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The LABS

Learning and big solutions in research

Information and Tech

We develop new technologies and ways of managing and utilising information to provide solutions for government, business and the community.

thelabs@qut.edu.au

Robotics

We are building new robotics technologies to address present and future challenges. This new generation of robots can operate in complex real-world environments.

thelabs@qut.edu.au

Infrastructure

We are advancing management, materials and methods in construction and infrastructure-related industries to be more resilient, connected and sustainable.

thelabs@qut.edu.au

Health

Our research is focused on finding solutions for health challenges, from developing new medical treatments and devices to identifying pollutants and assessing air quality.

thelabs@qut.edu.au

Food and Farming

We are working to provide better foods, and harnessing the use of information and new farming technologies for more sustainable, efficient and profitable agricultural production systems.

thelabs@qut.edu.au

Environment

Using new knowledge and technologies, we take on some of the biggest environmental challenges, ranging from food security to climate change-related concerns.

thelabs@qut.edu.au

Energy

With a focus on building new energy-saving devices and energy storage technologies, we apply cutting-edge technology to optimise industrial processes, and refine, renew and modify raw materials.

thelabs@qut.edu.au

Bridging the gap between human and machine decision-making.

Bridging the gap between human and machine decision-making.

If you’ve ever found yourself pussy-footing about trying to decide if Schrödinger’s Cat is alive or dead, spare a thought for our machine counterparts trying to predict our likely choice.

Robotics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Decision Making
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Robotics
  • Technology
Novella Martin
Read Story
Bridging the gap between human and machine decision-making.

Bridging the gap between human and machine decision-making.

If you’ve ever found yourself pussy-footing about trying to decide if Schrödinger’s Cat is alive or dead, spare a thought for our machine counterparts trying to predict our likely choice.

Robotics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Decision Making
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Robotics
  • Technology
Novella Martin
Read Story
Crystals like you’ve never seen them before: they’re flexible

Crystals like you’ve never seen them before: they’re flexible

You’re already familiar with substances that are crystals — think rock salt, or quartz. Typically, these materials are hard, brittle and inelastic, and crack or shatter irreversibly when struck or bent.

Information and Tech
  • Atomic
  • Chemistry
  • Crystals
  • Hybrid
  • Information And Tech
Novella Martin
Read Story
QUT develops golden bananas high in pro-vitamin A

QUT develops golden bananas high in pro-vitamin A

Golden bananas high in pro-vitamin A produced by QUT researchers are being field tested in Uganda, where the fruit is a major staple in daily diets. Photo credit: Jean-Yves Paul

Food and Farming
  • Bananas
  • Food
  • Food And Farming
  • Gates Foundation
  • James Dale
Novella Martin
Read Story
Spider-Man: Homecoming spins a web of fact and fantasy

Spider-Man: Homecoming spins a web of fact and fantasy

Columbia PIctures/Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures

Information and Tech
  • Information And Tech
  • Marvel
  • Movies
  • Review
  • Spider Man
Novella Martin
Read Story
Surgeons admit to mistakes in surgery and would use robots if they reduced the risks

Surgeons admit to mistakes in surgery and would use robots if they reduced the risks

How good are humans at performing manual surgery? Major surgical errors must be reported and there has been research into the attitudes of surgeons in how they report such errors.

Robotics
  • Health
  • Medicine
  • Robotics
  • Surgery
The Labs
Read Story
Common airborne viruses travel further, remain viable longer

Common airborne viruses travel further, remain viable longer

When your mum told you to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, she was teaching you to prevent the infection of other people. New research findings are reinforcing that advice because the risk of infection by sharing germs this way is a lot higher than we thought. The current medical consensus is that if you sneeze or cough within about 1–2m of someone, and they breathe it in, or make oral contact with bacterial cells within a number of seconds or so, there is a chance of infection spreading to them. What if we have been underestimating the potential spread and lifetime of infectious agents?

Health
  • Flu
  • Health
  • Influenza
  • Prevention
  • Vaccines
Ann McLean
Read Story
Reef hidden behind Great Barrier Reef could hold secrets in its history

Reef hidden behind Great Barrier Reef could hold secrets in its history

Marine scientists working with laser data have revealed a vast reef behind the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, three times larger and its structure is differently shaped than previously thought. The reef isn’t made of corals, but of algae called Halimeda bioherms. This is the first time anyone has mapped a reef of this type to such detail, anywhere in the world.

Environment
  • Climate Change
  • Discovery
  • Environment
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Marine Science
The Labs
Read Story
Early warning systems for Australian farmers

Early warning systems for Australian farmers

Becoming more proactive rather than reactive can pay off. Being ahead of the curve with predictive technology, we save lives in the event of major climate events or infection outbreaks, for example. In terms of crop security, scientifically it is possible to predict problems using indicator plants.

Food and Farming
  • Agriculture
  • Cotton
  • Food And Farming
  • Sustainable Farming
Ann McLean
Read Story
Safe travels — avoiding oxygen fires in space craft/stations, aircraft and even hospitals

Safe travels — avoiding oxygen fires in space craft/stations, aircraft and even hospitals

Without safety checks, effective systems and proven technology, where would the future of safe travel be? Developments in space travel are realising exciting opportunities for passenger experiences beyond the stratosphere. Elon Musk’s phenomenal project, SpaceX, provides a prime example of a private space transportation service already in operation. Virgin Galactic is testing its passenger vehicles for space travel and is due to launch by the end of 2018. How do these companies, as well as standard airlines ensure the safety of their crew and passengers? What precautions are being taken to avoid such ambitious projects ending in an expensive fiery tragedy?

Information and Tech
  • Information And Tech
  • Space
  • Technology
  • Transportation
The Labs
Read Story
Wireless powered heart pumps to save lives by preventing infection

Wireless powered heart pumps to save lives by preventing infection

A new wireless system to power heart pumps could save lives by reducing deadly infections caused by current forms of the device. The current system used to power a heart pump, which is attached directly to the heart to assist weakened muscle to keep working, requires a cable running from the heart pump through the skin to a battery.

Health
  • Electronics
  • Health
  • Heart Surgery
  • Lifesaving
  • Wireless
The Labs
Read Story
First Australian cancer map for tracking deadly disease

First Australian cancer map for tracking deadly disease

Where you live and how much your household earns can influence your health and wellbeing. Every year, more than 120,000 Australians are diagnosed with cancer. That is one new case of cancer diagnosed every four minutes, and some of us face greater risks than others. Your location directly influences the possibility of you having access to timely diagnosis and treatment of cancer, a fact that is well known in Australia’s regional centres. In response to this, and to identify the gaps in our knowledge of these patterns, researchers working with the Cancer Council are developing a national map of the incidences of cancer across the entire country, including survival and screening practices.

Health
  • Australia
  • Cancer
  • Health
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
The Labs
Read Story
Better mattresses for improved spinal health through new research

Better mattresses for improved spinal health through new research

Improved mattress design means better sleep, and importantly, improved spinal health for consumers. What exactly do we know about how sleep positions affect spinal health? And what does this mean for mattress design?

Health
  • Health
  • Mattress
  • Medicine
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal
The Labs
Read Story
Making useful new products from waste, a cost saving in raising farm animals for export

Making useful new products from waste, a cost saving in raising farm animals for export

Recycling and upcycling (reusing materials or waste to create higher value products) have become common practice in some industries. As technology improves, it becomes more common for manufacturers in other industries to turn their waste into useful products. Industrial amounts of farm waste are available across Australia and can contribute to farm income if converted into saleable products. Australian scientists are working to produce improved quality, lower-cost feed for farm animals such as cattle, pigs, and chickens by using a molasses-like syrup from the left over material on sugar cane farms. Using chemical processes, it is possible to upcycle large amounts of sugar cane leaves and the dry residue left after the extraction of juice from sugar cane stalk, called bagasse, into quality feed ingredients for farm animals.

Food and Farming
  • Agriculture
  • Biorefining
  • Food And Farming
  • Recycling
  • Sugar Farming
The Labs
Read Story
Workplace health and safety penalties to reduce fatalities and injuries

Workplace health and safety penalties to reduce fatalities and injuries

Workplace safety laws for catastrophic accidents in the Australian construction industry are not as good as most of us would expect them to be. Workers whose daily jobs involve higher levels of risk may expect that if they were accidentally killed at work, the fine for their workplace would be significant. In fact, they are not as harsh as in other comparable countries. New penalties in the UK seem to be delivering the desired impact with employers changing the stringency of safety precautions in the interests of keeping all workers alive and well, and not just to avoid fines.

Infrastructure
  • Construction
  • Infrastructure
  • Law
  • Politics
The Labs
Read Story
Saving jaguars using technology, community and mathematics

Saving jaguars using technology, community and mathematics

Threatened with extinction, the jaguars of the Amazon present an urgent management challenge. Factors such as climate change, hunting and land clearing impact their populations, pushing them towards an extinction tipping point. The crucial conditions to identify that tipping point have been established using field data gathered in collaboration with government and local Amazonian inhabitants.

Environment
  • Environment
  • Jaguars
  • Statistics
  • Technology
  • Virtual Reality
The Labs
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The future of flying cars: science fact or science fiction?

The future of flying cars: science fact or science fiction?

Uber has shaken up the taxi industry and is trying to put driverless cars on our roads. Now the company aims to have flying ride-sharing vehicles in our skies by 2020. Uber is not alone in working towards flying cars. But is this realistic, or just marketing hype?

  • Autonomous Cars
  • Informationand Technology
  • Self Driving Cars
  • Transport
The Labs
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Global future protein source, mungbean’s genetic information now accessible to all

Global future protein source, mungbean’s genetic information now accessible to all

Future proofing the planet’s population involves researching foods that can grow in arid climates, provide high yields and be used in a wide variety of ways. Mungbeans have been a staple in Asia and used in everything from poppadums and noodles to desserts for centuries. They have come to the attention of scientists because they can be genetically manipulated for resilience in harsh climates and to produce high yields. To accelerate research into this useful protein source, the information about all the different varieties of this important food source is being shared globally.

Food and Farming
  • Data
  • Food And Farming
  • GMO
  • Mungbeans
  • Sustainability
The Labs
Read Story
Lessons from South Australia’s blackout: we need to make infrastructure more resilient to climate…

Lessons from South Australia’s blackout: we need to make infrastructure more resilient to climate…

*Last week’s storm and subsequent state-wide blackout in South Australia reminds us how important the electricity grid — and other infrastructure — is for our communities. *The article refers to the storm event on 28 September, 2016.

Energy
  • Climate Change
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Infrastructure
  • Solar
The Labs
Read Story
Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2: a scientist’s review

Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2: a scientist’s review

Star-Lord Peter Quill and the gang are back as Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 opens in cinemas from today in another outing of the galactic blockbuster. It’s one of the most fun films I’ve seen in years, combining hilarity with characters you care about, and spectacular visuals that trump the first instalment, Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014.

Information and Tech
  • Comics
  • Information And Tech
  • Mathematics
  • Movie Review
  • Movies
The Labs
Read Story
A survival guide for the coming AI revolution

A survival guide for the coming AI revolution

If the popular media are to be believed, artificial intelligence (AI) is coming to steal your job and threaten life as we know it. If we do not prepare now, we may face a future where AI runs free and dominates humans in society.

Information and Tech
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Information And Tech
  • Machine Learning
  • Robotics
The Labs
Read Story
Citizen science for a sustainable, profitable future for Australian graziers

Citizen science for a sustainable, profitable future for Australian graziers

Life on the land for graziers presents a great many challenges, many of which are beyond their control. There are the immediately evident challenges: climate events and their impacts on available feed and water, for example. What might not be apparent though is the considerable amount of data that farmers regularly manage and utilise; and the newly evolving tools with which they are able to monitor and manage their farms.

Food and Farming
  • Agriculture
  • Cattle
  • Citizen Science
  • Data Science
  • Food And Farming
The Labs
Read Story
Why bad housing design pumps up power prices for everyone

Why bad housing design pumps up power prices for everyone

Whether you’re a boatie or not, everyone realises the importance of keeping the water on the outside when you go sailing or fishing. The less leaky the boat, the less you have to rely on devices like bilge pumps to stay afloat.

Infrastructure
  • Air Conditioning
  • Electricity
  • Energy
  • Infrastructure
  • Sustainability
The Labs
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We need a comprehensive housing approach to deal with heatwaves

We need a comprehensive housing approach to deal with heatwaves

Heatwaves across much of the country this summer have revealed a serious problem with our national housing stock.

Energy
  • Architecture
  • Climate Change
  • Energy
  • Infrastructure
  • Summer
The Labs
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How to make a driverless car ‘see’ the road ahead

How to make a driverless car ‘see’ the road ahead

Microchip manufacturer Intel has invested heavily in the driverless car race with the latest US$15 billion (A$19.5bn) purchase of Israeli tech company Mobileye.

Robotics
  • Automotive
  • Autonomous Cars
  • Robotics
  • Self Driving Cars
The Labs
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Virtual reality to assist people with intellectual disabilities real world way finding

Virtual reality to assist people with intellectual disabilities real world way finding

New places can be confusing. Particularly places like airports and train stations that provide no small a dose of anxiety for unfamiliar travellers. Additional confidence from prior knowledge gained through virtual reality familiarisation videos contributes to reduce some of those anxieties. For people with intellectual disabilities, having this prior knowledge, customised in the way they like to experience a place, improves their capacity to enjoy that experience.

Health
  • Accessibility
  • Health
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Training
  • Virtual Reality
The Labs
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To keep heatwaves at bay, aged care residents deserve better quality homes

To keep heatwaves at bay, aged care residents deserve better quality homes

With rising temperatures, surging power prices and an ageing population, there are challenging times ahead in terms of looking after our most vulnerable elderly citizens.

Energy
  • Climate Change
  • Energy
  • Health
  • Infrastructure
  • Policy
Novella Martin
Read Story
Monitoring the Great Barrier Reef. Is a healthy reef a beautiful reef?

Monitoring the Great Barrier Reef. Is a healthy reef a beautiful reef?

The Great Barrier Reef was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Area in 1981 and is widely recognised for its exceptional natural beauty. Under the World Heritage Convention, the Australian federal and Queensland state governments have a responsibility to monitor and report on the reef aesthetic values, as well as more traditional reef health measures such as water quality and biological diversity.

Environment
  • Climate Change
  • Environment
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Research
  • Virtual Reality
Ann McLean
Read Story
Vanuatu freshwater aquaculture research for a sustainable future

Vanuatu freshwater aquaculture research for a sustainable future

The Republic of Vanuatu is particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change, and ranked among the most vulnerable countries in the world to both geological and climate risks. Vanuatu fisheries provide for a sustainable supply of fresh protein, as well as new opportunities for employment and improvements.

Food and Farming
  • Climate Change
  • Environment
  • Fisheries
  • Food And Farming
  • Sustainable Development
Ann McLean
Read Story
Starlings, pest species for agriculture, monitored with new technology

Starlings, pest species for agriculture, monitored with new technology

Starlings could cause an estimated $42.8 million per year in damage to Western Australia’s grain and horticulture industries. In addition, starlings aggressively push native birds from their nests and cause damage to property, incurring costs for cleanup and the reestablishment of native birds.

Environment
  • Agriculture
  • Birds
  • Environment
  • Starling
  • Western Australia
Ann McLean
Read Story
Crystals like you’ve never seen them before: they’re flexible

Crystals like you’ve never seen them before: they’re flexible

You’re already familiar with substances that are crystals — think rock salt, or quartz. Typically, these materials are hard, brittle and inelastic, and crack or shatter irreversibly when struck or bent.

  • Crystals
  • Discovery
  • Hybrid Materials
  • Science
Novella Martin
Read Story
The next pharmaceutical revolution could be 3D bioprinted

The next pharmaceutical revolution could be 3D bioprinted

3D bioprinted channel, representing a blood vessel within a hydrogel that mimics human tissue. Forget, Heiny, Derme, Mitterberge

Health
  • 3D Printing
  • Aurelien Forget
  • Bioprinting
  • Health
  • Tim Dargaville
Novella Martin
Read Story
Driverless cars, just imagine how we could use them

Driverless cars, just imagine how we could use them

Driverless car interior (BMW i3 presented at the 85th Geneva International Motor Show)

Robotics
  • Autonomous Cars
  • Future Technology
  • Robotics
  • Self Driving Cars
  • Tech
The Labs
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Drones, smart cameras and machine learning for remote environmental monitoring

Drones, smart cameras and machine learning for remote environmental monitoring

Ningaloo Reef at the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage site in Western Australia

Environment
  • Climate Change
  • Coral Reefs
  • Drones
  • Environment
  • Remote Sensing
Ann McLean
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