Ocular Robotics envisions the future

AUSTRALIAN company Ocular Robotics has been recognised as a ‘game changer’ organisation in the global robotics revolution.

Ocular Robotics, a New South Wales Leaders alumni member, was presented with the Next Generation Game Changer Award at the 2015 RoboBusiness Conference in Silicon Valley, California. 

The RoboBusiness Conference is a global annual focal point for the rapid development of robotics. It is easy to see why Ocular Robotics was singled out for the award, acknowledging the company’s leadership in visual sensors – so vital for progress in robotics.

Founder Mark Bishop and commercial director Ramin Rafiei said Ocular Robotics concentrated on solving the most vital challenge for mobile robotics: rapid and accurate collection of visual data. 

Dr Rafiei said Ocular Robotics Ltd designs, manufactures and markets the world’s “most dynamic sensor platform, the only platform which brings together unmatched speed and precision in one solution”.

Under its product brand RobotEye, Ocular Robotics has created what is recognised as the most agile and precise sensor platform to drastically increase operational performance in markets as diverse as robotics and automation, security and surveillance, aerospace and defence, mining and resources, and precision agriculture.

Dr Rafiei said RobotEye could be deployed on land, in air and at sea, “and its unique ability to guide light to any sensor allows the sensor itself and much of the rest of the mass normally associated with directing the view of a sensor to remain stationary”.

“This means that regardless of the size and weight of a sensor RobotEye can direct its view about multiple axes at ultra-high speeds while simultaneously maintaining excellent precision,” Dr Rafiei said. “RobotEye’s panoramic view of the world covers the full light range from ultra-violet, through the visible and infra-red, and beyond.”

So far, the RobotEye family of products has been deployed for autonomous navigation and robotics, 3D mapping, mine automation, intelligent surveillance, situational awareness, emergency response vehicles, port automation, critical infrastructure and border protection.

Dr Rafiei said the RoboBusiness award for Ocular Robotics demonstrated the positive impact of cutting edge Australian technology on the world.

“In the words of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the key to Australia’s future is to be agile, innovative and creative and Ocular Robotics is proud to be a leading example of this economic transformation for the country,” he said.

A recent example of this innovation has been the Australian Defence Department’s call for Ocular Robotics to develop a advanced stress testing system to be used on aircraft.

The Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) engaged Ocular Robotics last year to build a proof of concept system leveraging the company’s RobotEye technology to demonstrate an effective thermographic stress analysis (TSA) system.

With the TSA, a thermal camera is deployed to view the effects of stretching and twisting aircraft structures to predict when and where they will fail.



Hargraves Institute backs Public Sector Innovation awards.

THE ORGANISATION that has been inciting Australian innovation since 2006 – the Hargraves Institute named after aviation pioneer Lawrence Hargrave – is now focused on helping public sector to transform.

The Hargraves Institute is backing the Australian Public Sector Innovation Awards in an effort to assist in the innovative development of public administration. Allan Ryan.

“The Public Sector Innovation Awards aims to recognise, celebrate and share innovative approaches to public administration,” Hargraves Institute CEO Allan Ryan said.

“The benefits of innovation to the APS (Australian Public Sector) is to engage everybody in problem solutions,” Mr Ryan said. “Engaging everybody gives the maximum opportunity to get the best ideas. (It is to) get many ideas and for the best of many ideas to be implemented.”

He said it was all about recognising innovation and fostering a culture that supports and celebrates people and agencies doing things differently.

“This means that an innovative APS is a high performing APS, because everybody at every level is engaged in the outcomes desired.”

Since it was founded on July 1, 2006, the Hargraves Institute has become a beacon for bringing through innovation in various sectors of Australian business, education and now public administration.

It is as unique as its namesake, who was an inventor – the man who developed box kites and gliders and whose experiment in wing warping are believed to have helped the Wright Brothers make their powered flight breakthrough in 1903 – who believed in sharing his ideas and findings with the scientific world.

Hargrave’s principle of sharing and collaboration to advance knowledge is the corner stone of Hargraves Institute.

There were 12 leading Australian organisations who formed the original Hargraves Institute Advisory Council.

The aims were many, all based on inciting innovation throughout Australian enterrpise and society. The concept of the members was to be part of the collection of the country’s best innovators; and  to “learn how to be more innovative through the collective experience of the group”.

The original 12 were Aristocrat Technologies Australia, Australian Wool Innovation, BlueScope Steel, Boeing Australia, Caltex Australia Petroleum, Cerebos (Australia), Cochlear, George Weston Technologies, Jacobs Australia, Mars Food Australia, Roche Products and Westpac Banking Corporation.

The Hargraves Institute is a NSW Leaders Industry Partner.




Copyright Agency assists Isentia

NEW South Wales Leaders executive member The Copyright Agency has struck a landmark rights agreement with leading Asia-Pacific media intelligence group, Isentia, that will both improve access to Australian online and print content and protect its publishers.

The Copyright Agency has announced it will use this agreement as the basis for “negotiating with all other online and print media content aggregators in Australia to ensure a level playing field and fair compensation to publishers for the use of their content”. 

While the agreement delivers significant client benefits to Isentia clients, it fundamentally helps Australian print and online publishers to invest in quality journalism and the development of content creation programs, with an assurance that they will be paid for its re-use.

The Copyright Agency’s CEO, Adam Suckling said “This agreement provides Isentia with a flexible and innovative licensing solution for its clients and ensures a revenue stream to publishers for use of their content so that they can keep producing high-quality journalism.

“The key publishers that the Copyright Agency represents publish great journalism and analysis which is expensive to produce. The revenue that flows from the new agreement makes a contribution to sustaining outstanding publishing, journalism and analysis in Australia.”

Under the new copyright agreement, Isentia will now provide clients with immediate access to media intelligence drawn from the millions of stories produced each year by Australia’s leading publishers of quality journalism including Fairfax, News Corp Australia, Bauer Media, Western Australian Newspapers and APN.

The media content licensed under the new agreement covers Australia’s most popular digital sites, newspapers and magazines, which reach a combined audience of close to 17 million Australians – about 94 percent of the adult population – and have greater influence and client impact than any other medium in Australia.

Under the new agreement the parties have agreed to significantly enhance the value provided to Isentia’s clients, who will now have retention and access to tailored online and print media content for a full 12 months – up from 180 days – providing Isentia’s clients with a fully searchable, 12-month archive of stories and business intelligence that is compiled on the basis of what is of critical importance to them.

Isentia clients will also now have real-time access to all stories as they are published, lifting a previous 4am embargo on some publications. For the first time clients will get immediate access to stories published across every major publication in Australia, Mr Suckling said.

Another key change is the significant increase in the number of people who are licensed to receive media items in a company, so relevant media items can now be shared with more people within an organisation. 



Isentia chief executive John Croll said the new Copyright Agency agreement recognised the increasingly complex media environment that Isentia’s clients navigate.

“This new agreement ensures our clients will receive high quality content from all the key publishers in Australia,” Mr Croll said. “No matter where a story breaks, Isentia will have the access and the rights to supply our clients with real-time, relevant information. The new copyright agreement also provides significant improvements for clients in the length of the archive and the number of internal users who can access the information.”



Women on Boards offer impactful advice

WOMEN on Boards (WoB) has developed into one of the most effective organisations in Australia in improving board – and hence company – performance.

Not only does WoB assist women to achieve board and leadership roles – under a model that is strategic, systematic and repeatable – WoB also assists organisations looking to achieve greater gender balance on their boards. WoB has proven over and over again that more diverse boards are more effective boards.

WoB practices what it preaches and has been operating as a successfully growing company with a social purpose since 2006, and is associated with the UK-based Women on Boards global organisation.

“Our governance model evolved after four years of work under the auspices of a well-regarded national women’s organisation and volunteers,” WoB chair Ruth Medd said. 

“There is a great deal of material published about the business benefits of a more gender balanced board. For boards that have used the traditional ‘who do we know’ approach, the question is how to tap into a wider pool of candidates.”

Ms Medd said board recruitment has moved from recruiting people with an interest in the organisation to people with ‘wanted skills’.

The key to success for many organisations has come out of an initial exercise to review the skills of a current board “and to look at the skills needed for the 21st century” Ms Medd said.

“Traditionally board appointments were made from the network of existing board members,” Ms Medd said. “Over time this has evolved to the use of executive search firms and/or public advertising. Both options can be expensive.  

“You may not wish to spend $20,000-plus recruiting a director when other options are available.”

WoB and other executive-search organisations offer web based options, with WoB obviously specialising in females who are both existing and aspiring board members.

“WoB offers its services anywhere and, almost, anytime with access to 35,000 members across 85 countries, principally Australia and the UK,” Ms Medd said.

While specialised skills and networks for a particular industry may be useful, Ms Medd said WoB recommended companies look for board members who, as a minimum, have the following generic skills:
Corporate  Governance understanding and experience;

Financial expertise suitable for the size and complexity of the organisation;

Senior experience in the sector where the organisation operates or a related sector.

She said these skills should be supplemented by the ‘board skills deficits’ the company has identified, including risk management expertise; communications and marketing experience; and an understanding of digital trends and social media.

Women on Boards is a 2015 Executive Member of NSW Leaders.