Happy World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development!
Today we recognise and celebrate the contribution of engineers and the importance their work plays in building a sustainable, secure, healthy and better world.
Engineering is crucial to the development of new technologies enabling the 4th Industrial Revolution such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, robotics or quantum computing. The strength of our Australian Cobotics Centre is its team of multi-disciplinary researchers and industry partners. But today we celebrate our Centre’s engineers who hold undergraduate and post graduate degrees in Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Robotics, Mechatronics, Automation, Manufacturing, Materials Engineering and Engineering Physics. This range of engineering skills and experience is being used to develop robots that are able to mimic humans. Advancements in robotic engineering will allow many workers to avoid the dirty, repetitive, and dangerous tasks they currently encounter. Instead the workers will use collaborative robots as one of the new tools at their disposal.
The Australian Cobotics Centre has a research program specifically dedicated to understanding how this can be achieved. The Biomimic Cobots Program aims to address the fundamental challenges of enabling robots to work with humans in the conditions Australian manufacturing industry demands, and to build skills and capacity for the future workforce using and deploying these new technologies.
The Biomimic Cobots Program is led by engineers Associate Prof. Teresa Vidal-Calleja and Prof. XiaoQi Chen. Prof. Vidal-Calleja is a robotics expert focusing on enabling robots to be deployed in environments that are hazardous or difficult for people to access and Prof. Chen’s research interests cover robotics, smart manufacturing, advanced materials processing, additive manufacturing, and autonomous systems.
The program team also includes engineering researchers Prof. Jonathan Roberts, Dist. Prof. Peter Corke, Prof. Robert Fitch , Prof. Jochen Deuse , Dr Mats Isaksson, Dr Marc Carmichael and Fouad Sukkar. One of the program’s first project includes Engineers in QUT’s Research Engineering Facility and Industry Partner InfraBuild. The aim of the project is to research and develop a high-speed sensing and control system that is capable of identifying and moving steel rods and bars and have the ability to be able to work safely within relative proximity of their operators. This will result in better working conditions for employees who will operate the cobot, reducing manual handling tasks, which will result in higher quality products for their customers.