Headquartered in Basingstoke in the south of England with eight employees, RayFos Limited is active in the optical engineering and real-time processing systems domain. This innovative scientific software firm specializes in advanced signal processing system integration for a variety of measurement applications.
Established in 2012, RayFos provides state-of-the-art solutions tailored to the needs and business requirements of their demanding high tech clients. To do this, RayFos works in close collaboration with its clients in a systematic yet flexible manner to deliver tailored, high impact innovation in scientific applications. The team is comprised of a group of career professionals with a wide range of scientific software expertise, professional certification and special skill sets in a variety of related engineering fields. The company is well-known for its development of alpha prototypes which can transform innovations to applied technologies and eventually functional products. Currently, the company has been involved in 8 EU-funded research projects.
We met up with Vassilis Sarantos, the Chief Executive Officer at RayFos Limited to ask a few questions.
Please introduce yourself.
I am an Electrical and Computer Engineer working for more than 25 years in software and hardware development for numerous product development projects for the global market. My main research interests include real-time image/video processing, embedded system development, software development, medical imaging, and metrology system development. I am the founder of RayFos and I am passionate about transforming scientific research lab prototypes to commercial devices.
You have worked with iThera Medical on previous projects. Can you tell us the history of this successful working relationship?
I got involved in MSOT development back in 2009 when iThera was still a very young company and RayFos was not yet officially founded. iThera was looking for a team that could help mostly with the software development and data acquisition tasks of the pre-clinical MSOT system. For the first year or so it was just me, but soon we started growing as a team in order to cover the multiple aspects of the project needs. Hand-held detectors and requirements for clinical use called for serious real-time processing and imaging capabilities of the system. Since the beginning of the project, we are working closely with iThera on upcoming features of the product and we always try to engage early on the development cycle of those new features so as to provide feedback, while at the same time prepare the software architecture for these changes. This process builds mutual trust and prepares the two companies for the next round of innovation. I believe we have already had a few cycles of that and I hope we will see more in the years to come.
What are the first steps the company takes when taking on a new client or a new project like EUPHORIA?
This is a very good question. We start by trying to understand the priorities of the project and then by analyzing the points where our expertise can offer a bigger improvement. It goes without saying that in all metrology applications the first priority is the data integrity of acquired data, so actually, the prioritization of the project needs starts after that. Typically, people want to be able to acquire data safely “forever” and have a live feedback of their measurement, either if this is an image, a plot or any other metric that can be inferred by the data. This is where we start analyzing the input we receive by our project partners or clients. The activities we are involved include acquisition, storage, processing and presentation, but usually, priorities vary only on the last 2 steps. Once the project priorities become clear, we start the in-depth analysis of performance bottlenecks and we proceed with parallelization of tasks in the best possible way. And then we iterate the process until we meet the project goals.
EUPHORIA is based on the enhancement of an MSOT existing, working system. Which do you prefer: starting from a blank slate or taking an existing piece of technology and improving it for different purposes? Why?
Actually, I find both cases equally exciting and we have been involved in both types of projects successfully. In the first case, you have obviously more freedom to operate and you take more responsibility on design choices, while in the second case you have more constraints and you need to make an already working system even better. If I must definitely choose one case over the other, I would prefer starting from scratch because you have the full responsibility for your choices.
Thank you, Vassilis!