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Let’s talk robotics with Professor Jonathan Roberts

Centre Director, Jonathan Roberts featured in the latest episode of  “Let’s talk robotics” by Nicci Rossouw from Expatec.

The robotics capability in Australia has great growth and particularly in Queensland, there is the potential to be world leading. Although this technical capability is important, to be truly successful, collaborative robotics research and its application within industry also needs to address the design and human components that are involved in technological change.

As noted by Nicci and Jon: “It’s easy to buy a robot, but what do you do with it?”

If collaborative robots are used in the right way, everyone is a winner.  The worker will develop more interesting skills, the company becomes more efficient and the technology companies keep growing.

By including the workers in the design process, the Centre will ensure that cobot or technical solution addresses the challenges the worker and company may have. They are the experts in their job and their field and therefore the solution will be designed for them. For example, a worker might advise that a repetitive task creates a physical pain point and if that were removed, the risk of injury almost completely disappears. A company may also find it difficult to find staff to complete dangerous, dirty or repetitive tasks and a cobot allows this work to continue with no impact on production or efficiency.

Listen to the podcast here:  Let’s talk robotics with Professor Jonathan Roberts — EXAPTEC

Prestigious Academy of Social Sciences recognises Professor Paula McDonald

The Australian Cobotics Centre congratulates Professor Paula McDonald who has been newly elected as a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

Professor McDonald is one of the select group of leading social scientists from across Australia’s universities and research institutes who have been elected to the Academy this year.

Professor McDonald is one of the Research Program Co-lead for the Australian Cobotics Centre’s Human-Robot Workforce program led at QUT; a Professor of Work and Organisation; and Associate Dean, Research in the QUT Faculty of Business and Law.

Each year, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia elects the most distinguished social scientists in Australia as Fellows. These New Fellows will join the ranks of over 700 of Australia’s leading researchers and professionals across the social science disciplines. For 50 years, research and advice from Fellows of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia has shaped government policies, been called on by Australia’s leaders, and played a key role in shaping our nation. Today’s announcement brings the number of Fellows in the Academy to 742.

A list of 2021 new Fellows can be found here.

An online event featuring brief presentations from each of the new Fellows will be held on 24 November, 4:30-7:00 pm AEDT. This event is open to the public via the Academy’s website:


Human Robot Interaction at the Centre for Biomedical Technologies 2021 conference

Centre Director, Jonathan Roberts  was joined by Human-Robot-Interaction Program co-lead, Jared Donovan and industry partner, Cook Medical‘s Alex Buddery at the 2021 Centre for Biomedical Technologies conference.

Although the conferenced was focused on the biomedical technologies Jon highlighted that the aim of the Centre is for the outcomes to be translated to different manufacturing industries.  The focus of cobotics is not to replace the human worker but to create a safer environment, the ability to work longer and an opportunity to increase skills.

Associate Professor Jared Donovan presented on the importance of considering the design and human interaction when creating robotic systems.

Continuous Innovation Manager at Cook Medical talked about the challenges that could not be addressed by fully automated solutions and highlighted the importance of their staff and where cobotics could assist.