Optus Future Makers Program

Thank you Optus, for naming us Future Makers!  We took part in a 4-month program where we were mentored in social entrepreneurship and scaling our impact.  We had three 3-day sessions in Sydney, and one 3-day session in Melbourne during the 4-month period.

At the conclusion of the program, 50% of the 12 participants received funds to execute their projects.  2Mar’s funds will be used to continue our work, making robots to help people in their everyday lives, and to fund robots for kids with cancer in hospital so that they may remotely attend school.  Thank you Optus!

Meeting with Minister for Business and Innovation

I met with the Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation & Trade, Minister Philip Dalidakis MP and Minister Steve Herbert MP to share about Teleport.
They were particularly interested in the use cases around healthcare :
  • Getting specialists from Melbourne to Teleport into rural and regional hospitals in order to save time and money.
  • Teleport in metropolitan general practices for specialists in the larger local hospitals to consult with the GPs
  • Having robots all around the hospital for loved ones, family and friends to Teleport in, to visit patients in hospital – saving time, reducing stress and increasing visitation hours
  • Patients may also be discharged early and monitored at home from the hospital remotely via Teleport, saving the hospital money.

PM Malcolm Turnbull visits

As a flow on from our time at Engineers Australia Victoria’s office, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull decided to pay us a visit to see our robots.

He brought along his media entourage!

I told him about the robots being used for education – such as sick kids in hospital attending school, or getting high school maths and science teachers, based in metropolitan areas, teaching in rural and regional schools across Australia via Teleport.

We appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald together the next day on 6 June 2016.

Myer Innovation Fellowship

I was named a Myer Innovation Fellow to continue my work with telepresence robots for people with a disability. Two other people were also named as a MIF, they are Anna Rose and Andrew Robinson.

MIF

The Fellowship will enable me to dedicate even more resources towards bringing helpful robots to the world.

Thank you Myer and the Myer Foundation! More information available at this link.

Melbourne Famous: Teleport in The Age

Teleport appeared in The Age on 31 January 2016, exploring Melbourne, as an example of technology that will be everywhere in the next few years.  Exploring cities, museums and art galleries are all adventures Teleport is looking forward to taking.
Read the full article here!

TheAge spread

Virtual friends: Entrepreneur Marita Cheng with the robot likeness of fellow entrepreneur Alberto Rizzoli.

Table for two: In 10 years, we will all be doing it.

Qantas Tech Talk in the Sky

To celebrate QANTAS’ reintroduction of their Sydney to San Francisco flight, they decided to host tech talks in the sky, in collaboration with TEDxSydney.

QANTAS Ideas that Travel

On 17 February, I participated in QANTAS’ Tech Talks in the Sky by doing a demo where I controlled Teleport with my brain, while the plane was flying over the Pacific Ocean from Sydney to San Francisco!  This showcases the use case of someone with a disability being able to control Teleport from home, while being productive and participating in meetings at work.

Travelling internationally with Teleport on commercial flights has really forced our team to work hard at making Teleport as easy as possible to travel around with via plane, so after this trip,  we redesigned a few features to make Teleport more transportable.

Check out my speech below!

Deputy Premier and the Governor of Victoria

After 3 months, we concluded our industry placement experience for students in engineering. During that period, we had visits where we showcased our work. Our first major visit came right before Christmas on 15 December 2015 where we welcomed the Victorian Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Minister Merlino.

And in the final week of the internship, on 24 February 2016, we welcomed the Governor of Victoria, with each team giving a presentation about the work they completed to welcome and inform our special guests.

News covers

We were in the media last year!

On the cover of The Australian’s Knowledge Nation 100 on 11 December 2015.

 

And the back cover of the AFR on 20 November 2015! The full AFR article can be accessed here.
AFR

Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce

With commitments in Melbourne on 27 November, I sent Teleport to Sydney so that I could participate in a panel alongside the Chief Scientist of Israel, Avi Hasson, and the Australian Assistant Innovation Minister, Wyatt Roy, moderated by  Warwick Smith AM for the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.

I showed up a bit early and just looked at the audience from the stage while rolling here and there. It was phenomenal.  It felt like I was actually present at the venue. I could see the audience. I could move around on stage.

I could turn to Wyatt when he was talking, raise the head of the robot when the moderator was asking questions, and I could pan the audience when I was answering questions.

AV plugged the speaker system into Teleport directly, so everyone could hear me loudly and clearly.

Afterwards, I walked Teleport around the ball room amongst the 300 people in the audience and did some networking. I could hear the person I spoke with crystal clearly, even in a very crowded room!

It was unreal and I cannot wait until I do another speech via Teleport!

Summer work experience

We decided to provide Summer work experience to engineering students from all over Australia.  First thing we needed to figure out was a venue to house them all!  Through giving a speech on 19 September for the City of Melbourne, Melbourne Conversations, I ran into an old friend, the CEO of Engineers Australia, Steve Durkin.  They had just opened a new office in the Melbourne CBD and so he invited us to check it out.

Their office spans 1.5 floors on the 30th and 31st floors.  They decided to give us their venue area as office space.

This is the view of our space from above the atrium.

Ample room for both humans and robots.

All we had to do was look out the window for inspiration.

They had this great tiered seating area.

So fancy and new!

We received 200 applications and accepted the top 20 to participate in our Summer engineering experience program.  A month later, on 23 November, we moved in with our engineering students from all over Australia – Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Wollongong, Hobart and Mallacoota, and got to work!

These are photos of my awesome team on day one.