February 21, 2024

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New Zealand University Unveils Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Development Laboratory

A state-of-the-art purpose-built Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Development Laboratory, which will allow students to use advanced technology, has been opened on the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) Hawke’s Bay Campus in Taradale. The ribbon was cut by Hilton Collier, Chairman of the EIT Board, in front of staff and students this week, according to a recent statement.

The new lab includes a deep-learning server for machine vision and learning, HTC Vive Pro wireless virtual reality, a fume-extraction required by 3D printers, and a workspace that incorporates electrical supplies and bench-space for electronic fabrication and soldering, among other things.

Fred Koenders, Executive Dean, Faculty of Commerce and Technology, explained that the lab reflects the Bachelor of Computing Systems (BCS) role in Hawke’s Bay businesses, where horticulture processing and manufacturing represents a major contribution to the regional economy. “These industries are a likely destination for many of our graduates, and where significant productivity gains may well be achieved through pragmatic application of the kinds of technologies housed in this facility.”

The statement noted that the expanded facility doubles the capacity of the original 12-user lab, which had quickly become too small for the popular BCS Intelligent Systems major. EIT partnered with electronics company Omron to showcase the Omron Cobot to Hawke’s Bay industries. The Omron Cobot is a collaborative robot that can be used in a range of different scenarios where robots need to work alongside humans. The bot at the campus is set up to work with scenarios in the fruit industry and has a vision system that can be taught to recognise different objects.

Students will use the Cobot to develop their skills in programming the robot to recognise specific attributes including looking for blemishes or selecting fruit of a particular shape and size. The laboratory is also an extension and partnership with the Trades Academy at EIT, where Tutors, at both the Taradale and Tairawhiti campuses, have provided a training ground for secondary schools interested in technology, including drones and robots, 3D design, and 3D printing.

“We need our students to be thinking about tomorrow’s world and to be in a position to lead our organisations through the major changes forced on us by, for instance, COVID-19, and the natural evolution of change brought on by competition and the need for efficiency,” Koenders noted. He added that the new equipment makes sure that EIT is relevant, up to date, and progressive when it comes to teaching and student learning. The added advantage is that Hawke’s Bay industry will also get the benefits of this sort of technology.

Earlier this month, the University of Waikato has launched a new AI Institute, Te Ipu o te Mahara (A Receptacle of Consciousness). It is focused on translating New Zealand’s world-leading expertise in AI, real-time analytics of big data, and machine learning into commercial businesses and applications.

As OpenGov Asia reported, the Institute Director, Professor Albert Bifet, said that the purpose is to link Waikato’s world-class training and education with leading research and ultimately boost New Zealand’s growing tech industry. “Artificial intelligence and Maori tech have been identified as enabling growth engines for New Zealand and the purpose of Te Ipu o te Mahara is to leverage our world-leading expertise to benefit New Zealand.”

Research into real-time analytics for big data offers huge opportunities to create new businesses and transform existing businesses in the country. It offers a step-change in computer performance, the efficiency and effectiveness of processing the huge datasets behind deep learning, machine learning, and AI.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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