Australia to get its first robotics roadmap

Australia is set to have its very first robotics and computer vision roadmap with the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision driving this important initiative.

“Australia’s first robotics and computer vision roadmap is about more than just making industries more automated,” said Dr Sue Keay, the Centre’s Chief Operating Officer. “The strength of our robotics and computer vision technologies will drive the transformation of existing industries and create whole new industries. This has significant impact for the future of Australia’s workforce as well as making sure we have vibrant, competitive and sustainable industry sectors.

“Australia has a real advantage in robotics and computer vision at this point in time. As a national research centre and the world’s first research centre specialising in robotic vision, we want to make sure Australia really benefits from these new technologies,” Sue said.

The Centre has identified six sectors that are fundamental to the Australian economy: resources, the built and natural environments, manufacturing, services, healthcare, and defence. From October 2017 to January 2018, the Centre ran a series of workshops across these sectors, in addition to calling on submissions from interested Australians and Australian companies, to contribute to the robotics and computer vision roadmap.

“Australia is currently ranked 30 in global automation according to the International Federation of Robotics, despite our high levels of niche manufacturing. So, on the surface, while we are leaders in many areas of robotics, it appears Australia is lagging on this measure and that’s of concern.

“These are technologies that can solve many of the key challenges facing Australia in terms of productivity and sustainability,” Sue said. “Our robotics and computer vision roadmap will give us a clearer idea of what the industry looks like in Australia and how best to support take-up by existing companies and to create new companies based on these technologies.”

Centre researchers from ANU are working with Mulyan Pty Ltd, an asparagus farm in Cowra NSW to develop an autonomous harvesting robot for green asparagus. Image courtesy of Alex Martin.