Travics, a team that created a better travel booking experience using SoftBank Robotics’ humanoid robot Pepper, and RAWrobotics, a team that is changing robotics education, are the winners of the QUT bluebox Robotics Accelerator, Australia’s first robotics dedicated accelerator.
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government was proud to be a partner in the accelerator with ST Solutions Australia (a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp.) and QUT’s commercialisation company, QUT bluebox, through its $420 million Advance Queensland initiative.
“Bluebox robotics accelerator proves there are plenty of innovative ideas coming out of Queensland, and there is enthusiasm for working with robotics,” Ms Enoch said.
“It’s a terrific example of how the Queensland Government is nurturing our state’s digital transformation, which will provide jobs now and in the future.”
Travics and RAWrobotics have won $15,000 and $30,000 respectively, and have the opportunity to travel to Japan to participate in the inaugural SoftBank Robot World conference and be a part of the annual Pepper App Challenge in late November.
Eight teams pitched their ventures at the demo day on October 10 in front of visiting SoftBank representatives, Mr Shoji Nawata and Mr Yoshiaki Ohara; Advance Queensland representative Ms Kylie Hickling; and QUT bluebox CEO, Mr Tim McLennan.
QUT bluebox Chief Entrepreneur-in-Residence Dr Tim MacTaggart said with five teams creating an application for Pepper and three hardware robotics ideas there was a lot of diversity. Teams ranged from health services, travel and tourism, and reforestation to education.
“The innovation they have demonstrated and commitment to the program has been outstanding. QUT, and Queensland, definitely has an opportunity to be a leader in robotic innovation,” Dr MacTaggart said.
The coding and robotics funding supports the government’s broad agenda for digital transformation in Queensland.
Travics applies machine learning and humanoid robotics to provide an improved holiday selection experience, while simultaneously providing automated customer analytics to travel
agencies. The team won $15,000 with a chance to travel to Japan.
Second Prize: EasyAI
EasyAI are using the unique ability of the humanoid robot Pepper to connect with children to provide happiness and reassurance in paediatric hospital wards. The team won $15,000 with a chance to travel to Japan.
Runner up: Nuarda
Nuarda is applying sophisticated image analysis and robotic vision tools to bring advanced in-store customer analytics to small and medium sized enterprises. The team won $10,000 with a chance to travel to Japan.
Hardware (new robotic platforms):
Robotics will play a huge role in the future of business. RAWrobotics has developed a suite of robotics education/training tools that can grow with learners from basic to highly complex applications. The team won $30,000 with a chance to travel to Japan.
Second Prize: Skygrow
Skygrow is looking to reverse the decline in global forests permanently. Skygrow is developing autonomous tree-planting robots that never tire or stop and can accelerate reafforestation by planting robust tree seedlings in all weather conditions, all year round. The team won $15,000 with a chance to travel to Japan.
Runner up: FabrikCNC
FabrikCNC is creating a low-cost, small footprint, but high-fidelity CNC machine to allow SMEs to produce robust machined parts on site as an alternative to outsourcing production. Providing a step change in time and development costs for these businesses, FabrikCNC is poised to capture a massive, unmet market need for SMEs everywhere. The team won $15,000 with a chance to travel to Japan.
Rose Trapnell, QUT Media, 0407 585 901 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Liliana Campos, QUT bluebox, 07 3138 9413 or email@example.com