AI in Focus – Octant AI

AI in Focus – Octant AI

Octant AI: Addressing Construction Industry Challenges in the wake of Hutchinsons Builders’ Profit Slump

In light of the recent 80% profit slump reported by Hutchinson Builders in 2023, as highlighted in The Australian Financial Review, Octant AI offers a timely and critical solution for the construction industry’s risk management challenges. Developed through a collaboration at the University of Oxford, Octant AI is an advanced Artificial Intelligence platform that promises to revolutionize the management of financial risk in construction.

David Porter, Managing Director of Octant AI, recently provided commentary via LinkedIn saying,

“The news of Hutchinson Builders’ drastic 2023 80% profit slump underscores the critical need for effective risk management in the construction sector.”

“What if Hutchinson had integrated Octant AI’s risk prediction capabilities? This game-changing tool could have provided key insights, aiding in better navigation through the challenges of rising costs and complex projects.”

“Octant AI exemplifies a forward-thinking solution for identifying and mitigating risks up to 40% earlier than traditional methods, a strategy that could have significantly altered Hutchinson’s financial trajectory. Let’s learn and evolve.”

The Brisbane-based startup stands out for its ability to deliver insights into project performance across key result areas such as time, cost, revenue, and profit margin earlier, faster, and more accurately than traditional project analytics tools. This enables project managers, owners, deliverers, contractors, and financiers to make informed decisions swiftly and with less uncertainty.

Leveraging thousands of project datasets, Octant AI is calibrated to the specific needs of user organisations. Its continuous improvement with use and applicability to a range of projects, programmes, and portfolios make it a versatile and essential tool in today’s data-driven environment.

Mr Porter said “We all know that different businesses do things differently.  There is no one size fits all. The unique thing about our technology is that it uses a single set of universal algorithms that automatically customise the best possible model for each user, doing their own project their own way.”

Octant AI serves a diverse clientele, including private sector firms and public sector organisations. Its design maximises the use of existing data assets of organisations and integrates data from multiple project reporting systems, positioning it at the forefront of managing project complexity efficiently and cost-effectively.

In a sector where risks related to cost and time are prevalent, Octant AI represents a new approach towards embracing technology for sustainable and measurable improvements in project management. It is a testament to the adage, “If you see it sooner, you fix it faster, and avoid disaster”.

For more information about the Octant team and its transformative impact on project management visit

Find more AI in Focus Series here.

AI in Focus – Freelance Robotics 

AI in Focus – Freelance Robotics 

Freelance Robotics Innovates Agriculture and Advanced Manufacturing with Groundbreaking AI Technologies 

Redland Bay based robotics company, Freelance Robotics, is shaping the future of advanced manufacturing and agriculture with two trailblazing products, the Blue Dragon Framework and The Orion, a Mango Agri-Tech crop load estimator. 

Established in 2010, Freelance Robotics has been steadfast in its pursuit of innovative technology solutions. With a diverse team of just 16 employees, the company’s compact size belies its global ambitions and trailblazing innovation. 

Under the direction of Dr. Amanda White, General Manager, the company has recently launched the Blue Dragon Framework – the world’s first value-added retail system that automates fabrication, machining, and finishing jobs. This advanced system is designed to work with both industrial and collaborative robot arms, making it an all-rounder solution for businesses of varying scales. 

“The Blue Dragon Framework represents a pivotal moment for our company and for Australian advanced manufacturing,” says William Pagnon MEng(Mechatronics), CPEng, RPEQ, CEO of Freelance Robotics. He believes the revolutionary system will unlock opportunity for businesses worldwide. 

In the agricultural sector, Freelance Robotics is making waves with The Orion, a state-of-the-art Agri-Tech robotic system. The Orion mango crop estimator and auto harvester leverage advanced algorithms and vision technology to optimize resource allocation, improve yield predictions, and automate the process of picking ripe mangoes. 

Pagnon emphasized the close collaboration with industry partners in the development of these solutions, stating that “on-farm trials have been crucial in ensuring they meet the specific needs of mango growers.” 

AI and Machine Learning (AI/ML) have been pivotal in the company’s innovative solutions, offering tools for automated decision-making, pattern recognition, and predictive analytics. The successful integration of AI/ML in their products underlines the company’s commitment to bridging the gap between research and commercialisation. 

Freelance Robotics stands out from its competitors through its commitment to customization, flexibility, and user-friendly design. They prioritize designing intuitive interfaces, enabling non-technical personnel to operate and interact with their robotic systems effectively. This human-centric approach has made them a trusted partner in the industry. 

However, as AI/ML continues to transform the business landscape, Freelance Robotics acknowledges the challenges it presents, such as data privacy and ethics, and emphasizes the importance of careful planning and robust data governance. 

On the company’s horizon is the strategic development of a new spin-off, Agricultural Robotics, set to debut in the market in 2025, following the success of their first spin-off, Industrial Robotics. 

In recognition of its innovative contributions, Freelance Robotics was recently awarded a matched funding $1.5 million Accelerating Commercialisation grant. The funds will support the commercialisation of the Orion fruit forecasting and auto harvester systems, a testament to the company’s ongoing commitment to revolutionizing the agricultural sector. 

As the Tier One supplier for Universal Robots in Queensland, Freelance Robotics is undoubtedly a forerunner in the field, translating their passion for innovation into groundbreaking robotic solutions.  

Find out more about Freelance Robotics Here. 

Read more of our AI in Focus Series Here.

CoSpaces named new manager of The Precinct

CoSpaces named new manager of The Precinct

The Queensland Government and CoSpaces have officially announced today the new management agreement of Queensland’s biggest tech hub, The Precinct, set to commence from 1 March, 2024.

As a registered Queensland Real Estate Agency, CoSpaces will take over the management of commercial operations, including strategy, leasing, facility management, compliance, asset management, and reporting.

The team will also take the lead on community management, brand and marketing, integrated partnerships, events, activations, and program delivery.

The Precinct, located in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, is Queensland’s leading startup hub, bringing together startups, scaleups, the XR and AI Hubs, incubators and investors under one roof. The Precinct is part of the $755 million Advance Queensland initiative, established to support innovative businesses and attract tech talent to the sunshine state.

The CoSpaces team, Director, Ben Howe, COO, Ariana Margetts, and Director of Programs, Dren Xerxa, are responsible for establishing and managing some of Queensland’s largest innovation communities, and designing and delivering innovation programs that create more knowledge-based jobs in Queensland across entrepreneurship, technology and the emerging sectors.

“I’m looking forward to working with the Queensland Government, to drive the next chapter of the Precinct. We have a dynamic team at CoSpaces who have designed new programs to promote and increase The Precinct’s capability and in-turn, generate wider social and economic outcomes by improving business productivity, innovation and creating knowledge-jobs of the future” Mr Howe said.

CoSpaces currently manage Cohort Innovation Space, the Queensland AI HubLX Health, and OldStation.

Indigenous Australian Datathon is coming this November!

Indigenous Australian Datathon is coming this November!

The Queensland AI Hub is proud to support the Indigenous Australian Datathon taking place in Cairns 3-5 November. Through the datathon, participants will work within groups to create and pitch a solution, using one of the data-sets provided to develop innovative community-centric Artificial Intelligence and Big Data solutions.

Together with Traditional Owners knowledge and practices, Indigenous communities and Traditional Owners, technologists, data professionals, entrepreneurs and students will solve real community problems and reshape future opportunities for Indigenous Communnities.

Following on from last years datathon success of 53 participants, inclusive of 14 organisations, the datathon is working to share and educate participants and partners on traditional and digital technologies. The datathon is a great opporutnity to understand traditional techniques, culture and stories shared by our traditional owner and First Nations participants. In return, technical experts will be able to share their own knowledge on digital applications and innovation to collaborate on ways the teams can translate this knowledge back into the community.

The IAD aims to develop AI literacy and adoption within the Indigenous, regional and rural communities. Join the datathon to build technology-driven solutions for Indigenous community challenges in Australia.

Find out more about the IAD here.

Want to attend the datathon? Make sure to get your registration in here.

Keen to attend some events? Find out what the Queensland AI Hub is up to here.

New Queensland AI Hub Regional Chapter Directors Announced

New Queensland AI Hub Regional Chapter Directors Announced

The QLD AI Hub is thrilled to announce the newly appointed Chapter Directors, who will be participating in the state-wide Queensland AI Hub Chapters program. The Chapters will aim to connect existing communities across Queensland, with a focus on promoting and supporting AI/ML products, programs and events in regional centres.

The three new Chapter Directos hail from:

  • Townsville
  • Sunshine Coast

The Townsville Chapter will be lead by Dr Dianna Hardy and Kranthi Addanki. Dr Dianna Hardy is a Senior Lecturer and researcher at JCU. Dianna’s research focuses on leveraging ML approaches in industry and community projects. Dr Hardy is highly engaged in the tech startup ecosphere and is a nationally recognised researcher and speaker on using Design Thinking and co-design methods.

Kranthi is a Learning Technology Advisor and researcher at James Cook University. Her research includes a wide range of technologies including Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Kranthi aims to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal for high-quality education for all.

James Brouard, in the Sunshine Coast, has launched multiple startups and steered small businesses across the globe. Now running a successful SASS platform and creative agency, James has been diving deep into the AI scene, with a keen eye on its potential to shape our future.

The new Chapter Directors will join the Queensland AI Hub’s four existing Chapters in Mackay, Toowoomba, Cairns and Bundaberg.

For more information on how to contact your Chapter Director, or set up your own Chapter, please see our Queensland Chapter page.

The Queensland tech company leading the way in Drone Autonomy and LiDAR Mapping

The Queensland tech company leading the way in Drone Autonomy and LiDAR Mapping

Drone Autonomy, LiDAR Mapping and Data Analytics

Brisbane-based company Emesent was founded in October 2018, and has since become a trailblazer in the underground mining industry. With 154 employees, the company offers a range of innovative products that utilise artificial intelligence and machine learning (AIML) to help navigate unmanned systems, using simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) and identifying specific shapes for automation. Emesent’s unique offering in the industry is a combination of 3D scanning with autonomy. This allows for more accurate and precise data collection, particularly in hazardous and challenging environments. Emesent’s products and services have already impacted the underground mining industry, with over 400 systems in use globally, revolutionizing workflows across a number of countries. Global Head of Defence & Security, Dean Dickson says the company is combining advanced robotics, machine learning, and AI to build autonomous systems that will radically improve operational safety and efficiency. 
“The future development of a fully automated ecosystem delivering data analytics to a single operator via a 4D visualisation platform will be instrumental in increasing efficiencies and ensuring people are removed from hazardous environments”. 
Emesent’s focus on AIML will play a crucial role in the future of automation. The technology is expected to deliver more insightful data, providing greater value to customers. The company’s growth from seven employees in late 2018 to 154 in 2022, with the release of five new product offerings in 2022, is a testament to the potential of the technology. 
Emesent’s success lies in its ability to leverage AIML and its unique combination of 3D scanning and autonomy to develop cutting-edge products and services. The company’s focus on automation will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the industry, as more businesses recognize the benefits of utilizing AIML for their operations. Emesent is leading the way in this space, and it will be interesting to see how the company continues to innovate in the coming years. 
To find out more about Emesent please click here

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