Robots in biosecurity trial

The Hon David Littleproud MP
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia
  • Five remote-controlled robots being trialled in biosecurity inspection pilot
  • Funded through the $5.5 million per annum Biosecurity Innovation Program
  • Hades 5Z robots aim to reduce WHS risk and increase detection capabilities
  • Five remote-controlled robots being tested in a series of biosecurity inspections, to find out if they can identify biosecurity risks on imported cargo and if they can do it more effectively and safely.

    Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the Hades-5Z robot units were part of an exciting $64,000 pilot program funded by the government’s Biosecurity Innovation Program.

    “The robots will be put through their paces by biosecurity officers during controlled, onsite inspections using imported freight such as sea containers, vehicles and heavy agricultural machinery,” Minister Littleproud said.

    “The trial will take place at post-entry sites in Adelaide, Fremantle, Darwin and Brisbane and are being run in collaboration with the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries.

    “The units are fitted with high definition and thermal imaging cameras. They’re very slimline so they can be sent in underneath consignments. Live footage of the cargo underside can be viewed by officers on monitors.

    “These 4WD robots have the potential to significantly reduce WHS risks for officers.

    “At the moment, sea containers require hoisting to carry out inspections and officers are required to inspect underneath heavy agricultural machinery and used vehicles. It’s hoped using robots will reduce the safety risk to officers.

    “The robots will be tested on wharves and ports during hot and cold temperatures and high humidity. Their manoeuvrability across a range of surfaces will also be surveyed.

    “Hades-5Z will not replace valued staff; they are an additional tool to help us keep Australia safe.”

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