A Boston Dynamics-manufactured robot took centre stage in front of an enthusiastic crowd at a futures forum organised last week by the South West Development Commission in support of career opportunities and industry needs.
The South West Advanced Manufacturing Robotics Education Forum highlighted how robotics and automation is transforming industry and influencing the education curriculum.
SWDC chief executive officer Mellisa Teede said the event created a buzz amongst attendees, including students from Bunbury and Newton Moore senior high schools, who were given a glimpse into the latest developments in technology and further education.
“Fostering innovation in fields such as robotics and automation will assist industries including the advanced manufacturing sector to remain competitive in an increasingly globalised environment,” Ms Teede said.
“This event was a great step towards helping to prepare our education, training and workplaces for the future, where there is a more diversified economy with exciting new career options.
“Robotics doesn’t mean there aren’t jobs for people, it means different jobs and more opportunities for humans to use robots in their work including circumstances where work may be considered ‘dull, dirty and dangerous’.
“We were thrilled to see the level of interest from educators and industry as well as students – there are exciting opportunities on our doorstep.
“We look forward to working with educators and industry going forward as we collaborate on equipping young residents of the region with the skills for the jobs of the future.”
Feature presentations were given by Woodside, Siemens, Edith Cowan University and The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia. Bunbury MLA Don Punch provided an opening address.
SWDC is leading efforts to build the case for a South West Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Hub (SW AMTECH) in Bunbury Geographe.
Paxon Group have been contracted to deliver a preliminary assessment report into the viability of the proposed facility.
The report is the first step to producing a full feasibility and business case for the concept.
It is expected a common user facility arrangement would provide local access to infrastructure, technology, training, education and research for the purpose of affording local businesses the edge when competing for contracts in the global marketplace.