This page belongs to: National Robotics Strategy

Strategy at a glance

Vision

Australian industries are responsibly developing and using robotics and automation technologies to strengthen competitiveness, boost productivity and support local communities.

Goals and objectives

National capability

Goal: Australia has a strong, collaborative robotics and automation ecosystem that is recognised for its strengths, has a thriving domestic market and exports globally. 

  • Boost research and development, commercialisation and scaling up of Australian solutions targeting areas of Australian strength.
  • Use government’s purchasing power to grow domestic demand for robotics and automation.
  • Raise the profile of Australia’s robotics and automation capabilities and supply chains locally and globally.
  • Leverage Australia’s international partnerships and networks, as well as state and territory governments, to create new opportunities.

Increasing adoption

Goal: Australian industries are supported to integrate robotics and automation technologies into their operations in ways that benefit Australian workers and communities.

  • Raise awareness of robotics and automation technologies and their benefits for critical industries, like advanced manufacturing, agriculture and mining, to support Australia’s future competitiveness.
  • Support and incentivise Australian businesses to adopt local robotics and automation solutions.
  • Improve digital and telecommunications infrastructure underpinning robotics and automation.

Trust, inclusion and responsible development and use

Goal: Robotics and automation technologies designed and adopted in Australia are safe to use alongside Australian workers, and are secure and inclusive by design. 

  • Ensure regulatory and legal frameworks enabling and applying to automation technologies are fit for purpose.
  • Better understand and address the social impacts of robotics and automation in critical industries.
  • Promote Australia’s engagement in relevant bodies for setting international standards.
  • Improve safety and cyber security of robotics and automation technologies.

Skills and diversity

Goal: Australians from all backgrounds contribute to and benefit from the development and adoption of robotics and automation.

  • Strengthen pathways into robotics-related careers.
  • Identify ways to better promote diversity and inclusion in robotics industries.
  • Monitor and plan for workforce changes and skills development alongside greater adoption of robotics and automation technologies.
  • Attract skilled migrants to increase our economic prosperity and security.
  • Raise awareness of the skills needed to support a technologically advanced economy.

Definitions and types of robots

The National Robotics Strategy uses the following definitions. For detailed technical definitions, refer to the International Organization for Standardization (2021).

  • Robots are machines with a degree of autonomy that can move in their physical environment or manipulate objects. All robots have 4 essential characteristics: sensing, movement, energy and autonomy.
  • Robotics is the science and practice of designing, manufacturing and using robots.
  • Autonomy is the ability to perform intended tasks based on current state and sensing, without human intervention.
  • Automation is the performance of actions based on a set of predefined criteria, without human intervention. Automation will be considered in the strategy where it is enabled by robots. 
  • The field of robotics encompasses many enabling technologies that are used in robots, such as computer and machine vision, sensors and sensing systems, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
  • The term robotics and automation technologies is used to refer collectively to all technologies listed above. 

Robots are traditionally divided into industrial and service robot types.

  • Industrial robots are automatically controlled, reprogrammable and multipurpose manipulators that can move in 3 or more axes. They can be fixed in place or mobile and are used in industrial automation applications.
  • Service robots are robots that perform useful tasks for humans or equipment, excluding industrial automation applications.

The strategy refers to specific types of robots, including:

An autonomous solar cleaning robot clearing dust build-up from solar panels.

An autonomous solar cleaning robot clearing dust build-up from solar panels. Credit: Innovative Energy Solutions.

Field robots: Robots that operate in large, unstructured outdoor domains. 

Case study: Solar Energy Robotics is a specialist division of Innovative Energy Solutions. It has developed an autonomous robot to clean solar arrays in the harsh, arid environments of remote mine sites. 

The autonomous solar cleaning robots are installed directly onto solar arrays and programmed to independently remove dirt and debris from solar panels. This helps ensure the solar panels work efficiently to provide a reliable power supply to critical mine site infrastructure.

Drones: Uncrewed air, land, surface or underwater systems that can be operated remotely or autonomously.

Case study: Ninox Robotics use long-range uncrewed drones for a variety of purposes, including emergency management.

Ninox Robotics has worked with the NSW Rural Fire Service, streaming real-time video to monitor and detect environmental threats and obstructions. Using drones helps keep firefighters safe and preserve Australia’s unique landscape.

An uncrewed aerial vehicle that detects and manages biosecurity threats using infra-red technology.

An uncrewed aerial vehicle that detects and manages biosecurity threats using infra-red technology. Credit: Ninox Robotics.

A cobot used with augmented reality to safely simulate welding.

A cobot used with augmented reality to safely simulate welding. Credit: Weld Australia.

Cobots: Robots designed for direct interaction with a human in a defined collaborative workspace.

Case study: Peak body Weld Australia uses a welder training system with augmented reality. The system teaches welding skills to apprentices while evaluating their performance in a hands‑on, interactive and controlled environment. TAFEs, high schools and registered training organisations have used the system in their own training programs. 

The augmented reality system has also been integrated with a cobot. This lets an apprentice safely learn automated robotic welding skills as well as the skills to use robotics in other applications. This helps future welders gain skills and self‑confidence in both manual and robotic welding before moving into real‑world welding workshops.