All posts by Marita Cheng

More Powerful Together

“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”

Michelle Obama

In a modern society, it can be difficult for young women to find role models within male dominated industries. Between the 6th and 7th of March, Aubot had the pleasure of attending events celebrating International Womens Day hosted by Business Chicks and Cisco Live! respectively. Our founder, Marita Cheng delivered inspiring speeches detailing her journey as a female engineer and the difficulties faced by women in male dominated industries. As an audience, it was incredibly motivating to see so many women overcome adversity and excel within their field. We believe that such events are a great step forward to encouraging more intelligent young women to have the confidence to pursue their desired careers.

Engineers of the Future

In the first weekend of March, Aubot was an exhibitor at Scienceworks’ Robotica: Festival of Futurism event. The event showcased a number of companies and organisations who are driving significant innovations in Australia’s robotics industry. The festival was highly successful in attracting a large number of families and young people, with many taking our Teleport Dave for a test drive! As a team, it was greatly rewarding to witness so many children become enthusiastic about the robotics industry, it is our hope that these young minds become future innovators and robot makers!

Photo credit: Rebecca Davies, Museums Victoria

Dave in Dandenong

On a cloudy Friday morning in February, Dave (a Teleport robot) and Ben (not a robot) rolled out of the Aubot office in Richmond, and made their way out away from downtown Melbourne to the Drum Theatre in the charming suburb of Dandenong.  It was here that Marita Cheng, the founder and CEO of Aubot was going to be giving a speech to a group of year twelve students.  However Marita was not going to be in the building, or even the country. Rather she was sitting in her office across the Pacific in San Francisco, enjoying a wonderfully chilly American Winter.  This is where Dave came to the rescue.

Being a Teleport, Dave went up on stage, and allowed Marita to have a presence there, under her own control, lending to the presentation a level of naturality and authenticity.  The gasps and laughter that came from the crowd when Marita turned the Teleport [Dave] around after her introduction was enough to show the level of excitement these students felt about a robot assisting in the presentation.

The Teleport ready for action in Dandenong

Successful TAC Mobility Trials

Last year, the Transport Accidents Commission (TAC) offered a grant to companies that could assist people with a disability in their everyday lives. Here at Aubot, we thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to allow for people with a disability to control our robots, regardless of their ability.  Over the past few months, the team at Aubot’s Melbourne office conducted trials, offering the opportunity for those both with and without disabilities to pilot the Teleport through a variety of control interface devices, such as chin control, joystick control, and head-tracking with a puff switch.  These devices would allow for those with limited mobility and dexterity, and those who would not be able to comfortably control the Teleport using the conventional keyboard controls, to use the Teleport to explore the world around them.

While many of the individuals that were part of the trials did not have a great deal of, or any, experience with all the interfaces we were testing, most of them enjoyed trying to figure out the controls and controlling the Teleport through them.  Across the 26 trials we conducted both in our office in Richmond, and around the Greater Melbourne and Geelong Area, we received some very good feedback on the ability to control the Teleport through this variety of control interfaces, leading us here at Aubot to be optimistic about the future aid that this technology could provide to the community of people with limited upper limb mobility.

Austrade Australian Landing Pad

Land in the Bay: The Australian entrepreneur’s guide to the San Francisco Bay Area

For the last part of 2018, we were invited by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, (or Austrade), to go to San Francisco and expand our business to the United States of America.

It has been an amazing experience, meeting other Australian companies who are at a similar growth stage and learning about how companies in the USA think about business.

We are grateful to the Austrade for the opportunity and are excited by our future USA plans. https://www.austrade.gov.au/landingpads/locations/san-francisco

Duke and Duchess of Sussex

On 18 October, the aubot team was one of 4 teams from the local community who was invited to the Governor’s House of Victoria to showcase our Teleport robots to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!

We weren’t allowed to take photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and we aren’t allowed to show the official photographs that were taken when they were speaking with us.

So here’s a photo we took before with Sarah and some aubot robot prototypes!

I wasn’t in Melbourne that day, so I appeared via Teleport robot!

It was a really fun day to show the Duke and Duchess of Sussex our robot accomplishments as well as new projects in the pipeline!

Choose Maths

Teleport appeared in this video for the Choose Maths campaign, funded by the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) to encourage girls in Australia to “choose maths” in their final years of high school.

Find out more about AMSI and their Choose Maths campaign here!

DST Scindicate

Our team took a Teleport to Defense Science Technology’s (DST) Scindicate event for DST staff from all over the country to participate and enjoy the expo, even if they couldn’t physically be there themselves.  The robots were very popular and used by many members of DST over the two-day event.

Here’s aubot engineer Sarah with a Teleport at Scindicate.

Robogals 10-Year Gala

At the 10-year Robogals Anniversary Gala on 14 July 2018, Marita appeared via Teleport to deliver a speech.  Marita was in San Francisco and the gala was in Melbourne.  Teleport and the Gala were both a huge success.