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New ideas for robotics projects sought

New ideas for robotics projects sought

Christchurch, 12 November, 2012 – Generating ideas for new robotics projects is the aim of a workshop being run by KiwiNet and the University of Canterbury tomorrow. The Robotics Industry Foresighting Initiative will bring together researchers and business to discuss innovation opportunities for New Zealand in robotics.

Dr Bram Smith the General Manager of KiwiNet says, “The meeting will bring researchers and industry together to build connections and better understand how they can help each other. The aim is to spot new and exciting opportunities for innovation in the mobile robotics space.”

Hamish House, workshop organiser and Director of NZi3, New Zealand’s ICT Innovation Institute at the University of Canterbury says, “Robotics represents a very real opportunity for New Zealand. By engaging researchers with businesses we’ll stimulate innovation which will lead to more world-class products for the global market.”

Mark Copsey from kMatrix, a company that specialises in identifying market hot spots for new technologies, will facilitate the workshop. “The market is real, it’s here, but the issue is what does the customer want in terms of functionality. Our aim is to identify a list of ‘jobs’ or priority project ideas and develop a plan for how they might be progressed.”

Copsey adds that a key success factor for any new market is making the consumer the centre of the innovation process not the technology.

KiwiNet’s Bram Smith says, “University of Canterbury spinout Invert Robotics is a great example of a new robotics company that is solving a very real problem. Their wall climbing robots enable vats used in the dairy industry to be inspected in a safe way. Their early development was supported with PreSeed funding from KiwiNet. We’re keen to identify more opportunities for researchers to develop robotics technologies to meet the needs of industry.

Dr Rod Carr, Vice Chancellor, University of Canterbury will open the workshop and talk about the University’s priorities in robotics. Industry speakers include Ian Palmer from Dynamic Controls and Glen Cameron from NEC Corporation. Research speakers include Dr XiaoQi Chen from the Mechatronics Department at the University of Canterbury and Dale Carnegie from Victoria University.

The Robotics Industry Foresighting Initiative is a joint initiative between KiwiNet and the University of Canterbury, a KiwiNet partner organisation. Supporters include MBIE – Science and Innovation Group, kMatrix and NZi3. For more information see

– ENDS –

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