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The robots are coming to BCEC

Brisbane to host the world's premier forum on robotics and automation

Self-driving cars, robotic assistants or robotics that fly or swim are likely to be on the agenda of a new conference for Brisbane.
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) has been chosen to host the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in May 2018.

The six day conference - plus three days of workshops and tutorials - is expected to attract more than 1,500 of the world’s leading robotics researchers and innovators delivering an estimated $5.5 million in economic benefit to Brisbane and the Queensland economy.

This is the first time this leading international forum, described as a frontier of science and technology in robotics and automation, has been held in Australia. The conference is expected to stimulate discussion on the development of robot technology as a solution for future challenges around productivity and the economy.

The Brisbane event will provide a global platform to showcase the strength of Queensland’s robotics research expertise and its many real-world achievements in the area of robotics particularly in field robotics and agriculture.

Conference Program Chair, Professor Peter Corke, Director of the Centre for Robotic Vision at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) said the successful bid to host the Conference in Brisbane was largely the result of the strong work in robotics currently taking place in Brisbane and Australia with the support of a strong local organising committee.

“Certainly the strength of the local sector, the wide appeal of Brisbane and the world class facilities of the BCEC were all factors in the decision making process,” he said.

Professor Corke said the successful hosting of the 2014 G20 Leaders Summit by BCEC provided further certainty to making the choice of Brisbane for the 2018 meeting.

“The fact that BCEC was the host venue for the 2014 G20 Leaders Summit – the largest and most influential meeting in Australia’s history – gave the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Administrative Committee further confidence in the destination and reinforced the world credentials of the Centre,” he said.

Professor Corke said the conference would provide important networking opportunities as well as encourage collaboration in international research projects.

Involvement with the broader community, he said, was a priority. “We will be working hard to create opportunities to engage with the community and to involve schools.”

Contemplating where robotic technology might be headed in 2018, the Professor suggested there could be stimulating discussion on the agenda around the potential for robots to become our farm hands of the future, custodians of our reef or our home helpers.

Professor Corke and Conference General Chair, Dr Alex Zelinsky Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist, in collaboration with the team at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, prepared and presented the winning bid to the Robotics and Automation Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

BCEC, together with its key convention partners Tourism and Events Queensland and Brisbane Marketing, work collaboratively to secure leading international scientific meetings for Brisbane. BCEC General Manager, Bob O’Keeffe said being selected to host the 2018 ICRA event was further affirmation of Brisbane’s reputation and track record for hosting world class events and its appeal to the international scientific and research sectors.

“These conferences at the cutting edge of science and technology have enormous benefit for Brisbane in driving investment, delivering research outcomes and fostering international collaboration as well as the obvious financial advantages.”

Brisbane Convention Bureau General Manager, Conventions and Business Events, Rob Nelson said it was great that the legacy of the G20 continued to contribute to Brisbane and BCEC’s global positioning as a world-class business events destination.

“It’s a privilege for Brisbane to host a conference of such significance and relevance to our city as a scientific research and innovation hub, and I know the delegates will receive a warm welcome during their stay.”

Brisbane’s bid to host the International Conference on Robotics and Automation has been supported by the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of its commitment to grow overnight visitor expenditure and showcase Brisbane as a leading business, study and leisure destination.

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