Digital connectivity is impacting all economic sectors and industries. Industry 4.0 (I4.0) is about innovating our workplaces and social environments with smart systems powered by intuitive data and connectivity.

During the past decade, Curtin University has been building research capabilities that support the evolution of I4.0 – characterised by the internet of things, connectivity, artificial intelligence, data science, virtual reality, robotics, and others – and exploring their benefits to industry. Our research programs range in focus from digital technologies for the agrifood industry to datasets that generate immersive visualisation tools for training in the mining sector. Importantly, Curtin is dedicated to building collaborative research ecosystems that both anticipate and respond to industry needs.

Our research specialities include:

Robotics and automation
Machine learning and artificial intelligence
Immersive media
Internet of things and sensor technology
Data science
The future of work
Additive manufacturing
Teaching and learning
Cyber security

Robotics and automation

  • We’ve partnered with engineering company TENSA Equipment to develop a control algorithm for crane-load rotation devices, allowing cranes to operate more safely in varied weather conditions.
  • Our Biorobotics Research Lab focuses on autonomous robotic manipulation, enhancement of image-guided neurosurgery and rehabilitative and assistive technology, such as a full hand orthosis that helps people with weak fingers manage everyday tasks and a leg exoskeleton to allow people with spinal cord injuries to walk again.
  • We’re the first Australian University to trial a commercial driverless bus on campus; technology which will be used to inform the development of autonomous vehicles in a variety of industries and applications.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence

  • Our researchers working in Innovation Central Perth and the Optus-Curtin Centre for Excellence in Artificial Intelligence have specialised experience in applying artificial intelligence to business processes and are working across industries on a variety of projects.
  • Our researchers have developed a neural network that can identify mechanical faults by sound, for near-real-time classification and notification, which is being used in collaboration with the Public Transport Authority to detect escalator faults before they occur.
  • We have developed a world-first smartphone app that reads the faces of non-verbal patients, such as those with dementia, to assess pain levels. The app was acquired by PainCheck Ltd in 2016.
  • Our machine learning expertise extends to astronomy and earth sciences, such as the Desert Fireball Network, which uses a network of 50 optical cameras across Australia to detect possible meteorites, supernovae and space junk.

Immersive media

  • The Curtin HIVE (Hub for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch) enables meaningful interpretation, presentation and communication of data via a wide range of displays and mixed reality headsets, for use in everything from physical therapy and surgery to exploring Martian landscapes and underwater shipwrecks.
  • Our Consumer Research Lab uses large-scale displays to present 360-degree images and videos to immerse consumers in different retail environments, facilitating detailed research on consumer behaviour.

Internet of things and sensor technology

  • Through Innovation Central Perth, Curtin is working with National Energy Resource Australia to develop and deploy sensor technology in the energy and resources supply chain.
  • Our researchers are using Curtin’s Perth campus as a living laboratory thanks to the campus’s smart buildings and IoT technology, enabling a real-world insight into sensor systems, building integrity and our energy saving efforts.

Data science

  • The Curtin Institute for Computation initiates and fosters collaborative, interdisciplinary research and education across computing, engineering, and physical, health and social sciences to provide innovative solutions to complex problems.
  • The ARC Training Centre for Transforming Maintenance through Data Science brings together researchers from Curtin, UWA and CSIRO and industry partners Alcoa, BHP and Roy Hill to develop data science solutions to industry challenges and ensure efficient and effective maintenance execution.
  • Curtin is a joint venture partner in the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, one of the fastest supercomputers in the southern hemisphere, and hosting the world’s only real-time supercomputing service dedicated to telescopes used in astronomy research.

The future of work

  • At the Future of Work Institute (FoWI), Curtin researchers are investigating how emerging work processes can impact industry productivity and offer consultancy in workplace technology development, organisational culture and health.

Additive manufacturing

Teaching and learning

  • Through CurtinX, we also offer massive open online courses (MOOCS) that cover industry 4.0 topics such as the internet of things, data analytics and cyber security.
  • At the WA Data Science Innovation Hub (WADSIH), SMEs are supported through the coordination of training and development of course content development, including upskilling and executive programs at Curtin’s premises in St Georges Terrace in Perth city.

Cyber security

  • Through Optus, Curtin has established a partnership with leading international cybersecurity company Trustwave, which focuses on managed cyber security services for Curtin that will support further digital innovations and I4.0 expansion in the future.

Strategic partnerships

The most efficient method of learning, developing and deploying industry 4.0 technologies is through collaboration. Here are some of our strategic partnerships in this area.

Connect with us

We’re keen to work with emerging and established Industry 4.0 sector organisations via consultative, collaborative and other bespoke relationships.

If you’d like to find out more information about Curtin’s Industry 4.0 capabilities, please view our Industry 4.0 Capability Statement or contact Director Research Partnerships, Paul Nicholls.