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Ingenuity Exhibition

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (15:46): I rise today to speak about my time visiting the Adelaide Ingenuity exhibition at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 31 October. Ingenuity is an interactive event that showcases student projects across the fields of engineering, computer and mathematical sciences. It is the biggest event of its kind and it serves as a fantastic opportunity for students to network and showcase their work to young people, government and industry.


This year's exhibition focused on five key cross-disciplinary themes: transforming technologies, future energy and resources, healthy society, our built and natural environments, and securing our future. These themes were selected based on their relevance and their current impact on our world today.

The event also featured a career zone and a Women in STEM lounge. At the career zone, students and young people were invited to explore the different career pathways open across science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As women are traditionally under-represented in STEM degrees, the Women in STEM lounge provided an opportunity for those interested to talk to women studying in this area and to obtain a better understanding of future opportunities.


This year's event showcased over 300 student projects. I was truly impressed by the wide variety of the projects on display and the knowledge, creativity and passion demonstrated by the students. One interesting project I viewed on the day was a biologically inspired autonomous underwater vehicle, commonly known as an AUV. AUVs are utilised by research and defence organisations in exploration and data-gathering missions.


This particular group of students recognised several issues with the current design of AUVs. Namely, they can be intrusive to the natural environment. They are also limited in their range and their ability to navigate complex environments, like coastal reefs and intricate caves. Their solution was to design and build an AUV inspired by a cuttlefish, as this creature is known for its ability to traverse intricate environments with ease. The finished product was displayed in a pool of water to demonstrate its inspired cuttlefish-like mobility. It was also fitted with an infrared obstacle avoidance system to allow the vehicle to operate with a degree of autonomy.


In the future, the team's AUV can potentially be used for a variety of purposes. For example, it could be used to survey coastal reefs, research the effects of climate change or to monitor marine life. I recently discovered that this team was awarded the innovation award and the mechanical engineering project award. These awards are well deserved and I congratulate the students for their efforts.

Another project that sparked my interest is the development of a weed identification, mapping and spraying system. This particular system involved computer vision and machine learning to identify, map and selectively spray weeds in real-time. The developed system can be retrofitted to a conventional spray boom to reduce the amount of chemical used in broadacre farming.


Another team designed and built an automated bung removal system for Treasury Wine Estates. A bung is a stopper in a wine barrel that is currently removed manually in order to empty barrels. The team's finished project can automatically detect, grip and remove a bung, minimising the risk associated with manual handling. That is just a few of many interesting projects that were on display at Ingenuity.

I commend all the students and supervisors and the university for their involvement in this important event. I have no doubt that it was inspiring to many of the 3,500 primary and secondary students who attended on the day. It was very pleasing to see so many young people wanting to get involved by asking the university students about their work. With our forever changing world, it is encouraging to see so many students involved and interested in finding solutions to better our future.


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