ARM Hub Responsible AI Guidelines

The rapid evolution of AI technologies and their integration into our lives demands a proactive approach to its responsible use.

The ARM Hub adopts the definition of responsible use of AI as a ‘practice of developing and using AI systems in a way that provides benefits to individuals, groups and wider society, while minimising the risk of negative consequences.’

This policy has been prepared by Dr Cori Stewart, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the ARM Hub. AI generated content is used within this document.

Download AI Guidelines

Tailored R&D solutions for your company

We have launched a new research initiative that will lead to real solutions for industry challenges.

The ARM Hub Industry-led Research Fellowship program is designed to close the gap between industry and academia.

It involves engaging a researcher (called a Fellow) to work solely on developing tailored solutions to your company’s challenge.

We want to hear from you!

Fellows work on projects put forward by companies.

For this initiative, we are looking for companies with a problem or challenge that may be overcome using robotics, artificial intelligence (ai), data analytics, or design.

Please outline your project here.

Time and costs

Fellowships are a cost-effective way of generating innovative solutions and accessing world-class research, with companies required to provide just half of the costs.

Fellows work on a project for anywhere between six months to four years, depending on the needs of the company and the complexity of the challenge.

Don’t miss out!

Companies have until 21 January 2024 to submit their project proposal.

This is a brilliant opportunity to have a solution to your business challenge addressed by leading specialists in robotics, ai, data analytics, and design.

For more information, please contact Samuel.jesuadian@armhub.com.au.

A view of international innovation hubs

Earlier this month, our CEO Dr Cori Stewart visited advanced manufacturing hubs with university and industry collaborations similar to the ARM Hub in Germany and Belgium. In the following article she reflects on the tours as part of an Australian delegation to the region.

‘The ongoing work of catalysing Industry 4.0 digital transformation for individual businesses was a feature of these innovation hubs.

Flanders Make in Belgium is an impressive network of independent advanced manufacturing hubs that form a network of university and industry collaboration centres.

For a decade they have been tackling the requirements of Industry 4.0 digital transformation with local industry, creating solutions with individual businesses as well as creating a library of digital manufacturing tools for widespread use.

During our visit we saw teams creating augmented reality digital workstations with digital work instructions; robotic visions systems for quality control and picking and sorting in production-line processes; robotics stations designed for agile and flexible manufacturing production; and a semi-trailer full of tech demonstrations that goes to industry and events to educate and inspire. This network of hubs has ensured local manufacturing is relevant, connected, globally competitive and has access to the latest equipment, research and talent.

The Australian delegation spent several days with Germany’s Fraunhofer Institutes and local manufacturers in Stuttgart, the manufacturing heartland of the nation and home to Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Bosch, Festo, Trumpf were among the industrial companies and research institutions.

Fraunhofer had systematised Germany’s success at Industry 4.0 implementation into business assessment tools.

In 2016, Australia’s Innovative Manufacturing CRC collaborated with Fraunhofer to translate and share this work with Australian companies. Now the Fraunhofer are building on this work with added focus on advanced product development and green manufacturing.

This development is of interest to ARM Hub given it is relevant to our high-value bespoke or mass customised manufacturing, including robotics manufacture. If you are similarly interested and want to connect with ARM Hub and Fraunhofer around these capabilities please do reach out.

Our time in Germany culminated in the formal event, the Fraunhofer Science and Innovation Day Australia in Augsburg.

The day did result in new and expanded partnerships with the Fraunhofer Institutes and the message to share is that there are well established programmes and funding pathways for Australians and Germans researchers and companies to leverage investment for collaborative projects.

There is also a dedicated program for Queenslanders managed through the Queensland Investment and Trade office in Frankfurt.’

Meet our Technology Roadmap Female Founders

The ARM Hub has begun its Technology Accelerator Roadmap for Female Founders.

This exciting accelerator goes beyond exploring your business goals — it identifies the technology companies need to grow their business, expand revenue opportunities, and increase readiness for investment.

We are thrilled to have six fantastic women participating in this program.

Meet our female founders

Stephanie Bofinger, CEO and Founder of Fempro Armour
Fempro Armour is a cutting-edge, women-focused technology company that specializes in creating innovative and high-quality protective gear for women. Our mission is to provide protective gear for fall prevention, so we all can live in a world where people are safe when they fall. With a strong emphasis on research and development, Fempro Armour has developed a range of products that cater to the unique safety needs of women in impact sports, healthcare and high-risk frontline personnel.

Abby Walsh, Director at Stomping Elephants
At Stomping Elephants our passion is to help people to experience the joy of expressing their personality. We are the home of a huge range of fun, unique and affordable quality Australian made earrings which are available online and at markets/stores across Australia. All of our earrings are designed and manufactured in house by our amazing team at Stomping HQ in Mackay, Queensland. Our ever-changing range includes over 2,500 different styles, ensuring there is something for everyone. Our manufacturing process utilises multiple machines, predominantly UV printers and Laser cutter/engravers to produce the various styles, with the assembly being done by hand.

Umar Nguyen, Director at Platinum Provedore | The Fish Girl
My agency operates as a beacon of innovation and growth for Australian primary producers in the seafood sector. We specialise in sales and marketing, driving the creation of unique solutions and the development of new markets. Our strategy is distinctive – we engage directly with chefs nationwide, ensuring pull-through via enhanced brand awareness and education. With our extensive knowledge of market trends and our expansive network, we promote local and sustainable producers, offerings them a platform to shine and flourish.

Sheree Lamont, Business Manager at Minecorp Australia
Minecorp is an Australian manufacturer of automotive components and a modifier of fleet vehicles with complex requirements. Based in Acacia Ridge, Minecorp was founded in 2007 during a time where minesite compliance and vehicle safety engineering was a at the forefront driver protection. We manufacture steel and aluminum accessories such as trays, toolboxes, and supporting components as well as purpose built trailers for industry. Minecorp also support the defence industry with sovereign capability to produce build to print components. We modify vehicles that are required to withstand harsh environments and have significant site requirements such as mining, utilities, rental and government. We are very passionate about providing solutions for large corporate fleets where uptime and mobile work is critical to the success of clients. We are an agile business who understands our own capability and what we can deliver both internally or through partnerships with our suppliers. Our goal is to be the leader in the automotive fleet modification sector with technology driving efficiency and repeatability whilst delivering the best financial outcomes for our clients.

Rebecca McIntosh, Director and Co-Founder of CHRYSALIS PROJECTS
The core of my life’s work is connecting community through conversation and meaningful experiences. I am an artist and a creative entrepreneur and have founded three businesses LOVE TV, POPSART arts media and Chrysalis Project creative Place Makers which are all ultimately focused on making cities great! I believe in the power of art and creativity to do this by uniting communities, revitalising their public spaces, and helping us understand better who we are as people.

Melissa Nguyen, Co-Founder of Subarashii Seats
We use your existing seat base and modify it just for you and your riding preferences. Rest assured as your seat gets reupholstered with superior grade foam and with comfort in mind. Whether you’re a short person in need of a lower seat or a long distance rider in need of a supportive seat. Anything you need, we can modify to suit you.

The accelerator is a joint initiative between Advance Queensland and VenturePro.

Top factors for Australian manufacturing

ARM Hub CEO and Founder Dr Cori Stewart summarises her opening remarks for the Australian Governnment’s recent House Standing Committee inquiry in Brisbane this month.

I raised three factors critical to manufacturing in Australia at the House Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Resources for Developing Advanced Manufacturing in Australia.

1. Australia’s population decline

Our declining population demands we innovate to drive new productivity into manufacturing and make the most value out of our working population. Technology must be a force multiplier here.

Australia’s birth-rate is 1.6, and a nation needs 2.1 to maintain its population. It means we will have about 2.5 people in 2050 of working age (15-64) for every older Australian.

These statistics have Australia on a trajectory of hard-to-reverse population decline often described as the “Japan Dilemma”.

Australia needs a strong technology sector to do the jobs we don’t or cannot do. We need to use our human labour in more valuable and rewarding working roles if we want to secure a manufacturing workforce at all.

We need a strong robotics, automation and artificial intelligence capability. We know that robots creates jobs, they don’t take jobs.

Australia is 30th of all countries in its ratio of robotics to the human workforce, which is poor given at the same time we are globally recognised as leaders in robotics research and robotics innovation more widely. Australia also has the lowest manufacturing capability of all OECD countries.

Incremental change, uncoordinated policy efforts, and unstable or uncertain investment environments will hamper our ability to be a modern competitive manufacturing nation.

2. Australia is poor at scaling enterprises

This includes scaling manufacturing as well as the technology businesses like robotics that underpin our manufacturing ability.

Recently, the Tech Council of Australia released its Shots on Goal report saying:

‘Australia needs a lot more scale’up capital to match the United States on a per capita basis. While we do meet comparative investment environment to the US for Series A funding and we not too bad at Series B funding, for Series C and D – the scale-up stage characterised as when you employ a large workforce and export to the globe – Australia will need to increase funding by five times above BAU growth to match the United States by 2030 on a per capita basis. At our current rate Australia will face an expected gap in scaleup funding of $53b by 2030.’

The Australian Government’s National Reconstruction Fund and the Industry Growth Program are critically important in this space and will need to invest in ‘intangibles’ such as software, which is the smart part of manufacturing.

It is critical we scale-up manufacturing, which means accessible investment. It is the only way we can realise a net gain from cooperative trade policy settings with the U.S. (e.g. the Inflation Reduction Act, the proposed Defence Production Act, and the Climate, Critical Minerals and Clean Energy Transformation Compact).

3. Coordinated national approach to industry policy

We strongly believe a coordinated national approach to industry policy would coalease Australia’s efforts and resources, making us more competitive.

I would like to build on the idea of Australia’s network of Factories of the Future to facilitate open innovation and collaboration in manufacturing, which enables investment in key sovereign capabilities to be translated across industry sectors.

We also recommend further investment in strategic programs for industry:

• technology accelerators
• global supply chain innovation programs
• workforce development programs
• manufacturing precincts of global renown.

Australia needs to set the foundation for a coherent and successful industrial transformation strategy.

A strong network of Factories of the Future will tackle Australia’s narrow trade and industrial structure and create the industries and jobs of the future.

Only manufacturing can provide the foundations for national reconstruction because it will deliver the innovation, productivity and competitiveness and jobs we need to ensure greater sovereign capability and economic complexity, including diversification of our export mix.

Female Founder Technology Accelerator opens for business

The ARM Hub has opened a new technology accelerator for female founders of Queensland-based technology and manufacturing companies.

The ARM Hub Technology Roadmap Accelerator for Female Founders is designed to help female business owners or women leading companies to take their business to the next level.

ARM Hub CEO and founder Dr Cori Stewart opened the Expressions of Interest in the accelerator during a special event with Queensland Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport Stirling Hinchliffe at ARM Hub today.

“As a female founder myself, I’m thrilled to be able to offer this program to Queensland’s entrepreneurs and business leaders,” Dr Stewart said.

“The accelerator goes beyond refining your business objectives. We help you identify and plan the Industry 5.0 technologies you need to scale your business.

“These roadmaps are fit-for-purpose, designed with the help of leading Australian experts in the field of robotics, artificial intelligence, automation, and design-led manufacturing.

“This is a great opportunity for Queensland small-to-medium businesses and micro-businesses to tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience.

“Roadmaps are essential for growing your business and becoming more attractive to investors.”

The accelerator is open to women in Queensland who have founded a business, are in a business that is 50% female owned, or is led by a female (e.g., CEO, Director, Executive).

To gain the most benefit from the accelerator, we recommend applying if:

  • your business or product is underpinned by, or includes, a technology component, OR
  • your business or product requires manufacturing, OR
  • you business or product includes a technology component and requires manufacturing.

The ARM Hub Technology Accelerator Roadmap for Female Founders is a joint initiative with VenturePro and is supported by Advance Queensland Female Founders Accelerator Program.

The Hub technology accelerator is one of 11 recipients of the first round of grant funding under the Advance Queensland Female Founders Accelerator Program.

Expressions of Interest for the Hub accelerator close on 15 August 2023. The accelerator will run from August to November 2023.

For more information please review the eligibility criteria or contact Director Marketing and Memberships, Angela Reed.

 

Success story: Direct air capture technology

Southern Green Gas was founded by Rohan Gillespie in 2018, after he identified a gap in the energy processes and technology that was being used to make use of carbon in a positive light.

The company has developed Direct Air Capture (DAC) technologies that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and make it available for subsequent sequestration, or as a component in several sustainable production pathways. This includes being transformed into renewable fuels.

Its success has attracted investment from former Australian Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel AC, who will provide counsel on policy and commercialisation of its technology.

ARM Hub is playing an integral role in the scaling and growth of Southern Green Gas, as it looks to commercialise its product for companies the world over to use.

The industry challenge

Carbon dioxide is at 420ppm in our atmosphere – the highest level ever recorded. While government and industry have set emission targets, they are designed to reduce future emissions. They do not address the existing rates of carbon dioxide.

Southern Green Gas set out to reduce current emissions to a healthy goal (below 400ppm) and to build a solution that ensures carbon dioxide can be repurposed, or sequestered underground and locked away, essentially forever.

The solution

Southern Green Gas, in partnership with University of Sydney, has found a way to not only capture the carbon dioxide, but also to sequester it or include it in sustainable products.

This includes working to minimise the energy demand so it can operate in remote, arid areas of Australia, or overseas without infrastructure support.

The team is now working to commercialise its technology in a way that’s cost-effective for potential customers.

Southern Green Gas is working closely with AspiraDAC to complete the DAC module at ARM Hub.

The company has built a triangular module (DAC Tent) on a square base, which contains a series of canisters and houses solar panels for sustainable energy supply.

It works as a technology tree, drawing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Air is passed over a specific surface coating, in canisters, capturing the carbon dioxide until a desorption phase releases the concentrated gas for further use.

It can be immediately sequestered underground, or stored for subsequent use in the production of e-fuels, as a food additive or as a supplement for enhanced horticulture.

Outcomes

Southern Green Gas is building three of its module units at ARM Hub’s state-of-the-art Brisbane facility.

The next step is to upgrade the design based on the learnings from the current module, before starting to build the units at scale for commercial production and sale.

Southern Green Gas is also looking at opportunities to deploy the DAC modules in arid locations that have low traditional economic value, yet high solar presence.

The company is very aware that for CO2 to be reduced from our current unsustainable levels, we must address the carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere, not just what is planned to be emitted in future.

Partnering with ARM Hub

The team was introduced to ARM Hub through a business associate at a time when the company was looking for a space to continue to build and test its module.

As a tenant, the company has had the opportunity to work collaboratively with ARM Hub’s world-leading experts and advisors in robotics, artificial intelligence, and design.

ARM Hub has also offered extensive, high-value networking opportunities; with its reputation as a leader in advanced manufacturing, ARM Hub regularly hosts international, national, and state industry and government delegations.

Southern Green Gas has leveraged ARM Hub’s network to identify key university contacts that have assisted with the company’s technology focus. The ARM Hub international community also provided specific expertise.

Locally, the facilities in the ARM Hub have been a bonus to Southern Green Gas with meeting venues and administrative support.

The challenge of recycling lithium batteries

Did you know that only a small percentage of lithium batteries are recycled, with most ending up in landfill?

One of the main barriers is their casing, says Vaulta CEO and founder, Dominic Spooner.

Speaking at our Academic and Industry Engagement event this week, Dominic said the Brisbane company was overcoming this major industry challenge.

“The penny drop moment was finding out recycling of lithium batteries was near non-existent and the way they were packaged had a significant impact,” Dominic said.

“Without better battery casing, we’re going to have a real problem with longer-term aspects of how the industry works.

“Relying on batteries that end up in landfill is not a sustainable way to roll out renewables.

“People are going to become frustrated with battery manufacturers, just like they are now with the coal industry.

“We have the opportunity to get this right before the problem hits hard. We can solve this right now – and Vaulta is doing that.”

Vaulta, one of our newest Members, is manufacturing new batteries that can be dissembled for recycling and repair (in the field, if necessary).

“We are proud to champion locally made content. For us, being ‘local’ means more than just a label, it means manufacturing everything we can right here in Queensland.

“By encouraging local production, we not only support our community but also reduce reliance on offshore sources, promoting sustainable economic growth.”

Fast facts about lithium batteries

  • Queensland’s waste reduction targets for 2050 include 75% recycling rates across all waste types, and for 90% of waste to recovered instead of going to landfill. Currently, Australia’s battery recycling rate is 3%, and 9% worldwide.
  • The International Energy Agency predicts that by 2030, there would be 145 million electric cars on the roads, surging to a staggering 230 million if governments prioritise energy and climate goals.
  • Australia regularly follows EU regulations. The EU Battery Recycling Mandate states: “…Extended Producer Responsibility will start applying by mid-2025, with higher collection targets being introduced over time. For portable batteries, the targets will be 63% in 2027 and 73% in 2030, while for batteries with light means of transport, the target will be 51% in 2028 and 61% in 2031. All collected batteries have to be recycled and high levels of recovery have to be achieved, in particular of valuable materials such as copper, cobalt, lithium, nickel, and lead.

Academic and Industry Engagement events

These events are held quarterly at our facility and are designed to foster collaboration between academia and industry, and raise awareness of industry challenges.

Would you like to join the next one? Please email Samuel.jesuadian@armhub.com.au.

Collaboration paper wins award

Congratulations to ARM Hub industrial designer Anthony Franze on winning the 2023 Young CAADRIA Award (YCA)!

CAADRIA is the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia. The YCA is for PhD candidates who are lead authors of a submitted conference paper. It aims to encourage and promote early career researchers.

As a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) PhD student and the lead author, Anthony received the award for the paper, Informing User-Centred Approaches To Augmented Custom Manufacturing Practices.

“I am delighted that our paper has received recognition, underscoring our research topic’s national and international significance within the academic community,” Anthony said.

“Our paper also highlights the importance of collaboration between academia and industry to support small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses adopting emergent technologies, such as AR/MR. By doing so, improving their Industry 4.0 competitiveness, and enhancing the work lives of their valued fabrication staff.

“Winning the YCA award presents a unique opportunity to invite further discussions, research, and collaboration with manufacturers, academics, and industry professionals to progress the sector.”

The paper was submitted to the CAADRIA 2023 Human-Centric Conference at Cept University, India, from 18-24 March 2023.

Anthony’s co-authors were:

  • Associate Professor Glenda Caldwell
  • Dr Müge Belek Fialho Teixeira
  • Associate Professor Markus Rittenbruch.

The papers are judged on their merit, contribution, relevance to CAADRIA, and demonstrated the depth of research interest.

The paper is available here and the abstract is below.

Abstract

This practice-based research presents insights into the potential and challenges for augmented and mixed reality (AR/MR) technology to enhance Australian small-to-medium (SME) custom manufacturers’ agility to overcome existing Industry 4.0 (I4.0) workforce productivity and efficiency challenges. Moreover, it seeks to understand the technology’s ability to support custom manufacturers and the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) sector transition to a more human-centric Industry 5.0 (I5.0) model, whereby the well-being of the fabricator is placed back at the centre of manufacturing processes. This qualitative study draws on interviews with eleven Australian custom manufacturing industry professionals to inform pertinent themes around fabricators’ current use and perceptions of mixed reality technology. Results indicate benefits for fabricators in reducing 2D drawing and task-related ambiguities in fabrication and assembly practices and reveal factors surrounding underutilisation. Synthesising insights and reflecting on Teixeira et al., (2021) ‘s XR-PACT framework, key research areas are identified for future AR/MR development centred on fabrication users’ distinct needs to improve accessibility, empower fabricators and ultimately assist the competitiveness of custom manufacturers and the AEC sector.

Welcoming Australia’s industry policy leaders to ARM Hub

Australian manufacturers took the opportunity to discuss their products and services with Australian Minister for Industry and Science, the Hon Ed Husic MP at ARM Hub in April.

During a tour of the Northgate facility, Minister Husic spoke to ARM Hub Member Orcon, and tenants Southern Green Gas, Bondi Labs, and Umbrella Solutions.

QUT Professor and ARM Hub Technical Director Professor Jonathan Roberts demonstrated the development of a mechanism developed by the Australian Cobotics Centre.

Minister Husic was joined by Australian Minister for Aged Care the Hon Anika Wells MP, who spoke to Umbrella Solutions about their technology for aged care organisations.