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Our Projects

UTS-IBM Smarter Planet Project

Increasingly intelligent and connected technologies like autonomous robots and cyber-physical systems are reshaping the nature of collaboration, business and work. These technologies will make possible entirely new forms of collaboration which will lead to significant opportunities for Australian government and industry.

The project will develop and validate a new, pragmatic approach to the development of intelligent systems that can undertake collaborative action in Smarter Planet applications. It aims to develop an innovative framework and associated models, methods and tools to improve the real-time collaboration capabilities of systems that can perceive and undertake physical and social actions. Using formal logics and practical, hybrid models of collaboration, action and behaviour, the approach will allow smart buildings, smart homes and smart cities to share resources effectively and engage seamlessly with users.

Web 2.0 has demonstrated how collaborative technologies can lead to advantage, and technologies that can collaborate with people physically and social will create new business opportunities and help to achieve higher levels of productivity.

Research Team: Benjamin Johnston | Xun Wang | Glenn Wrightwick | Mary-Anne Williams
Infrastructure: UTS Broadway Building | Nao Robots | PR2 Robot and Community | UTS Social Car of the Future
Funding: Australian Research Council | IBM Research | University of Technology, Sydney


VOICE (Virtual Open Incubation Ecosystem)

This international ecosystem, based on open innovation, crowd-sourcing and co-creation principles, aims to provide a virtual innovation and entrepreneurship incubator.  It is a realm where individuals, collaborators and start-ups can meet, co-create ideas and prototypes, review and refine their innovations using the wisdom of the crowd, share and find technical information; explore in-roads to business and access capital or crowd-funding. The project involves eight University partners across the world. The Magic Lab is playing a critical role in the management, use case definitions and requirements elicitation, ecosystem specifications, and innovation and entrepreneurship of this project. VOICE will be up and running in August 2016 and is due for completion in 2019.  http://www.voice-project.eu/

EU 7th Framework 2014-2019
Partners: Aalborg University Denmark, AIT Greece, INTRASOFT International
| MA Williams and P Peppas


Adaptive Cyber-Physical Technologies with Attention Driven Common-sense Behaviour

Designing intelligent cyber-physical systems for open, complex and changing environments presents enormous scientific challenges. Consider for a moment some of the challenges facing a social robot venturing into the world alone and unsupervised. How will it recognise and navigate a glass wall? How will it learn new skills? How will it process preconditions?
Beyond negotiating physical terrain, engaging with society and the people in it may also require particular traits  - demonstrations of independence or a sense of self , the ability to generate empathy, collaboration or genuine social interactions. A key step in the path to developing truly adaptive intelligent systems is the Magic Lab’s research into innovative frameworks, methods and tools that provide cyber-physical technologies with attention-based, common-sense capabilities for adapting to new, unexpected and unforeseen situations. A great summary of their work to date is showcased in the YouTube video: The Fugitive: A Robot’s Quest for Social Intelligence.

ARC Discovery Project 2012 – 2015
| MA Williams and P Gärdenfors, Lund University Sweden


Establishing a Next Generation Framework to Determine the Influence of Intelligent Water Metering on Householder Attitudes and Behaviours

This joint venture, between the Magic Lab, The Institute of Sustainable Futures and Mid-Coast Water, tests competing theories on how householders respond to interactive water consumption data from smart meters. The outcome is a new framework for intelligent water management, underpinned by research into the causal relationships between data communication and knowledge, and the impact that knowledge has on attitudes and behaviours.

ARC Linkage Project 2011-2014
| SB White, RA Stewart, MA Williams, DP Giurco, KR O’Halloran


IBM PhD Fellowship "Data Analytics"

This project is using data analytics to bring disruptive innovation to the financial services industry.

2015 - 2016 IBM
| Mahya Mirzaei Poueinag


Strategic Innovation through Data Analytics Project

This project led by Professor Mary-Anne Williams was designed to enhance CBA's predictive analytics capabiliites providing extraordinary opportunities for UTS staff and students. We partnered with CBA to develop business cases for data analytics and engaged key Magic Lab staff (Benjamin Johnston and Xun Wang), Magic Lab PhD Students (Mayha, Pramod, Ali, Nima), the UTS Business School, and Ernst and Young. CBA have hired the project's rainers as data scientists and invoted UTS PhD students to engage in the CBA Innovation Lab.

2014 - 2016 Major Industry Project
Partner: Commonwealth Bank
| Mary-Anne Williams


A Framework for Physical and Social Collaboration: Towards the Smarter Planet Vision

This project will make intelligent collaborative technologies a reality by advancing the theory of collaborative action and developing an innovative framework and practical methods which will allow intelligent systems to undertake the collaborative actions required for applications in transport, energy management, sustainability, and healthcare.

ARC Linkage Project 2012 – 2015
Partner: IBM - Australia
| Mary-Anne Williams, Benjamin Johnston and Glenn Wightwick