THE ROBOTS ARE COMING

Written on the 21 April 2015

THE ROBOTS ARE COMING ROBOTS are breaking through our universities, and eyeing construction and infrastructure industries.

The Queensland University of Technology hosted a Queensland Government-funded workshop this week to connect robotics experts with representatives from Queensland's construction and infrastructure industries.

Science and innovation minister Leeanne Enoch says this will shape the research direction of the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision (ACRV), which is funded by the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence program.

"New technology is allowing robots to be able to see and identify a problem and then perform a solution," says Enoch.

"This progression is bringing robots into workspaces, working alongside people to solve everyday problems.

"That's where the Queensland-based ACRV is leading the way. By working on a new generation of visually enabled robots, they're looking to take this technology beyond traditional manufacturing-based functions."

ACRV director Peter Corke says robots have little traction in the building industry, but the potential to be transformational.

"There are a plethora of opportunities to automate a building site, creating safer workspaces and giving workers more autonomy to apply their specific skillset," says Corke.

"Robots can perform many useful tasks like inspection, measuring, assembly and material transport in a range of environments."

In other south east Queensland robot news, Bond University has just recruited a unique type for its Centre for Autism Spectrum Disorders (CASD).

The CASD has just secured the 58cm humanoid robot, developed by Brainary Interactive, for a pioneering trial into using robot technology to socialise autistic children.

The robot is intended to be used as a "bridge between social isolation and effective interaction for the children" according to CASD director Vicki Bitsika.

Bond is in the initial stages of the trial, which will involve Master of Functional Behaviour Assessment (ASD) students being trained in techniques to use the robot to work with the children.



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