Rapid Research, Design and Prototyping Lab for Electronic, Digital, and AI Technologies

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Innovation Process

We work with you to identify challenges, generate better ideas, and develop and test initial prototypes.

Understand the Problem

Achieve Clarity. Separate symptoms and causes to clearly define the problem as a challenge to be addressed.

Generate New Ideas

Authentic Creativity. Be guided through rapid & challenging new concept creation.

Back the Winners

Gain Confidence. We perform structured analysis to test business value, technical feasibility and user reception of concepts to ensure we back a winner.

Innovation Sprints
We guide you through challenging and fast-paced sprints that will help you achieve problem clarity, generate an abundance of high-quality ideas, and efficiently translate those winning ideas into early prototypes.
Ideation Workshops
We prioritize the generation of ideas and the swift evaluation of their potential for user reception, business logic, and technical feasibility. Our workflows are designed with this core principle in mind, ensuring that every project benefits from a solid foundation of creativity and strategic planning.
LoFi Prototyping
We believe in the power of serious play, fast exploration, and experimentation with low-fidelity prototypes before moving on to formal prototyping.


We use a variety of real and virtual rapid prototyping approaches to turn concepts into working technology for exploration, testing, and validation with users. Our methods include everything from lego prototyping to advanced techniques like complex system simulation, real-time 3D, and digital technology demonstrators.

Electronics and Devices

From mobile and web applications to real-time networked embedded systems and semi-custom integrated circuits, our team at Catalyst has extensive experience in creating a wide range of digital technologies.

VR, AR and Synthetic Environments

We create highly detailed bespoke realtime 3D simulations based on complex real-world environments that enable future tech to be explored at vastly reduced risk and cost. Our synthetic environments are ideal for the development, training (gym), and test of Artificial Intelligence


Catalyst specialize in creating technology prototypes that leverage the power of AI and ML. We can help bring your vision to life with cutting-edge prototypes that demonstrate the potential of these exciting technologies.

User Testing

At Catalyst, we conduct a diverse range of user testing and experiments to ensure that your prototypes are user-centric and meet the needs of their intended audience. These include human factors and cognitive load investigation, technology exploration, and user reception tests

Digital Twins

Catalyst have years of experience in technology modeling at all levels of fidelity, ranging from behavioral to detailed system architecture and physics-based digital twin simulations. We believe in the importance of testing before building, allowing us to optimize designs and minimize risk.

HMI Design vs. Cognitive Burden
'Hire car in the loop' experiment using large format 3D environment and EEG 'brainwave' measurement to examine human response to changes in HMI design for road vehicles.

[1] Measuring the Cognitive Demands of In-Vehicle Dashboard and Centre Console Tasks. 2017 Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics.
Complex Urban Synthetic Environment (Catalyst SE2)
Detailed high rise environment and assets for virtual design, experiment and test activities that are not possible in the real world. Features environmental control including daylight and weather, traffic, bystanders, multiple manned and unmanned vehicles.
Novel Interface Methods
Multiple real and virtual interaction devices are used to interact with 3D world entities. In this example an unmanned air vehicle (UAV or drone) is controlled by a rifle based control panel. Other methods include gesture, voice, touch, mobile device as well as conventional control methods.
Vehicle Interface Rig
A rig for multiple team members to interact with a wide range of vehicles and cooperating entities such as air and ground robots, command and control, and virtual environment objects. The rig includes highly configurable 'force feedback' driving controls, hand controllers, touch screens, environmental sound system (loud!) and intercom.
Survivability Experiment
(Under Development) Synthetic Environment test of vehicle architecture (topology, function and recovery) against ballistic attack.
Publications: [1] Real-time simulation of a fragmenting explosion for cylindrical warheads: Journal of Defense Modeling and Simulation, JDMS 2020. [2] Real-time calculation of fragment velocity for cylindrical warheads: Defence Technology 2019.
Unmanned Vehicles Modelling
Catalyst SE2 synthetic environment contains an extensive set Unmanned Air and Ground Vehicle (UxV) models. The models can be controlled directly (human in the loop) or autonomously using a wide range of AI/ML approaches.
Electronic Architecture
Electronic architecture has long been a focus of the Catalyst team, with particular interest in experimentation with open standards such as DEFSTAN GVA 23-09.
Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
We use AI/ML for a wide range of applications, from controlling vehicles within our synthetic environments, to analysing our EEG data from our cognitive load experiments (publication pending). AI/ML is a core focus area.
Electronic Device Prototype - Blood O2 Wearable
We do electronic device prototyping, from generic embedded systems, to mobile device apps and wearables. Working with our global pharma client, we rapidly prototyped this bluetooth low energy blood O2 wearable and partner mobile app to improve quality of life of COPD patients.

Let's Get In Touch!

Ready to progress? Give us a call or send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


Catalyst Corporation. Sussex Innovation Centre, University of Sussex. BN1 9SB.