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WA to host space robotics consortium

Perth, WA, will the headquarters of a new, not-for-profit consortium aiming to capitalise on locally developed robotic technologies to help ensure WA companies play a leading role in the Australia-NASA Moon to Mars partnership.

The Western Australian Minister for Science and Innovation and ICT, The Hon Dave Kelly, said on 17 February the AROSE (Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth) consortium, led by Woodside, Fugro, Nova Systems, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia will position Perth as a global centre for remote operations in space, enabling Western Australian industry and universities to bid for space exploration projects, including NASA’s Lunar Gateway. Modelling by accounting firm PwC suggests a potential return of as much as $196 million over five years.

Minister Kelly said the WA Government has invested $1.5 million into AROSE. The consortium capitalises on the WA resource sector’s leading position in autonomous and robotics technology. WA miners and petroleum and resources companies have all invested heavily in autonomous and remote operations over the past few decades and this now supports operations across the State and offshore on the North West Shelf.

“What AROSE will do is take the world-class technology already utilised in Western Australia and adapt it for remote operations on the Moon, Mars and beyond,” he said. “In doing so, it will unlock new opportunities for WA businesses to participate in global space supply chains and ensure local businesses secure contracts in international space initiatives such as NASA’s Lunar Gateway and Project Artemis.”

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