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Planning for the future: Robotics roadmap workshops launching soon

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Planning for the future: Robotics roadmap workshops launching soon article image

Australia’s first Robotics and Computer Vision Roadmap is a ground-breaking document that provides industry and government with a valuable insight into Australia’s robotics sector.

Launched in 2018, the Roadmap is designed to inform policy and guide future research directions. It also assists with the development of new robotic and vision technologies required to support Australian industry in the future.

Led by the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision – with additional backing from Queensland University of Technology and Advance Queensland – the roadmap’s organisers aim to emulate the success of similar initiatives in the US and Europe.

The architect and driving force behind the document, Dr Sue Keay has announced plans to publish an updated version, incorporating latest research and new technologies.

Dr Keay is now mustering some of Australia’s sharpest minds in industry and robotics to take part in a series of workshops to be held across the nation.

The outcomes of those workshops will assist researchers in completing the revised Roadmap. 

Dr Keay, who now holds the position of Research Director – Cyber Physical Systems at CSIRO’s Data61 says the main priority is to increase the visibility of robotics in Australia.

“Unfortunately, few people are aware that Australia is good at developing robotics technologies,” she says. “That’s one of the main reasons robotics is often overlooked as a potential career choice.”

Call for contributions

Dr Keay says greater industry awareness will help to reverse the current trend of skilled researchers leaving Australia to take up positions in IT hubs overseas, such as Silicon Valley in the US.

“Hopefully, the new Roadmap will identify where we (Australia) need to be in five, 10 or 15 years time,” she says.

A workshop has been scheduled in Perth later this month and will be rolled out in key locations up until the end of May.Sue_Keay_IMG_4621

Input is being sought from companies in each location from various sectors – including resources, environment, manufacturing, services, healthcare and defence.

Challenges and benefits

Dr Keay says in the past, little was known about Australia’s robotics and computer vision industries and companies in this vital sector.

“As these, and related technologies mature, it is critical to understand and plan for the impact, challenges and the benefits they pose to our nation,” she says.

The second edition, which is expected to be completed early next year, will contain many new elements, including an expanded section on self-driving vehicles, says Dr Keay.

“While Australia no longer has an automobile industry, we must have technologies for next generation vehicles (such as LiDAR detection systems) that can fit into the global supply chain,” she says.

Dr Keay has released a draft timetable of workshops planned so far.

They include:

Resources

Co-chairs: Paul Lucey, Lauren Stafford, Lina Velosa

Perth, February 25

Manufacturing

Co-chairs: Phil Crothers, Saeid Nahavandi, Dana Kulic

Melbourne, March 10

Healthcare

Co-chairs: Ajay Pandey, Dimity Dornan, Robyn Stokes, Denny Oetomo, Olivier Salvado, Leonie Mulheran

Brisbane, March 12

Services (inc. Construction)

Co-chairs: Nathan Kirchner, Nicci Roussow

Sydney, April 2

Defence

Co-chairs: Jason Scholz, Michael Gan (Air Force), Robin Smith (Army), Paul Hornsby (Navy), Dr Marcus Hellyer. Senior Analyst. Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Canberra, April 23

Infrastructure

Co-chairs: Sarath Kapugoda, Nathan Kirchner + Tirtha

Sydney, April 30

Agriculture, Environment

Co-chairs: Elliot Duff/Peyman Moghadam, Stefan Williams, Chris Lehnert + Peter Brett

Brisbane, May 7

Space

Co-chairs: Ross Dungavell, Jonathon Ralston, Mark (Head of Robotics Woodside, ASA)

Adelaide, May 14

Skills

Co-chairs: Jackie French TAFE Qld, Preethi CQU, William Pagnon (Freelance Robotics)

Brisbane, May 29 (TBA)

For more details on the Perth workshop or to book a seat click here.

To participate or learn more about other workshops contact Dr Sue Keay: Sue.Keay@data61.csiro.au/

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