In a groundbreaking initiative, the Australian Centre for Robotics has launched the ARC Research Hub in Intelligent Robotic Systems for Real-Time Asset Management (ARIAM) at the University of Sydney. The hub aims to revolutionize the industry by equipping robots with unprecedented capabilities and creating a real-time representation of physical assets through ‘digital twins’.
Professor Ian Manchester, a key figure in the project, believes that this initiative will lead to a significant change in the way industries operate. By eliminating the risks associated with manned operations in remote or dangerous areas, such as tunnels or underwater infrastructure, robots can enter previously inaccessible regions and inspect them with ease.
One of the critical objectives of ARIAM is to address Australia’s aging infrastructure. With many post-World War II assets nearing the end of their lifespan, the country faces a mounting maintenance backlog. ARIAM aims to tackle this challenge by developing robotic systems that can efficiently assess and monitor infrastructure networks.
The hub will collaborate with Australian industry partners to develop systems that include aerial, marine, and legged robots. These robots will demonstrate their capabilities through field trials, showcasing their potential in sectors such as public infrastructure, renewable energy, space, mining, and landcare.
The innovative aspect of ARIAM lies in its ability to create ‘digital twins’ – virtual models of physical assets constructed using real-time data collected by the robots. By equipping robots with the right sensors, they can capture various aspects of an asset, such as its structural integrity, temperature, movement, and other relevant information. This data is then integrated into the digital twin, providing a comprehensive representation of the asset.
The launch of ARIAM has already garnered interest from 15 industry partners, including Thales, Reach Robotics, Abyss Solutions, and Nearmap. These partnerships will enable the development, manufacturing, and exportation of Australian robotics and autonomous technology to a global market. For example, Nexxis is currently working on a spider-like robot with magnetic feet, designed to inspect metal structures for damage.
To further the field of robotics, ARIAM will foster collaboration between academics and industry, advancing technologies in robotics, sensing, planning, data processing, and machine learning. Through interdisciplinary research, ARIAM aims to position Australia as a leader in autonomous technology.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is ARIAM?
ARIAM stands for the ARC Research Hub in Intelligent Robotic Systems for Real-Time Asset Management. It is a new robotics initiative launched by the Australian Centre for Robotics at the University of Sydney.
What is the purpose of ARIAM?
ARIAM aims to equip robots with unprecedented capabilities and create real-time representations of physical assets through ‘digital twins’. The hub focuses on addressing Australia’s aging infrastructure and developing robotic systems for industries such as public infrastructure, renewable energy, space, mining, and landcare.
How do robots contribute to asset management?
Robots, equipped with sensors, can collect data about various aspects of physical assets, such as structural integrity, temperature, and movement. This data is integrated into ‘digital twins’, providing a comprehensive understanding of asset conditions. By automating data collection, robots streamline asset management processes and enable timely maintenance and repairs.
What industries are involved in ARIAM?
ARIAM collaborations span a wide range of industries, including public infrastructure, renewable energy, space, mining, and landcare. Industry partners such as Thales, Reach Robotics, Abyss Solutions, and Nearmap are actively involved in developing and implementing autonomous technology in these sectors.
How will ARIAM contribute to the robotics sector?
ARIAM aims to advance robotics through interdisciplinary research and collaboration between academics and industry. The hub fosters the development of technologies such as robotics, sensing, planning, data processing, and machine learning. This collaboration will position Australia as a leader in robotics and autonomous technology.