Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: A renewed focus on robotics comes along with the development of the country's second Robotics Roadmap.

Australia has renewed its focus on robotics and is currently seeking industry feedback for the development of the second Australian Robotics Roadmap. The industry has been meeting through a series of workshops across multiple sectors led by DATA61, a division of the Australian government’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), with the goal of discussing strategies to support the advancement of the industry.

The following sectors have been identified as key industries for robotics in Australia, and Wisconsin exporters with expertise in robotics solutions for these sectors will likely be well received: agriculture, defense, emergency and disaster response resources, health care, infrastructure, manufacturing, skills, services (including construction), space and transport/mobility.

Historically, the Australian robotics industry has looked to the U.S. Robotics Roadmap and the U.S. experience in general for guidance. DATA61’s team has noted that, when compared to the U.S., Australia is not adopting automation at the same rate. DATA61 believes an opportunity exists here for industry to engage in the development and adoption of automation solutions, particularly in mass customization as Australia looks to onshore its manufacturing industry.

One of the most recent workshops in DATA61’s Robotics Roadmap series was held virtually on April 23, seeking input from industry for the robotics roadmap for defense. Examples of robotics initiatives undertaken by the Australian defense sector include:

  • In March 2020, the Australian Army set up RICO, an office for robotics and autonomous systems aimed at advancing knowledge in and bolstering adoption of disruptive technologies. A number of projects underway at the office can be viewed here.
  • The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) hosted Autonomous Warrior 2018 to demonstrate the potential of uninhabited systems in defense capability. RAN is continuing to explore options for the incorporation of robotics through the Ai-Search project, an AI prototype aimed at transforming airborne search and rescue.
  • The Royal Australian Airforce has procured a number of unmanned air systems (UAS) in recent years, including the Boeing Loyal Wingman, the Sky Guardian and the MQ-4C Triton.

To explore and capitalize on opportunities in this sector, Wisconsin companies are encouraged to: