 2050, according to numbers released by the Carbon Trust.

To access this source of energy, oceanographers at Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences have been awarded two major grants totalling £230k to study ocean turbulence. The aim is to help improve the design and operation of tidal energy capture devices.

Publication date: 25 April 2017

Zip World Triumph for Enterprising Students

Bangor University’s Enterprise by Design team are delighted to have pioneering company, Zip World as the commercial partner this year to provide the students with a meaningful challenge that actively seeks to contribute to the future success of the company.

Twelve multidisciplinary teams pitched for a stake in the £5,000 prize fund following ten weeks of working alongside postgraduate facilitators and academic specialists in a design-led process to tackle a real world design brief.

Publication date: 24 April 2017

RoboLlywydd and other Welsh Voices

Bangor University has created new tools for producing natural sounding synthetic voices in Welsh. They will be able to read aloud any Welsh text from a computer or mobile device. 

As part of the Macsen project, funded by the Welsh Government, a quick and easy method was devised for preparing prompts, recording individuals reading them aloud, and using information about Welsh sounds to build synthetic voices that sound very similar to the voice of the individual recorded.    

In the SeneddLab2017 event in Cardiff recently, the team for the Language Technologies UnitCanolfan Bedwyr had an opportunity to test this method, building a new voice in one hour to give oral information about the Welsh National Assembly, calling it ‘RoboLlywydd’ (‘RoboPresident’).

Publication date: 11 April 2017

The latest developments in solar energy to be highlighted at Bangor University

Bangor University's School of Electronic Engineering will host to the Solar Energy Society’s PVSAT 13 (Photovoltaic Science, Application and Technology) conference this month (5-7 April), bringing together the brightest and best scientists in the field of solar for the most important conference on solar energy research in the UK.

Around 5% of our electricity is produced from solar energy in the UK, with a 25% increase in solar energy production in recent years and a constantly reducing production cost, solar is one of the cheapest forms of energy production so the future looks bright for solar. It remains a popular research area in the science and engineering sector of UK universities.

Publication date: 3 April 2017