Tens of thousands of people are this summer visiting Renishaw’s Gromitronic, one of the ground-breaking interactive sculptures featured in the first interactive trail of its kind, Gromit Unleashed 2. Organised by The Grand Appeal, the 67-sculpture trail is raising money for Bristol Children’s Hospital and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Michael’s Hospital, Bristol. Renishaw’s interactive Gromit can be found at M Shed in Bristol until Sunday September 2nd, 2018.
Gromitronic is one of three interactive ‘Trailblazer’ sculptures on the trail, the first of their kind in the world. A team of young engineers from Gloucestershire-based engineering company, Renishaw, including apprentices and graduates, designed and built Gromitronic with the help of Dave Collingwood, Principal Engineer, using a range of engineering skills and technologies, including software engineering, mechanical engineering, electronics and metal additive manufacturing (3D printing).
Visitors to the trail have the opportunity to interact with Gromitronic by touching his plasma ball nose, pressing buttons on his back and controlling the light sequence across the sculpture. Some features, such as his moving tail and collar were additively manufactured from titanium and aluminium powder using Renishaw’s machines. Visitors that look closely may also spot some additively manufactured Bristol landmarks, such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Bristol Cathedral, in the studs in Gromitronic’s collar.
Renishaw is one of three Trailblazers playing a role in making the trail a success. Gromitronic joins Gromjet, built by Rolls-Royce and A Grand Gromplication, built by engineers at the University of Bristol, as the only interactive figures of the 67 on show. Throughout the two months of the trail Renishaw employees are in attendance at M Shed to discuss the engineering technologies used in the creation of Gromitronic and careers within the engineering sector.