WA robotics precinct secures first major industry partner

The Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct in Western Australia has secured mining tech company IMDEX as its first major industry partner.

ASX-listed IMDEX has signed on to be an industry partner at the precinct for the next two years and will use the innovation hub to accelerate testing and demonstration of its new multi-sensor drill system.

Published on InnovationAus.com on 22 August, 2023

The BLAST DOG multi-sensor system will support drill hole logging by delivering real-time data. It enables automated imaging of material characteristics and fracturing in ore and waste.

On Tuesday, the Western Australian government also announced that local construction firm Devlyn Australia had been awarded $7.3 million for the construction of a Common User Facility building at the Neerabup precinct in the north of Perth.

The precinct experienced COVID-related construction delays, with the Common User Facility initially expected to be operational from mid-2023. Last May, DevelopmentWA said it would be expected to be complete by the end of 2024, with an interim building available in the meantime.

The mining firm will also build and maintain a Drill Pad as a part of the larger 22 hectare ‘Dirt Lab’, “an Innovation Mine test and development landscape offering commercial and collaborative opportunities for users,” according to the state government.

The state government has invested $28 million to develop the Australian Automation and Robotic Precinct (AARP), which is being operated by the CORE Innovation Hub.

AARP test beds have been available to rent since January 2023. It hosts three test beds including 3ha and 6ha beds of flat and sandy terrain, while a third test bed is a 1ha urban streetscape environment.

State Innovation and Digital Economy minister Stephen Dawson said that Western Australia has produced some of the world’s best industrial robotics and automation technology and welcomed the next stage of the AARP’s development.

“The Common User Facility operations building will provide a flagship facility in WA for local and global businesses to cluster and collaborate on robotics and automation technology solutions, build skills and showcase capability,” he said.

“The CUF provides an environment for our brightest minds to come together and build towards a more sustainable future for our jobs, industries and communities.”

State Lands minister John Carey said that government’s provision of enabling infrastructure will help local industries grow and innovate “positioning WA as a global technology hub”.