QCAT marks 25 years with giant robot promising MAX impact

Published Wednesday, 11 October, 2017 at 09:30 AM

Acting Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

Acting Innovation Minister Coralee O’Rourke today (Wednesday) congratulated the Queensland Centre for Advanced Technology on 25 years of energy, mining and robotics, research excellence.

The Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies (QCAT) marked its anniversary with the public unveiling of the world’s first ultralight legged robot that is 2.25m tall and sets a new paradigm in the field of lightweight robots.

“QCAT has conducted world-class research since opening its doors in September 1992 and proves the successes that can come from linking research with industry,” Minister O’Rourke said.

QCAT, CSIRO and the Queensland Government’s joint project at Pullenvale opened its doors to the first engineers and scientists in 1992, and was officially opened by then-Queensland Premier Wayne Goss in February the following year.

Ms O’Rourke said the vision of the then government had paid off in so many ways, with QCAT recognised as an international leader in research areas of energy, mineral resources and automation technologies.

“QCAT is a great example of what can be achieved through the interaction between researchers and industry partners such as Rio Tinto,” she said.

“As well as Rio Tinto, QCAT is also home of the CSIRO’s Data61 Business Unit, which is one of the leading robotics and sensing research groups in the world.

“MAX, the 2.25m-tall multilegged autonomous explorer is a world-first and is a big deal in more ways than one – representing a new paradigm in the field of lightweight robots.”

QCAT’s Low Emissions Energy team has developed a suite of metal membrane technologies that are able to produce and extract pure hydrogen from industrial gas streams which, among other things, enables the creation of new industries to export Australia’s renewable energy around the globe.

QCAT Executive Manager Dr David Harris said all those at the research centre could be proud of what had been achieved in 25 years.

“QCAT has grown to a hub of more than 300 staff working in a collaborative precinct to develop innovative technologies and opportunities across the energy and resources sectors,” Dr Harris said.

“The impacts of QCAT’s work are being realised across the Australian domestic and export energy sectors.

“QCAT’s automated mining technologies are improving productivity and safety in Australian and international mining industries, and our advanced coal conversion technologies are providing key support for utilisation of Australian coals in low emissions power, hydrogen and chemicals applications.

“These developments also underpin new initiatives in hydrogen energy systems which will enable export of Australia’s renewable energy resources for transport and power applications in global markets.”

Rio Tinto Project Development Lead Mark Duffy said the Rio Tinto activities at QCAT helped to ensure the long-term sustainability of its bauxite and alumina operations, and the continued economic and employment benefits.

“Our scientists and engineers, through their research and development activities at QCAT, have improved the processability of Weipa bauxite ores, resulting in increased export sales and royalties which benefit all Queenslanders,” Mr Duffy said.

“Through the research and development activities at QCAT, Rio Tinto is able to optimise and improve the processing efficiency of its bauxite ores in its Gladstone refineries - increasing the alumina extraction and reducing the energy consumption and environmental impacts per tonne of bauxite processed.”

For more information on CSIRO’s Energy, Mineral Resources and Data61 research, visit https://www.csiro.au/en/Research/EF, https://www.csiro.au/en/Research/MRF and http://data61.csiro.au/.


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