D-RISQ – AUTOMATIC HIGH ASSURANCE SOFTWARE VERIFICATION TECHNOLOGIES
D-RisQ is a leading high-tech UK company specialising in producing software and systems verification technologies based in Malvern, Worcestershire – the home of one of the UK’s newest high technology business clusters.
Since 2012, the company has built an expert team of software consultants, analysts and developers to help “change the way the world does software”. By bringing advanced automated software verification tools to safety-critical, security-critical and business-critical system developers, they enable substantial savings in the time and cost of software development.
Easy Engineering: Tell us about your company and what types of services do you offer?
Albert Einstein said: “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.” We have a suite of software development tools which solve problems early on in the software development process and so avoid costly overruns. D-RisQ is a high-tech company based in Malvern, Worcestershire, UK, specializing in the development of software and systems verification technologies for safety critical systems such as those found in aerospace and autonomous vehicles. Situated in a region known for its technological advancements, D-RisQ continues the legacy of innovation. Since 2012, D-RisQ has created a team of expert mathematicians, computer scientists, consultants, analysts, and developers with the goal of “changing the way the world does software.”
E.E: What are newest products in your range?
Fever® is a novel solution to code translation challenges. Using formal proofs, it ensures compilers accurately transform source code to executables, enhancing code integrity. It reduces testing costs, speeds up development, and achieves compliance effortlessly. It can be adapted to formal methods or test-oriented workflows. System Kapture tackles the persistent challenge of cost overruns in software development. By addressing the root causes of vague, ambiguous, and subjective system requirements, it empowers developers to create clear, concise, and well-defined specifications.
Both products are due to be formally completed late 2023.
E.E: Which are the most innovative / trending products and what special features do they have?
Our tools focus on different parts of the development pathway for complex and safety critical software systems, as can be seen in the diagram. They are as follows: Kapture®. This innovative software aims to address the challenges related to software requirements. It assists developers in creating clear, unambiguous, and well-formed software requirements, thus reducing subjective reviews and mitigating issues that could lead to cost overruns in the software life cycle. Modelworks® which automates design verification for Simulink and Stateflow. It addresses the challenge of ensuring compliance of designs with requirements, offering preparatory automated checks. It isolates compliance issues and relates them to specific parts of the design and corresponding requirements. The results are presented in an engineer-friendly format, facilitating efficient problem-solving.
CLawZ® offers automated code generation and verification, eliminating the need for manual unit testing. It ensures that code generated from Simulink/Stateflow designs conform to design standards and coding standards, enhancing software reliability. It also provides evidence for certification in regulated industries and aligns with D-RisQ’s focus on comprehensive verification for safety critical systems.
E.E: How important are these features for the users in their work?
Kapture® addresses issues like ambiguity and subjectivity, ensuring clear and well-formed requirements, which improves project management and regulatory understanding, resulting in accurate software outcomes and cost savings.
Modelworks® enables early error detection, minimizing costly iterations in later development stages. It allows design exploration, optimizing maintainability and efficiency for future coding.
CLawZ® features independent automatic code verification of autocode and conformance to standards, which are essential for ensuring code quality and correctness. It eliminates the need for manual unit tests and streamlines the verification process. Its integration with Modelworks® and Kapture® forms a comprehensive toolchain that saves time and effort while providing a clear path to regulatory compliance.
Aside from the facility of use, this software suite has been shown to decrease software development costs by 50-80%.
E.E: How do your new products / services differ from others on the market?
Our genesis emerged from a project that harnessed Formal Methods, to produce a unique set of software tools which independently verify behaviours in high level aviation software. Though specialist and defence-specific, we saw its potential for broader application. D-RisQ was founded in 2012 to commercialize and extend this technology. Our goal is clear: to revolutionize software development by providing accessible, automated, and comprehensive verification solutions across diverse industries.
Our tools resolve the persistent software challenges seen in industry, exemplified by major brands encountering software-induced predicaments. By ensuring compliance with international standards, these tools offer tangible proof of adherence across sectors such as aerospace, medical devices, nuclear, automotive, cyber security and autonomous systems.
In an era of escalating complexity and interconnectedness, embedded software size has grown immensely and the ability to make software development agile remains a challenge. D-RisQ’s innovative tools enable seamless adaptation by automating code and hardware changes, eliminating arduous and costly retesting. This addresses a core issue constituting nearly 40% of project costs for compliance-driven systems.
E.E: Tell us about research and development in your company.
D-RisQ is at the forefront of a number of projects such as applying advanced software technologies to an innovative autonomous sea vessel project, a collaboration with Deep Vision in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, backed by funding from Innovate UK and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). The goal is to create autonomous capability for long-range marine navigation and survey and D-RisQ’s high-assurance control software significantly contributes to the vessel’s safe operation, ensuring dependable behaviour even in critical scenarios.
D-RisQ has also been working in a consortium comprising Rovco, Forth, Thales, University of Manchester, and the National Oceanography Centre, focusing on autonomous underwater systems. The result is small, hover-capable Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) with enhanced autonomy, designed for intricate tasks like inspections, coring, and more and spanning industries such as oil & gas, nuclear, and offshore exploration. Integrating the D-RisQ software into the AUV has proved seamless, with the system flawlessly avoiding obstacles during trials, earning praise from an experienced operator. Tests with Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) have been equally successful in a collaboration with leading aviation company, Callen Lenz.
E.E: What impact has product innovation on your customers?
Our products allow clients to develop their own state of the art products with high functionality and safety margins, which are compliant to relevant regulations such as DO-178C/DO-333 (aviation) and ISO26262 (automotive). This allows them to be involved in high level safety critical and complex projects either with us as partners or using our toolset.
E.E: What new products / solutions are you going to launch in the future?
Aside from moving into new sectors, such as the medical sector, in the future, we will be launching innovative products and solutions aimed at addressing the challenges of assuring the behaviour of autonomous vehicles, particularly in the context of safety and regulatory compliance.
One of the major issues with autonomous vehicles is the lack of persistence and when plans fail a human is required to replan a mission. D-RisQ has developed a robust, verified means of real-time replanning on-board the vehicle removing the need for human intervention in many scenarios. The approach is scalable and can be applied in vehicles where communications are difficult, such as underwater, and will enable the vehicle to autonomously update plans to achieve the set task.
Through these advancements, we’re paving the way for safer and more reliable autonomous vehicle technology. Our solutions offer a practical means to ensure desired behaviour, satisfy regulatory requirements, and ultimately enhance the overall performance of autonomous vehicles and swarms.
E.E: What industries do you think will grow in 2024?
In 2024, industries poised for growth include autonomous systems, specifically unmanned vehicles on land, in the air and underwater. The focus has shifted from AI-hype to addressing limitations and building trust. PwC estimates drones alone, could contribute £45 billion to the UK economy by 2030, creating jobs, reducing emissions, and saving costs.
E.E: What products/solutions do you provide for these industries?
Our cutting-edge solutions, Kapture®, Clawz®, Modelworks®, and shortly System Kapture and Fever®, have been created to allow software developers to elevate their design of complex and critical systems in a completely user friendly way. With a focus on safety and regulatory compliance, we offer developers and regulators alike a clear path to understanding and verifying those systems. As the demand for complex software systems continues to surge, our approach addresses critical challenges, enabling clients to navigate the intricate landscape of safety assurance with confidence, while contributing to the sustained growth of these expanding sectors.
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