AARNet connects CSIRO’s Museum Robot to remote students

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Canberra, Australia – 21 March 2013 – Today Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy officially launched the CSIRO’s Robot Project  at the National Museum of Australia (NMA). Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet) and the National Broadband Network (NBN) provided the high speed broadband connection between the museum robot and remote students for the live demonstration at the launch event.

“This research project signposts the emergence of a technology that, in the near future, will be more intelligent, more agile and more common place across all aspects of our lives,” said AARNet CEO Chris Hancock.

Led by an educator, the robot took students at the participating sites on an interactive virtual tour around the National Museum’s Landmarks gallery.  The robot’s mobile Telepresence technology enabled real-time interaction between the students, the National Museum educator and an expert at the Melbourne Museum. A 360 degree panoramic camera allows students to interact with the exhibits independently.

The Museum Robot has been developed by CSIRO in partnership with the NMA. This technology will enable personalised access to museums and cultural institutions across Australia over high speed broadband connections.

In his address, Senator Conroy acknowledged AARNet’s contribution to the project, as the provider of R&E connections at the National Museum and the Melbourne Museum, and the service provider for the NBN at the Cathedral School in Townsville. These three sites participated in the launch event, today.

The robot outputs a data stream of 10 megabits per second to each of up to fifteen participants in a session.

Dr Ian Oppermann, Director of CSIRO’s Digital Productivity and Services Flagship said any school connected by high speed broadband or the NBN can take advantage of the robot.

“AARNet continues to support innovative technology projects that provide new and dynamic ways for students to be at the helm of their own learning,” said Hancock, adding that projects like this also provide the research and education network with an opportunity to model and understand network performance dynamics required to scale up projects of this nature.

Hancock said it’s the quality and performance of the end-to-end-to-network that defines the user experience.

“The demonstration today illustrates that the distribution of interactive, real time and visually rich experiences across Australia’s research and education network to NBN fibre connected schools ensures the quality of the classroom experience,” said Hancock.

– ENDS –

About AARNet

AARNet Pty Ltd (APL) is the company that operates Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet). It is a not-for-profit company limited by shares. The shareholders are 37 Australian universities and the CSIRO.

AARNet provides high-capacity leading edge Internet services for the tertiary education and research sector communities and their research partners. AARNet serves more than one million end users who access the network through local area networks at member institutions. For further information, please visit:

Media Contact

Jane Gifford
Manager, Digital Communications & Media Relations
AARNet Pty Ltd
02 9779 6960

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