Communication and media engagement
Our communication and media engagement activities target a broad audience, from our closest stakeholders, to the general public.
Our activities in this area include:
- promoting the Centre through traditional media channels, targeting local, national and international news, current affairs programs and other media outlets
- maintaining several social media channels with targeted messaging and content
- revamping our website (roboticvision.org) as our core repository of information about the centre, by promoting our activities, achievements and services
- commissioning STEMmatters to write and publicise articles promoting the Centre’s research
- holding public forums and presentations to primary and secondary schools, as well as professional associations and interest groups, to showcase our work and give people the opportunity to interact with robots first hand.
In 2017, the Centre ran a targeted media campaign with the objective of promoting the Centre and our researchers, through stories in popular publications. We engaged specialist science communication consultancy, STEMmatters to help us achieve our goals. This year-long campaign showcased our significant wins and achievements. We published and promoted more than 60 media releases and news stories throughout 2017. These pieces led to 181 stories about the Centre in print, online and television channels. All stories are available in the News and Media section of our website.
We maintain a range of social media channels targeting different users and audiences. Our social media feeds combine a range of images, video presentations and demonstrations, as well as links to research updates, upcoming events, researcher profiles, together with news and related articles. A number of our social media feeds are cross-linked with one another, allowing followers to explore our Centre more deeply based on their specific interests. Our social media channels include: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and our images are all viewable on Flickr. We now have more than 1,500 followers on Twitter.
roboticvision.org is at the core of our online presence, providing comprehensive information about the Centre including our purpose, detailed profiles of our research programs, people, field testing, news and video, access to our publications, opportunities for industry collaboration and media linkage, workshops and events.
The website is also a key point of contact for our researchers around the world, giving them online access, through a secure portal, to Centre operational information, collaborative research forums, and policies and procedures including the Centre’s treatment and protection of intellectual property.
In addition to supporting industry and professional associations to keep up with the technology and opportunities robotic vision presents, the Centre is actively involved in building capacity at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as making robotic vision more accessible to the general public. In 2017, these community outreach activities included:
- Showcasing the Centre’s research and robots at major public events including QUT’s Robotronica, the World Science Festival (Brisbane) and The University of Adelaide’s showcase, Ingenuity
- Sponsoring the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Outback Challenge, held in Dalby, Queensland. High school students from across the globe travel to Australia to compete in the event, one of the world’s biggest drone competitions.
- Guest and keynote speaker appearances at industry and professional association events
- Hosting public forums and tours of the Centre for future leaders and business groups
- Hosting school group visits ranging from preschool to high school at the Centre’s headquarters
- Collaborating with existing science extension events such as Coding for Kids.
DISTINGUISHED VISITORS AND EXCHANGE OPPORTUNITIES
In 2017, the Centre hosted 40 international visitors from 30 organisations including Raia Hadsell, Senior Research Scientist at Google Deepmind; Professor Henrik Christensen, Director of the Institute for Contextual Robotics at UC San Diego; Dr Rodney Brooks, Founder, Chairman and CTO of ReThink Robotics; and Professor Ronald Arkin, Georgia Tech.
PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
Our researchers published a total of 71 papers, including 47 conference papers and 24 journal articles.
We also led 196 government, industry and business community meetings and presentations, bringing the complex world of robotic vision to a wide audience.
5 Image courtesy of Queensland Museum
5 Image courtesy of QUT Media
CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS
As well as giving us the opportunity to showcase our work, international conferences play a key role in growing our networks both at home and abroad. The Centre supports our researchers’ attendance at these events to share our findings, learn about important work other researchers are doing, and to recruit new researchers and students. These activities lift our international reputation as a research centre, which helps us attract world-leading researchers to Australia, further enhancing our international linkages and collaborative partnerships. Centre researchers presented 56 papers at 26 conferences in nine countries, including here in Australia. We also ran several very successful workshops as part of the programs of international conferences. At the Robotics: Science and Systems Conference (RSS) in Boston, our “New Frontiers for Deep Learning in Robotics” workshop featured luminary speakers, including convolutional neural network founder Yann LeCun of Facebook AI, who spoke about challenges and opportunities in deep learning in robotics. With approximately 200 people in attendance, it was one of the most well attended workshops at the conference. As well as invited keynotes, the workshop was accompanied by a series of spotlight presentations and a poster session, with a best paper awards ceremony (sponsored by the Centre, Osaro and Google) and a workshop dinner.
Another workshop, “Brave new ideas for motion representations in videos II” was held at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference (CVPR), held in Honolulu. The workshop was enthusiastically received by almost 100 attendees.
At the same conference, the Centre also ran a “Deep Learning for Robotic Vision” workshop. This addressed recent advances in deep learning techniques, along with the many unique challenges presented by robotics and the need for new approaches. This workshop focused on work related to deep learning techniques in computer vision as they applied to a broad range of robotic devices, from self-driving cars, drones and bipedal robots.
We are looking forward to the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) being held in Brisbane in May 2018. The Chair of the Centre’s Advisory Committee, Alex Zelinsky, and our Director, Peter Corke, led the successful 2014 bid for Australia to host this high-profile event. It will be the first time the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society’s flagship conference will be held in the southern hemisphere. We have been working closely with the Society and the event organisers, to ensure the resounding success of this event. ICRA is a premier international forum for those working in robotics research, and will create an opportunity for us to comprehensively promote and profile our work to an audience of over 2,000 world-leading researchers.
MANUFACTURING MEETS ROBOTIC VISION
With the support of PwC, a valued member of our End-User Advisory Board, the Centre ran a series of innovation challenges. Aimed at identifying people and companies in the Australian robotics and vision communities that we could collaborate with to solve challenges, leverage our expertise and work with on future commercialisation opportunities. Each challenge in the series is focused on a different industry sector. Throughout the year the Centre hosted two events, the first was held in Brisbane in March, focusing on manufacturing; the second focused on food production both were held in Brisbane in June. These events created huge interest from the companies that participated.