In the future, swarms of robots could help us perform tasks from search and rescue to farming. Imagine there’s a flock of aerial robots searching for a lost hiker, for example. They have to cover a large area of remote bush and a central commander won’t work because they’re so spread out. So, instead, the robots work cooperatively to calculate the best way to cover and search this large area accurately and speedily. This scenario is less Black Mirror than it sounds, and more about focusing on practical solutions for jobs that are difficult for humans to do, says Airlie Chapman from the Melbourne School of Engineering. Describing the focus of her research in mechatronic engineering, Chapman says “it centres on multi-vehicle robotics, or many robots working together to achieve a common goal”. Mechatronic engineers explore developments in automation and manufacturing—blending multiple disciplines of engineering. And it can involve creating smart machines that are aware of their surroundings and can make autonomous decisions. Chapman works specifically in the field of multi-vehicle, or swarm, robotics. Using a combination of mechanical, electrical, and software engineering to build the robots, Chapman then programs the vehicles using algorithms to react and think autonomously. Many bots are better than one “There are benefits to using many smaller unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in place of one large one, particularly for jobs like cleaning up an oil spill, environmental monitoring, or searching for survivors of a mine collapse,” says Chapman. Not only is there the element of redundancy with smaller vehicles—losing one small UAV out of a group is less of a problem than losing a single large UAV—but there are also the implementation benefits. For one thing, there’s the improved coverage capability and reduced cost. “A swarm of cheap small robots, each with little capability, can […]
Australia has voted in a resounding way to maintain the status quo, rejecting the Labor Party’s push to create a government with a trade union heart. From Moggs Creek to Burnie, Port Hedland to Coffs Harbour the country chose a steady, progressive LNP as against Labor, which was riding on the legend of the Silver Bodgie, hoping this would get them over the line first. Throughout the campaign Scott Morrison produced a herculian effort – mainly alone – to drive the LNP message to Australians. He was focussed and considered and wasn’t easily riled. Bill Shorten on the other hand often came across as a trade union official, keen to sign up members. Bill Shorten has resigned as leader and it is hard to see who will replace him and be a charismatic force to bring about change in public opinion. When you consider the key issues that worried Australians – health care, housing, the Adani mine, climate change, care of the over 60’s, education and employment, none of this could be placed at the feet of the LNP as Labour tried so hard to do. Because these are worldwide issues, issues that all countries are constantly battling with. They were not issues that LNP or Scott Morrison were responsible for alone. The Adani Mine and climate change are huge challenges for the Morrison government. Mining provides lots of employment opportunities for Australians We live in times where full employment is the ideal. Australia’s climbed to 5% unemployment just before the election. More so if not for mining. Sometimes the ideal is not the reality. And a final thought: the proud history of the Australian Liberal and National Parties with their support and backing were never going to tolerate a trade union reign of power. Some of them may be […]
An Australian company will begin assembling electric vehicles in Adelaide, South Australia for export. Bension Sieber An ACE-EV cargo electric vehicle. Australian Clean Energy Electric Vehicle Group (ACE-EV) has signed a deal to begin assembling carbon fibre composite and plastic electric vans at the Aldom manufacturing plant in Wingfield, north of Adelaide’s CBD, this year. ACE-EV managing director Greg McGarvie said he was determined to bring the electric vehicle industry to Australia for the sake of his grandchildren’s future. McGarvie said the company had orders for 100 electric delivery vans to be assembled at the plant, and hoped to scale up to 15,000 electric vehicles by 2025. He said ACE-EV would employ between 10 and 18 people in its first year and use about 3000 square metres of Aldom Motor Body Builders’ 12,000 sqm Wingfield site, where Aldom currently designs and manufactures custom commercial vehicles. “This state will be the first in Australia that will be manufacturing electric vehicles,” he said. “We’ve been working on this for four years. “It’s the right thing to be doing for my grandkids.” McGarvie said the vehicles would mainly sell on the export market and aim to use local suppliers, but that it had partnerships with companies in Germany and Taiwan. He told InDaily the South Australian Government had been the most “proactive” in seeking to attract his company to the state – but that politicians generally have been “gun-shy” to publicly support electric vehicles. He said the South Australian Marshall Government had helped his company by setting up important business contacts, and was offering more “help” – but McGarvie declined to say what other assistance was on the table. “It’s very encouraging what they’re offering to do to help,” he said. He said he was not actively seeking investment from government, but rather, “electric-vehicle friendly” policy from […]
Two years on from a world-first study into workplace psychological safety (1), results announced today by R U OK? show organisations can be doing more to ensure colleagues feel connected. The 2019 Australian Workplace Psychological Safety Survey (2) surveyed 1,093 Australian employees and found that just under a quarter (23%) do not currently do any activities to connect them with colleagues. One of the biggest barriers found was not having time due to workload. This is concerning considering leading suicidologist Dr Thomas Joiner’s work, which describes a lack of connection (or lack of belonging) as one of the three forces at play in someone at risk of suicide. Workplace mental wellness expert and R U OK? Board Member Graeme Cowan is calling on workplaces to address this, pointing to both the social and economic benefits to organisations when a workforce feels connected and psychologically safe. “A ‘psychologically safe’ workplace is characterised by a climate of interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people feel comfortable being themselves and to ask for help,” says Cowan. “Organisational workload will always be a barrier, however those who create opportunities for employee connection such as morning teas or celebrations for birthdays foster a positive culture” “While there are benefits to individuals and a duty of care from organisations, psychologically safe teams have also been shown to be the most innovative – and in a worrying development, only 28% of respondents said they felt safe to take a risk in 2019 compared to 34% in 2017. “The results demonstrate more needs to be done to educate organisations on these benefits, to ensure all Australians are seeing the rewards of psychologically safe workplaces.” These results were announced at R U OK?’s annual Conversational Leadership event in Melbourne, which brought together 100 managers for a practical workshop on […]
Leopard Systems, Australia’s leading enterprise mobility solution provider, received not one, but two esteemed awards at Zebra Technologies Corporation’s annual Channel Partner Summit held in China in May. Leading a field of over 150 major Asia-Pacific APAC resellers and partners, Leopard Systems was recognised as Zebra’s highest performing APAC Partner Of The Year and APAC Service Partner Of The Year. Ryan Goh, Vice President and General Manager of Sales at Zebra Technologies Asia Pacific, and Joe White, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Mobile Computing at Zebra Technologies Inc presented the awards to co-Managing Director of Leopard Systems, Robin Fowler, at a special ceremony at Guilin’s Shangri-La Hotel. The accolades honoured Leopard’s success in attaining major contracts within the APAC region, and providing superior service support to their Zebra hardware customers. “This year everything aligned for us. We were fortunate to secure multiple 1000+ Zebra device contracts with several major Australian and New Zealand customers that added up to around 14,000 units sold, helping put Leopard Systems well ahead in the regional channel,” said Robin. The coveted awards mark a prized achievement for Leopard Systems since revolutionising their support services in hardware fleet management and supply chain mobility over recent years. “We’ve really concentrated on better serving our large corporate customers. Supporting and cultivating these partnerships has resulted in a significant number of new contracts providing Zebra devices, as well as accompanying service warranties, being purchased,” said Robin. Further, recent changes to expand the Australia/New Zealand awards to include Asia and Pacific countries has substantially raised the bar for achieving industry recognition. Hence, receiving the APAC awards cements Leopard Systems’ strength and continuing focus to provide world-class end-to-end solutions. At the Summit, Zebra Technologies announced a future priority to build cloud data services that greatly enhance the ‘supportability’ […]
In the future, swarms of robots could help us perform tasks from search and rescue to farming, researchers say. Imagine there’s a flock of aerial robots searching for a lost hiker, for example. They have to cover a large area of remote bush and a central commander won’t work because they’re so spread out. So, instead, the robots work cooperatively to calculate the best way to cover and search this large area accurately and speedily. This scenario is less Black Mirror than it sounds, and more about focusing on practical solutions for jobs that are difficult for humans to do, says Airlie Chapman from the Melbourne School of Engineering. Describing the focus of her research in mechatronic engineering, Chapman says “it centres on multi-vehicle robotics, or many robots working together to achieve a common goal”. Mechatronic engineers explore developments in automation and manufacturing—blending multiple disciplines of engineering. And it can involve creating smart machines that are aware of their surroundings and can make autonomous decisions. Chapman works specifically in the field of multi-vehicle, or swarm, robotics. Using a combination of mechanical, electrical, and software engineering to build the robots, Chapman then programs the vehicles using algorithms to react and think autonomously. Many bots are better than one “There are benefits to using many smaller unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in place of one large one, particularly for jobs like cleaning up an oil spill, environmental monitoring, or searching for survivors of a mine collapse,” says Chapman. Not only is there the element of redundancy with smaller vehicles—losing one small UAV out of a group is less of a problem than losing a single large UAV—but there are also the implementation benefits. For one thing, there’s the improved coverage capability and reduced cost. “A swarm of cheap small robots, each with little […]
Empower Software, locally owned and operated is based in NewMarket, Auckland. Founding Directors are Dave Garrett (right) and Sean O’Sullivan. New Zealand, Australian and International manufacturers and engineers, from 5 up to 150 factory staff are investing in the Empower Software technology on their factory floors and using their Factory Productivity and Scheduling Software for live production scheduling, tracking of jobs and individual factory staff times on jobs and job status. Production Managers are the main users and drivers of the technology and software as it is their role and their responsibility to plan and drive daily and weekly factory production and productivity effectively. Manufacturers and engineers install large TV monitors on factory walls and office walls to display live production and productivity data for everyone in the company to see. The performance of individual jobs and individual factory staff is live and continuous throughout the day and their individual productivity becomes totally transparent to all factory staff, management and administration staff. This technology and software drives labour times on jobs and labour cost on jobs down typically by 20% to 40%. TIN100, a well-respected and recognised New Zealand Network of technology-based companies, including all stakeholders to the NZ Technology Industry, recently recognised Empower Software.
Pasteurisation and sterilisation are now so well established that it is impossible to contemplate the production of many food and drink products without using these important techniques. Both pasteurisation and sterilisation involve the use of heat, usually in a way which does not affect the fundamental characteristics of the product (in other words, it doesn’t cook it). However, while sterilisation seeks to completely eliminate any micro-organisms which may be present in the product (and so typically uses higher temperatures or longer treatment periods, and is therefore more likely to have an effect on the product’s characteristics), pasteurisation reduces the microbial load by a significant factor (for example by 5-logs), which in normal circumstances reduces them to a level at which they do not pose a hazard. While simple plate heat exchangers may still be suitable for the pasteurisation of simple fluids such as milk and fruit juices, more textured and viscous products, such as cooking sauces, creams and curds, require different solutions in order to maintain their quality and texture. In order to meet this diverse range of requirements, HRS Heat Exchangers has created its Thermblock packaged pasteuriser/steriliser for food products for aseptic filling, as well as any other filling or packing method. Depending on specification and the intended use, Thermblock uses the most appropriate HRS tubular heat exchanger to deliver effective and efficient thermal treatment. All HRS Thermblock systems allow for full adjustment of the heating-holding-cooling cycle of the product, so that it can be tailored to your product/s and method/s of working. They can also be used as HTST (High Temperature, Short Time) units, subjecting the product to high temperatures for a short time to minimise potential side-effects, such as organoleptic changes or nutritional losses). There are three models of HRS Thermblock: HRS Thermblock DTA Series This features […]
Statement by Greg Evans, Chief Executive Coal Council of Australia If Labor aspires to national leadership it needs to show the way and drag the Queensland government to support the development of the Galilee Basin. The latest environmental manipulation by the Queensland government to delay the Adani coal mine development is a betrayal of the communities in central and northern Queensland. The stalling tactics by the Queensland Labor government reflects poorly on Australia and Queensland as an investment destination and in the case of mining investment, this can be directed to other countries. Other industries and mine owners and developers should receive little comfort that this latest treatment is confined to a single coal mine in the Galilee Basin. It shows that where a concerted activist campaign is waged government will cower to those interests. The agriculture, oil and gas, tourism and other industries with large investment proposals need to be wary that local job providing development and the national interest ranks below appeasing noisy activists. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Resources Minister Matt Canavan have expressed support for coal and the advancement of the coal industry including the Adani Carmichael coal mine. The Labor Party at both federal and state level needs to do the same without qualification. Australia has the opportunity to participate in an unprecedented expansion for coal demand from Asia in the next decade of an additional 500 million tonnes annually by 2030. If we capture just 20% of this increase this will represent a major economic dividend, unfortunately, Green and Labor policies are working to frustrate this benefit to the detriment of the working men and women of Queensland.
Solutions for future global challenges will likely be developed by the younger generation of scientists and engineers charging forward in Australia. Some of these challenges include finding ways to reduce CO2 emissions in construction, generating renewable energy, and making better batteries. Calix is focused on research and development, and its technologies are already being applied to these challenges in Australia and around the world. The technology company’s culture is built on the desire to do something meaningful for the planet and for people. Young scientists and engineers who are passionate about the greater good and about solving these global challenges are finding a strong foothold at Calix. They are encouraged to buck traditional science, engineering, and construction, and develop sustainable industry options to helping to shape the future of the world they will live in. One of the young engineers making his mark at Calix is Simon Thomsen. At just 29, Simon is working in Europe on Calix’s LEILAC project, a carbon capture initiative for lime and cement. Simon leads the work package responsible for the engineering, procurement, and construction activities on the LEILAC project, which has just been officially commissioned. This follows his contribution to the design and build of the CFC15000, the commercial-scale demonstrator of Calix’s core technology. Simon was directly responsible for managing the first major upgrade of this first-of-a-kind plant, which improved on the original design. Simon was handpicked to join the Europe team for the LEILAC project following a successful trial of one of the key developments of the project on the company’s existing manufacturing plant in Australia. This included planning and executing the trial, modifying the production facility, then analysing the test results. Simon completed this project within budget and on schedule without any safety incidents. This was an outstanding success that improved efficiency […]