Construction industry set to benefit from AU-first Robotics Roadmap

Australia’s first Robotics Roadmap is set to benefit the construction industry with guidance and by supporting the development of new robotic technology.

Academic, industry and government leaders have helped shape the roadmap through submissions and workshops held in late 2017. Australia’s first Robotics Roadmap is set to benefit the construction industry with guidance and by supporting the development of new robotic technology.

The Australian Centre for Robotic Vision (ACRV) has collated these submissions and co-ordinated a roadshow across five Australian capital cities ahead of producing the report.

Robotic technologies can provide improvements to efficiencies, with some large-scale projects able to see significant cost savings as a result of increased productivity.

Technologies such as motion control, navigation and computer vision are able to be integrated in previously manned platforms such as cranes. The Robotics Roadmap outlines advances in technology that will see robotics tackling increasingly complex physical and cognitive tasks.

ACRV Chief Operating Officer Sue Keay said the roadmap is a first step towards a national strategy to invest in robotic technologies.

“It’s excellent news for Australia’s construction industry with a number of new technologies currently being developed that can help with workplace safety and productivity,” said Dr Keay.

“The ongoing skills shortage in Australia’s construction industry is only exacerbated by the next generation’s reluctance to pursue traditional occupations. Advances and more investment in robotic technology and automation will help address this skills shortage.

“We know from consulting industry experts that there’s strong industry need for regulation technology in construction and this is another area where robotics can help. Advanced robotic and vision systems can be deployed to monitor and enforce worker safety and identify and ameliorate potential hazards,” she said.

Australia is currently ranked 18th in the world for global automation by International Federation of Robotics. Dr. Keay said Australia needs to build on its strengths in robotic vision to change the way construction is approached.

“This is not just about making industries more automated; it’s about making sure our future robotics and computer vision technologies drive the transformation of existing industries and create safer and more productive workplaces for Australian workers and businesses,” Dr Keay said.

Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel agreed with the importance of the roadmap in unlocking Australia’s robotics potential.

“When I was a child, robots were the realm of science fiction alone. Even through the decades that followed, simple automation and machines failed to fill the grand promises made by my favourite books,” Dr Finkel said.

“But in the last few years, that’s all changed – robots and artificial intelligence are appearing in every industry sector, with huge practical impact on the way we live, work, and plan for the future. This roadmap shows just how quickly this field is moving, and the rewards available to a robot-ready Australia.”


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