Manufacturing News

QUT wins AFR award for collaborative design robotics project

QUT wins AFR award for collaborative manufacturing project

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Design Robotics team has won the Industry Engagement Award in the 2022 Australian Financial Review Higher Education Awards.

The QUT research team, led by Associate Professor Dr Jared Donovan and Associate Professor Glenda Caldwell, collaborated on an $8 million Design Robotics research project delivered with funding from the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) and in partnership with Urban Art Projects (UAP) and RMIT University.

The Design Robotics team’s transforming Australian manufacturing program was recognised for collaborating between higher education and industry partners, and for creating a ground-breaking model of translating design and robotics research into advancing manufacturing processes.

Brisbane-based design and manufacturing company UAP embarked on the IMCRC project in 2017, partnering with researchers from QUT and RMIT to apply robotic vision systems and digital interfaces to streamline the integration between design and custom manufacturing of artworks, and make it easier for small-to-medium enterprises to create high-value products, while helping to generate additional export opportunities.

The research project has driven the digital transformation of UAP, resulting in increased sales, an increase in onshore manufacturing and the addition of 43 employees.

CEO and managing director of IMCRC, David Chuter, congratulated the QUT Design Robotics research team on being recognised for excellence in industry engagement.

“The AFR Higher Education Awards recognise outstanding achievements across Australia’s world-class tertiary sector and this award for the QUT Design Robotics research team is a well- deserved acknowledgment of their deep collaboration with UAP that delivered a quantum leap in capability and business growth,” he said.

“From the outset, UAP boldly sought to break with design and manufacturing tradition and push the boundaries of what could be achieved by pairing human creativity with the efficiency of robotics.

“At the heart of the project’s success was the seamless integration of the workshop staff and the Design Robotics researchers as one unified team, all invested in the one vision.”

The Design Robotics project not only helped UAP to achieve a greater competitive advantage through high-value product development and transformed manufacturing processes, but it was also the catalyst for establishing the Advanced Manufacturing in Robotics (ARM) Hub where manufacturers can explore robotics and design-led manufacturing.

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