Industry News News

Advanced Robotics Manufacturing: ARM Hub announced

The Palaszczuk Government will invest $7.71 million over four years to establish the nation’s first robotics manufacturing hub to create and support more jobs.

Leanne Linard MP, Professor Mark Harvey, Cameron Dick MP and Matt Tobin, MD Urban Arts Projects. Photo Credit: QUT Media.


Government media release:

Australia’s first robotics hub to drive advanced manufacturing jobs

QUT Media:

Australia’s first robotics hub to drive advanced manufacturing jobs

Knowledge Sharing News

On robots seeing, thinking and doing at the IMCRC conference

Teaching robots to see, developing robotic vision systems for design-led manufacturing; one-of-a-kind automated production systems; and, unlocking manufacturing potential. 

Photo Credit: Cian Sanders

Four members of the Design Robotics group presented at the recent 2019 Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre IMCRC Conference in Melbourne. PhD candidates Alan Burden and Baris Balci presented their PhD ‘pitch’, along with featured speakers Dr Glenda Caldwell and Dr Jared Donovan. UAP Founder and Managing Director, Matthew Tobin, was a panellist in the discussion on Industry-Research Collaboration: Unlocking Manufacturing Potential in Australia. 
Bringing together thought leaders, industry experts, researchers and students exploring advanced and digital technologies, the IMCRC conference progresses discussion about innovative leaps in manufacturing. The event seeks to project the future possibilities for disrupting and transforming Australian manufacturing through industry-led research, accelerating projects and inspiring new ideas.


Teaching robots to see was the subject of the featured talk by Dr Glenda Caldwell and Dr Jared Donovan. The audience was invited to imagine the potential of robotic vision in creating beautiful art objects, leading to more jobs in manufacturing. Robotic vision capability enables robots to see what they are working on and unlock the potential of robotic manufacturing for Australian small-to-medium enterprises specialising in bespoke manufacturing. The presentation highlighted the need for design-led manufacturing processes as well as open innovation networks. “Dare to experiment” was the message, to realise collaborative and creative projects. 

Jared Donovan and Glenda Caldwell. Photo Credit: IMCRC

[small-quote name=”Glenda Caldwell” title=””]”When people are inspired they will engage. When academics and industry partners share common values, then finding the sweet spot of research is possible.”[/small-quote]


Alan Burden talked about his PhD research on developing new ways to use robots & vision systems for design-led manufacturing. Framing the potential of Design Robotics with a quote from the McKinsey Global Institute, “Every country is going to feel the impact of automation by 2030” the presentation highlighted the how automation will affect industry. The creative opportunities robots afford us through assisted manufacturing processes can be seen in projects such as Richard Sweeney’s piece, Reflection.

Alan Burden. Photo Credit: IMCRC


Baris Balci presented on the development of an automated robotic polishing system for one-of-a-kind production. It was fascinating to see what can be achieved when the industry and the universities work closely”. Baris observed, “These type of collaborations create opportunities to address the untouched problems in different domains of engineering”.

Baris Balci Photo Credit: IMCRC

Baris’s presentation highlighted the value of custom one-of-a-kind robotic manufacturing alongside mass manufacturing in industry. Specifically, the potential value in robotic polishing operations and the ability to remove bottleneck issues in manufacturing processes were explained by first seeing, planning, and then developing novel ways of doing
Before the IMCRC conference, Alan and Baris attended National Manufacturing Week 2019, participating at the IMCRC booth on the trade floor. “We were given plenty of time to see the newest technology in additive and subtractive manufacturing”, Alan explained, “as well as scanning and robotics from all the big industry companies”.
Alan Burden was awarded the IMCRC PhD Student Pitch Award. Each student was given five minutes to explain his research in a way that is understandable to a general audience. “It was a surprise and an honour”, Alan said, “it was good to see the other IMCRC scholarship holders and meet them in person”. 

Photo Credit: IMCRC

The event provided many highlights, including hearing about current PhD and other academic research exploring innovative manufacturing techniques. Critically, it was the opportunity to observe direct links between this research and industry that held value for the Design Robotics team. As highlighted in Glenda and Jared’s talk, the opportunity to support design-led and creative approaches to research applies to all disciplines and all questions across industries.


Pausefest: Making Art and Architecture with Robots

Heralded as the world’s “leading creativity-infused business event”, Pausefest has been described as “a catalyst for change, a uniter of all industries, and a platform for the future.”

Image Credit: Pause Fest

Now into its 9th year, the event welcomes approximately 15,000 ‘digital natives’ who gather to network, share ideas, and ultimately shape the future of digital evolution. The objective of Pausefest is to counteract the disconnect observed across the digital networks and foster connectivity and collaborative partnerships. Design Robotics shares this objective in its pursuit of research that is enabled through Open Innovation
Held in Melbourne’s Fed Square, Pausefest 2019 attracted over 30 international and 200 local speakers. Design Robotics’ Dr Jared Donovan participated as moderator of one of the 18 design panel events, ‘Making Art and Architecture with Robots’. Panellists included Dr Roland Snooks from RMIT, Matthew Tobin Founder and Managing Director of UAP, and Emily Floyd, a renowned Australian contemporary artist.  
”This technology is poised to shape multiple industries, including art, architecture, design, medicine and construction.” – Jared Donovan.

Dr Jared Donovan. Photo Credit: Cian Sanders

The panel discussed the need for robotic vision to make ambitious art and architecture – a key message also emphasised by Dr Glenda Caldwell at the 2018 Woodford FestivalPanellists spoke on Australia’s ongoing mission to develop robotic vision systems and user interfaces to reduce the interaction time between design and custom manufacturing.