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2018 Gibbons Lecture 2: Robotics in Industry

10 May 2018: 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

University of Auckland,
Owen G Glenn Building,
Room OGGB 3/260-092,
Level 0,
12 Grafton Road,

There is public parking in the basement of the Owen G Glenn Building at 12 Grafton Road.

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2018 Gibbons Lectures in association with ITP

The Computer Science Department at the University of Auckland, in association with IT Professionals New Zealand, is pleased to announce the Gibbons Lecture Series for 2018. This year the lectures address aspects of Robotics in Industry and at Home.

Robots Everywhere
Robotics in Industry and at Home

A robot is a machine capable of sensing and carrying out a complex series of actions automatically, especially when controlled by computer programs. It seems that every day we hear news items concerning robots, the tasks that they are now able to perform and how they are expected to interact with humans.

Particularly newsworthy are autonomous robots that operate without immediate human control and androids that are made to resemble humans, but most robots are machines designed to perform a task with the most practical shape for the task itself.

The branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots, is called robotics. Robotics is an interdisciplinary branch of engineering and science that involves mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science and other disciplines from the social sciences. In New Zealand, robotics is an active area of research.

The first speaker this year, Bruce MacDonald from our Faculty of Engineering, will overview the state of robotics research, especially local research directions. Mike Shatford, Managing Director of Design Energy, will follow with a summary of how robotics and supporting technologies are solving problems for industry, world-wide and in New Zealand, particularly in small and medium enterprises. From our Department of Computer Science, Patrice Delmas will discuss the problems of providing robots with vision. To end the lecture series, Elizabeth Broadbent from our Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences will present some of the social issues of interacting with robots and her research into this area.

Lecture 2: Robotics in Industry

In New Zealand, small and medium enterprises and producers with smaller or mixed volumes of product are the prevalent industries. Traditionally, this group has not been the focus for industrial automation so, as a business offering robotic production solutions in New Zealand, Design Energy has a keen interest in technologies that are able to meet the demands of these users.

Mike's talk aims to close the loop between academia and industry; reporting on successes - where, and how, robotics is serving our target market, and where there are gaps and opportunities for both the originators of new technology and the end-users it will serve.

Please join us for refreshments from 6pm at Level 1 of Owen G Glenn Building, 12 Grafton Road.

(Please see for other Gibbons lectures in the series)

About The Speaker

Mike Shatford is Managing Director of Design Energy Limited. He is a mechanical engineer with 20 years' experience in industrial automation, robotics and technology product development and commercialisation.

He originally trained and worked as a design engineer developing high speed automated production systems. Then, in 2007, he founded Design Energy, which is a Christchurch-based engineering consultancy specialising in product-to-market engineering. Design Energy is the parent company of AutoMATE, an industrial robotics systems developer, and Transverse Technology Limited, a consumer audio technology start-up.

Design Energy is also the New Zealand agent for several world-leading robot brands and has robots operating in factories from Auckland to Bluff. 

Mike is recognised as an expert in the deployment of automated production systems and has had considerable experience and interaction with industry during his career. He now provides his robotics and industry expertise to many of New Zealand's most sophisticated producers and to research institutions such as the University of Canterbury, the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Callaghan Innovation.

Drinks and nibbles will be served from 6pm on Level 1 of the Owen G Glenn building. Lecture commences at 6.30pm. Live streaming will also be available.

Find out more information about the Gibbons Lecture Series.

Registration Details:

Attendance is free, however please register below for catering and to secure your place.


Please note that this session may be video or audio recorded for viewing by other members at a later date. As it is possible that audience members may be incidentally recorded, please let us know if you specifically want to be excluded and we will ensure you are not shown.

Attendance Cost


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