AgriFutures evokeAG visitors see AARP innovators in action

Attendees of the 2024 AgriFutures evokeAG 2024 conference, held recently at the Perth Convention Center, took time out of their busy schedule to see several innovators demonstrate technology solutions at the Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct.  

High temperatures did not deter the enthusiasm of visitors as CORE Innovation Hub Business Partnership Lead, Renu Kannu opened the event and introduced AARP innovators from Strata Worldwide, Harvest Technology Group, Kara Ged and Jevons Robotics.

Although the AARP is frequently used by innovators from the mining and resources sector, agriculture also represents a core focus industry for the facility.  


Agricultural drone technology ready for industry adoption by Kara Ged

The first innovator of the day was Kara Ged Director Judy Zhu, who presented the DJI flagship in agriculture drone technology—the AGRAS T40. 

With a base weight of 50 kg, this robust drone is capable of carrying 40 litres of liquid for spraying or 50 kg of dry particles for spreading. With a total takeoff weight of 90 kg, this was the largest drone seen by many of the attendees. 

Judy shared the huge opportunity for Australian farmers to leverage large multi-purpose drones like the T40 for automating crop protection, fertilising, and seeding activities.

Her business supports farmers by educating them about the technology, providing training and access to equipment, as well as assisting in running live field trials. 

Judy maintains that a key factor in increasing adoption in the Australian region will be for industry consultants to work with farmers on the financial business modelling required to adapt existing practices.

While spending as much time as possible in regional WA, the AARP provides Kara Ged with a permanent, metro-based location for conducting client training and demonstrations on short notice.

Kara Ged will be presenting a more extensive drone demonstration at the AARP on 14 March, featuring the DJI Dock 2, Flycart and AGRAS T40.


Collision avoidance system using AI to protect personnel by Strata Worldwide

Attendees were then taken to  Test Bed 1, where Strata Worldwide Regional Manager Dan Couch gave a live demonstration of their collision avoidance solution, Safetsite HarzardAI. 

As a large global safety and productivity solutions company, Strata capitalised on its domestic project experience in proximity detection technologies to develop a proprietary solution encompassing hardware, software, and services designed to limit personnel interactions with vehicles.

HazardAI is a stand-alone system and works with either mobile machine-mounted sensors or sensors installed on fixed plant infrastructure. The demonstration at the AARP showcased the MobileAI sensor mounted on the back of Dan’s work vehicle. 

Utilising stereoscopic 3D cameras, the system accurately tracked attendee movements, while platform algorithms sounded audible warnings as individuals entered custom detection zones. Recorded video and sensor data were subsequently stored on the mySafeSITE software platform.

However, the true innovation of the HarzardAI system lies in its AI capabilities, trained to detect specific objects, thus providing contextually accurate hazard warnings beyond simple motion detection.  

Although a variety of competitive offerings continue to enter the locations services market, Strata has already dedicated years to developing a reliable, high-performance system, with a focus on personnel detection in maritime, construction and underground hard-rock environments.

Safety, a critical concern in the resources sector, has proved to be the leading driver of product development. With an expanding client base and maturing solution, Dan anticipates the integration of additional technological features into the product roadmap.

As a resident of CORE Innovation Hub and also an AARP innovator, Strata Worldwide will continue to leverage the Precinct’s facilities for further product and business development activities. 


Commissioning their first commercial customer with Jevons Robotics

It was then time to reboard the shuttle bus and head over to Test Bed 5, where attendees had the opportunity to observe a WA tech start-up conduct the final commissioning of their robotics solution for the company’s first commercial customer.

As CEO Todd Peate explained, Jevons Robotics specialises in building large, battery-electric, teleoperated and remotely autonomous wheeled vehicle solutions for the global mining industry. 

Their solutions are high-tech and robust, and incorporate the latest advancements in automation, AI, robotics and battery technology. The fully driverless Jevons vehicles excel in performing high-precision positioning activities on contoured, steep, and unstable terrains.

The outdoor temperature of 43 degrees Celsius on Monday provided ideal conditions to showcase the benefits to operators of the remote-controlled vehicle. COO David Crosbie pointed out the site office where the vehicle operators were comfortably sitting in 23 degrees. 

After two years of product development, which included some client field tests, the business is now taking its product to market.

In preparation for their inaugural product deployment, Jevons has been a permanent resident of the AARP for the past three months. This arrangement was made for a client who had agreed to local commissioning at the AARP as a viable substitute for commissioning at the final client site in the eastern states.

Utilising the testing facility has delivered Jevons and their end client significant savings in site mobilisation time and costs, funds which can now be redirected towards expediting the project launch.

The Jevons experience exemplifies the value the AARP offers to the industry.


A glimpse into low-latency, multi-source video streaming with Harvest

To conclude the day, attendees returned to the AARP office for the final demonstration by Harvest Technolgy Enterprise Solutions Manager Irwin Davis.

Irwin took attendees on a deep dive into Harvest’s world-leading, ultra-low bandwidth video streaming system. The feature-rich platform facilitates secure, real-time high-quality streaming of voice, video, and data across unpredictable networks, delivering remote control, communication, automation and monitoring functionality.

However, the standout value that positions Harvest at the forefront of the global market became clear when Irwin shared how Harvest engineers have achieved such low-latency performance that it allows operators of high-speed vehicles and machinery to remotely control them in real-time through video feeds and control data transmission—an impressive feat. 

Irwin also showcased the backend systems’, real-time, highly configurable nature. He effortlessly adjusted video stream settings with granular control and could even manage the source camera devices directly.

The demonstration clearly showed the difference between basic camera surveillance systems and full automation and control systems enabled by Harvest Technology’s hardware and backend platform. 

Harvest is an Australian tech start-up with offices in Technology Park Bentley. It is successfully servicing numerous global customers with its proprietary hardware and software solutions in the energy, resources and renewable sectors. 

Despite the growing number of remote streaming and machine control systems entering the market, Irwin revealed that Harvest continues to maintain a significant lead in functionality and performance over its competitors. 

Nevertheless, Harvest’s senior leadership is committed to advancing its system’s capabilities while continuing to expand to new markets across the globe.

Irwin is more than happy to share more information about their products and services with organisations across industries including mining, marine, defence, and beyond.


Wrapping up for lunch and networking

Before the official proceedings concluded, AARP National Project Lead Tamryn Barker took a moment to share progress updates on the construction at the Neerabup facility. 

The next Demo Day will be taking place on Friday 15 March, at 10:00 am. This event offers an excellent opportunity to tour the AARP, view the facilities, and experience the robotics and automation technology being developed on-site.

Attendees of the 2024 AgriFutures evokeAG 2024 conference, held recently at the Perth Convention Center, took time out of their busy schedule to see several innovators demonstrate technology solutions at the Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct.