Japanese robotics company to establish Queensland presence

Published Thursday, 17 November, 2016 at 03:27 PM

Premier and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

The Queensland Government’s partnership with Japanese robotics and telecommunications company SoftBank Robotics will include it establishing a presence in Brisbane.

Speaking from a meeting with SoftBank Corporation in Tokyo, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the partnership would develop Queensland’s strengths in robotics.

“As part of the closer ties between the government and SoftBank, the company will also be a foundation tenant in Queensland’s start-up and innovation precinct in the historical TC Beirne Building, ensuring Fortitude Valley in Brisbane becomes a hub for business and software developers,” the Premier said.

“I look forward to the robotics industry developing rapidly in Queensland through the expertise and support of the SoftBank Robotics’ team and the businesses and research institutions working in this exciting industry.”

The Premier said the Advance Queensland partnership would involve government, business, researchers and startups working together to develop and expand the use of robotics technology.

“This partnership is about building our knowledge based industries, securing global investment and connections for Queensland, and deploying new technology in both government and business,” she said.

Ms Palaszczuk paved the way for the trial today involving Pepper by signing a proof of concept agreement with the company in Tokyo.

There is also a gyroscope in the torso and touch sensors in the head and hands. The mobile base has two sonars, six lasers, three bumper sensors, and a gyroscope – all to ensure Pepper can interact easily and safely with people and its surrounds.

The agreement includes promoting the development of a robotics industry in Queensland through Pepper’s open platform in and a competition for coders.

SoftBank Robotics is a subsidiary of Softbank Group Corporation, one of Japan’s largest public companies.

Professor Arun Sharma, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of QUT said, “This partnership is a great opportunity for programmers and researchers in robotics in Queensland.”

QUT will assist in coordinating the R&D collaboration and entrepreneurial development activities of the partnership.

"QUT is committed to bringing its world class capability in robotics and computer vision to the partnership and looks forward to working with Softbank Robotics, the Queensland Government, other researchers and startups to position this state as a leader in humanoid robotics,” Professor Sharma said.

The Premier said that the she hoped the partnership with Softbank Robotics will expand over time.

“Softbank Robotics is a highly innovative firm and we value a long term partnership for mutual benefit,” the Premier said.

Media contact: Kirby Anderson 0417 263 791