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Congratulations to our PhD Researchers

Congratulations to our PhD Researchers who passed their confirmation of candidature over the past month!

  1. Jacqueline Greentree from QUT (Queensland University of Technology). The review panel included Prof Greg Hearn and Prof Carol Richards. Jacqueline’s supervisors (Prof Paula McDonald and Dr Melinda Laundon) were also in attendance. More information about her project can be found on our website: HERE
  2. Nisar Ahmed Channa from QUT (Queensland University of Technology). The review panel included Prof Markus Rittenbruch and A/Prof Penny Williams. Nisar’s supervisors (Prof Greg Hearn, A/Prof Dr Luca Casali and Dr Sean Gallagher) were also in attendance. More information about his project can be found on our website: HERE
  3. Nadimul Haque from University of Technology Sydney. More information about his project can be found on our website: HERE
  4. Munia Ahamed from University of Technology Sydney. More information about his project can be found on our website: HERE

Successful Annual Symposium Wraps Up at University of Technology Sydney

The Australian Cobotics Centre has successfully wrapped up its annual symposium after three days of engaging activities at the University of Technology Sydney.

Researchers from Swinburne University of Technology, QUT (Queensland University of Technology), and UTS joined forces with industry partners from ARM Hub (Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing), Cook Medical, and Stryker, making the event both enjoyable and thought-provoking.

The symposium featured a packed agenda including workshops, poster presentations, awards, research program updates, and a keynote talk by Cécile Paris from CSIRO’s Data61 CINTEL.

A note of appreciation goes to Centre Director Jonathan Roberts for his leadership in ensuring the success of the event. We are already looking forward to future gatherings with the same spirit of collaboration and knowledge-sharing.


Objective, systematic research and analysis and interpretation of complex data to provide authoritative, evidence based and timely strategic advice to senior managers.

Awards Evening – ACC Annual Symposium 2023

At the annual ACC Symposium, an awards evening was held with nominations put forward by Centre members in the lead up to the event.
Our annual awards were a great way of celebrating the achievements of our people and their collaborative efforts over the past 12 months.

2023 winners included:
* Best Collaborative Research output: the 2023 OzCHI workshop “Empowering People in Human-Robot-Collaboration” organised by Australian Cobotics Centre and CSIRO’s Data61 researchers.
* Research Achievement: A/Prof Teresa Vidal Calleja
* Best Event: Swinburne’s ‘Encounters with Cobots’ event held in July (Mats IsakssonJagannatha Charjee PyarakaAnushani BibileChris McCarthyJohn McCormick & Michelle Dunn)
* Contribution to Public Debate: Dr Melinda Laundon
* Quiet Achievers: Dr Fouad (Fred) Sukkar & PhD researcher Barış Balcı
* Emerging Leaders: Dr Stine Johansen & Dr Alan Burden
* EPIC Centre Citizens: Dr Melinda Laundon & PhD researcher, Jasper Vermeulen

Well done to our nominees and winners. We look forward to these awards being part of our future symposiums.

Connect & Share event

Last night we held the second PhD Connect and Share event at University of Technology Sydney.

We were joined by other Sydney-based ARC funded Training Centres and Hubs (ARC FAAB and ARC Hub for Nutrients in a Circular Economy).

The evening was facilitated by Australian Cobotics Centre (ACC) Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dr Melinda Laundon and included talks from:

  • Professor HK Shon, Director of Nutrients in a Circular Economy from University of Technology Sydney
  • Dr Marc Carmichael, ACC Chief Investigator from UTS Robotics Institute
  • Mohadeseh Montazeri, PhD researcher from ARC FAAB based at Macquarie University
  • Jimit Panchal, Master of Research student from ARC FAAB based at Macquarie University

With over 50 PhD and Postdoctoral researchers in attendance, our speakers shared their experience and gave great advice for our students who are all working with industry as part of the PhD. Key takeaways:

  • Be clear about what you can achieve
  • Get involved in different activities and find common ground to build relationships initially.
  • Be open to feedback and input from all over the business
  • Be open to exploring the many different project ideas that come your way. Some of the more obscure projects can end up leading to helpful future connections and provide momentum in your research career.

Thank you to everyone who came along and to our fantastic speakers! We look forward to hosting more of these events throughout 2024!

TAFE Qld Emerging Technology event

Last week we went along to the TAFE Queensland Engineering and Emerging Technology Industry night at Eagle Farm.

Centre Director, Jonathan Roberts and program co-Lead, Penny Williams were there along with ARM Hub (Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing)‘s Callum Elder.

Lots of demonstrations and opportunities to talk, including with Cornelis Van Niekerk from Weld Australia (one of our industry partners)!

It was a great night that highlighted the importance of collaboration across industry, universities and vocational education and training.

CONGRATULATIONS Victor Hernandez Moreno – Final Seminar

Congratulations to Victor Hernandez Moreno from the UTS Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, and Associate PhD Researcher from the Australian Cobotics Centre, for successfully passing his final Candidature Assessment.

Victor’s work addresses the problem of making robots easier to program through “Learning from Demonstration” in the industrial context. This is an important tool in helping to increase the utilisation of robotics.

Meet our E.P.I.C. Researcher, Anushani Bibile

Anushani Bibile is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, based at Swinburne University of Technology. Her project is part of the Quality Assurance and Compliance Program at the Australian Cobotics Centre. Her research is proactive in preserving the quality assurance of cobots in automated processes, where organisations can reap the benefits of cobot automation while minimising risks and maximising productivity.

We interviewed Anushani recently to find out more about why she does what she does.

  • Tell us a bit about yourself and your research with the Centre?

I am proud to say that I was born in the town of Galle, nestled along the southwestern coast of beautiful Sri Lanka, having a huge cultural and historical significance. My bachelor’s degree was in Engineering Physics which I successfully completed with a first-class honour from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2004. I flew to UK to pursue my higher studies and completed my MSc in Mobile, Personal and Satellite Communications. After returning to my motherland, I served as a Lecturer at the Institute of Technology, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka from year 2009-2012. I taught the subjects Electronics and Telecommunications. I migrated to Australia with my family in 2013 and was offered the opportunity of a PhD from Monash University in 2015. I successfully completed my PhD in Engineering from the Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (ECSE) at Monash University. The research was based on signal processing for moving chipless RFID tag detection. I was privileged to contribute to the Monash, Microwave, Antennas, RF and Sensors (MMARS) team which pioneered this technology. After completing my PhD in 2020, I was working at Cylite optics, Clayton, as a researcher where I contributed towards the development of 3D registration algorithms for sparsely sampled OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) retinal volume data, designed specifically for the anterior of the eye (cornea, lens, and iris). I joined Swinburne University of Technology as a Postdoctoral research fellow in 2022 and am presently the postdoctoral researcher for the Quality Assurance and Compliance research program at the Australian Cobotics Centre.

  • Why did you decide to be a part of the Australian Cobotics Centre?

I have been engaged in high end industrial projects throughout my doctoral research and have been able to publish journal papers in Q1 journals, conference papers and book articles. My research strengths were based on signal processing and data analysis. I decided to be part of Australian Cobotics Centre since I believed my experience in signal processing can be further utilized in a more real environment and it will be useful in bringing solutions to cobot associated manufacturing processes.

  • What project are you most proud of throughout your career and why?

One of the longest and interesting projects that I was involved in was the implementation of a UHF RFID based smart shopping trolley which can track products and provide item level information to consumers in real time. I was involved in each part of this project, while my biggest contribution was to implement the novel detection algorithm that I developed for moving chipless RFID tag detection into the RFID reader. I am proud to have been a part of this project as it was a low cost chipless RFID sensor which was presented to eliminate the current limitation of conventional RFID sensors and the optical barcode for item-level tagging which is a future 6G intelligent IOT application.

  • What do you hope the long-term impact of your work will be?

The integration of cobots enables the delegation of many human-based skill activities, with cobots able to undertake a range of repetitious tasks, whilst offering high flexibility and increased productivity. It is important to regularly review and update quality assurance protocols to keep pace with evolving technologies and changing workplace conditions. By remaining vigilant and proactive in preserving the quality assurance of cobots in automated processes, organisations can reap the benefits of cobot automation while minimising risks and maximising productivity. With my contribution to the quality assurance and compliance program of the Australian Cobotics Centre, I hope we will be able to make significant impact in achieving these standards in cobot automated processes.

  • Aside from your research, what topic could you give an hour-long presentation on with little to no preparation?

Research has been a fascinating part of my life, but aside from research there is life which we truly live and which brings joy to our lives. So, as a woman, a mother of 3 kids, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a teacher, and a child of God I can keep on talking about my life experiences ….no preparation needed!

Giving cobots the human touch through biomimicry

This is article written by Robyn Barden from UTS and originally published via the UTS website Giving cobots the human touch through biomimicry | University of Technology Sydney (

An Australian Cobotics Centre roboticist is raising awareness of collaborative robots and biomimic research in a mechatronic musical installation where the lead percussionist is a collaborative robot.

Dr Fred Sukkar stands outside the shopfront next to the mechatronic music ensemble
Dr Fred Sukkar (right) is developing algorithms to enable natural and safe human-robot collaborative environments in the manufacturing industry at the Australian Cobotics Centre (ACC). Pictured at the centre of the musical ensemble is a collaborative robot (cobot) holding a caxixi, flanked by six mechanised drums.


UTS robotics researcher, Dr Fred Sukkar, has taken his research out of the lab and onto the streets with a robotic percussion ensemble display in Sydney’s CBD, a collaborative installation with the University of Technology Sydney, Australian Cobotics Centre, Macquarie University and Aesop Sydney.

Based in Aesop Sydney store, the installation with an industrial edge responds autonomously to music played in the store.

Six mechanical drums play along to music while the leader of the ensemble, a collaborative robot (cobot), shakes a basket-woven caxixi or ‘dances’ to the beat.

“When the store plays music the system listens and extracts information, such as the rhythm and tempo, then the ensemble plays along in an interactive way to compliment the music,” said Dr Sukkar, an Australian Cobotics Centre postdoctoral research fellow based at the UTS Robotics Institute.

For the cobot to learn how to play the caxixi, Dr Sukkar used motion capture cameras and reflective markers to record a human percussionist, then the robot replicates this movement.

“My biomimic cobots research aims to transfer skills to robots through human demonstration,” he said.

“The idea of translating human motion to a cobot is useful in our industry projects for intuitively teaching new skills and ultimately integrating cobots more naturally into workplaces.” Dr Sukkar said, the mechanised ensemble was conceptualised and constructed by Dr Richard Savery, a developer of artificial intelligence and robotics and research fellow  at Macquarie University.

“Richard combines music with robotics in a creative way to evoke human emotion.”

The cobotic musical installation was at the Aesop Sydney store, located in Pitt St Mall and was on display for 3 weeks until 19 November 2023.

Robotic Guide Dog project

Super exciting that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has featured the Robotic Guide Dog project by QUT (Queensland University of Technology) undergraduate students, Santiago Velasquez and Jarrod Fisher!

Santiago and Jarrod are both co-supervised by our Centre Director Jonathan Roberts, and QUT Professor Matthew Dunbabin.

In the interview, Santiago, vision impaired himself and a guide dog user, talks about how important it has been to include others with vision impairment as part of the research to give feedback and help co-design future robot guide dogs.

Read more HERE!