The Commonwealth Bank and property group Stockland have partnered with a leading academic research network and the University of Technology Sydney to invest in research and development of social robotics.
The parties, along with the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) are investing in research and development in artificial intelligence through a leading corporate-academic partnership in social robotics.
Research conducted by the partners will identify opportunities and limitations in human-robot interaction. It will also explore the commercial applications of social robotics across a number of industries.
On its company newsroom site, the Commonwealth Bank says its Sydney Innovation Lab will be used as a testing environment for students and academics of Australia’s leading technology universities to conduct research and development using Chip.
Chip is a humanoid robot owned by the bank and the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
According to Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, group executive institutional banking and markets at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, “The development of robotics and artificial intelligence will affect all of us in the future.
“We have invested in Chip and this academic partnership to ensure Australia remains at the forefront of knowledge and thought leadership when it comes to disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence and social robotics,” she said.
She said the research will build an understanding of the impact social robotics will have on the lives of people, customers and industries.
Commonwealth Bank revealed it has also established a social robotics team within its Sydney Innovation Lab to better connect clients and industry with Australia’s leading academics in the space.
Meanwhile, Mark Steinert, managing director and CEO, Stockland said the property group was interested in how robotics could be used in its business parks and logistics centres, shopping centres as well as its residential and retirement living communities.
“For Stockland this partnership is about defining the future rather than waiting for it to happen to us.”
Mary-Anne Williams, Professor and director of the Innovation and Enterprise Research Laboratory (The Magic Lab) at UTS described the project as a watershed moment for robotics research in Australia and globally.
According to Williams, “While there are research challenges and risks associated with the broader field of robotics, there are also extraordinary benefits for companies seeking to establish and maintain a leadership position in the disruptive field of social robotics.”
The UTS Magic Labs and ATN students working on the project are drawn from academic backgrounds including robotics and artificial intelligence, data analytics, IT and engineering, business and law. They have worked on high-profile projects with organisations like NASA and IBM, winning multiple awards in Australia and overseas.