EPE and Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO, have unveiled Australia’s first standardised robotics testing facility in Queensland.
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Veteran managed robotics and counter explosives firm EPE confirmed that the company has collaborated with Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO, to build the country’s first standardised robotics testing facility in Queensland.
EPE explained that the facility, dubbed MILTECS (Military Test, Evaluation, Certification and Systems Assurance), was built following industry need for robotics testing grounds and procedures. The facility is expected to cater for defence, law enforcement, agriculture, manufacturing and mining.
To achieve this, the facility in Pullenvale, Queensland, consists of two components, including a robotics terrain park to test the vehicles on a range of surfaces including stairs, pipes, inclines and unstructured terrains, and also includes a US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) certified obstacle course. The facility has further incorporated counter-IED detection and testing lanes.
This facility is also set over two additional sites, in the Lockyer Valley’s Helidon and EPE’s Brisbane facility.
The development of the MILTECS facility was funded by EPE, Defence’s Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority (SICP) program alongside support from the CSIRO.
Warwick Penrose, managing director of EPE, noted that the new facility would support Australia’s sovereign industry capability and support research and development into human-robot teaming.
“The facility is a genuine example of how a joint investment by government and industry, combined with collaborative partnership with the research sector, delivers critical Defence capability outcomes,” Penrose said.
It is expected that both EPE and the CSIRO will leverage their expertise in the subject area, as well as best practice from the NIST's certified procedures.
“This new testing centre and partnership will help facilitate new capabilities and products that will advance local industry and strengthen Australia's international standing in this domain,” Dr Navinda Kottege, group leader in CSIRO’s Data61, the agency’s data and digital arm, said.
Currently, CSIRO’s Pullenvale centre houses the Robotics Innovation Centre.