Robotics and automation are boosting cross-industry collaboration and innovation. The links between the space sector and other industries are growing stronger as a result.

AROSE Director Space & Resources Michelle Keegan recently led the largest mining and METS sector mission to the NASA Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. The mission showcased the innovative approaches to exploration, novel robotics and sensing technologies designed by Australia’s METS sector that could be deployed into space exploration.

“The mission was based on NASA’s desire to better understand and collaborate on new approaches to exploration, in which Australia has many decades of experience to leverage,” Ms Keegan said.

“Together we will continue to build and refine new approaches to exploration with the goal of delivering improved exploration outcomes applicable to both on and off world.”

Australia’s leading global mining-tech company IMDEX joined AROSE on the mission to NASA, showcasing its remotely operated BLASTDOGTM technology, which combines a robotics platform with advanced down hole sensing for use on a mining bench.

“IMDEX is known globally for its exploration drilling technology, deployed on approximately 80 per cent of global exploration drill rigs. This knowledge can also be applied into off-world applications.”

By expanding into the space sector, non-space suppliers can become more financially resilient and help diversify the Australian economy.”

AROSE Director Space & Resources Michelle Keegan

Another innovative company at the NASA workshop was Datarock, which provides machine learning solutions that redefine how the mining industry extracts valuable geological and geotechnical information from images, video and point clouds.

“The combination of these technologies with other drilling technologies already deployed on the Moon and Mars could form part of a future vision for planetary exploration,” Ms Keegan said.

Ms Keegan said AROSE is driven to help expand opportunities for Australian businesses by connecting the METS sector to the space sector, and so enabling two-way technology transfer.

“By expanding into the space sector, non-space suppliers can become more financially resilient and help diversify the Australian economy. Also, through increased cross-sector collaboration staff on both sides are acquiring new skills and expertise.”

The Australian Government’s recently released National Robotics Strategy outlines a vision to develop and adopt sovereign robotics and automation solutions to secure Australia’s future.1 Robotics Australia Group founder and chair Dr Sue Keay was a member of the government’s advisory committee helping shape the strategy.

Dr Keay said it is a myth more robots would lead to widespread job losses and that investing in robotics and automation leads to employment growth.2

“While the adoption of robotics and automation may disrupt or change particular tasks in certain industries, research indicates that robotics will lead to a net growth in jobs by complementing and improving the productivity and job growth of many sectors,” Dr Keay said.2,3

Robotics Australia Group is currently working on an updated Robotics Roadmap for 2025 to raise the profile and capability of robotics in Australia, to identify the challenges and opportunities available for robotics, and to highlight accomplishments in the creation and application of robotics technologies.4

Robotics Australia Group is calling on Australian robotics industry players to contribute to the roadmap through a series of sector-specific webinars to gain feedback from sectors including construction, infrastructure, manufacturing, healthcare, defence, agriculture, education, arts, sports and emergency response.


For details of the Robotics Roadmap 2025 webinar schedule visit:



  1. Australian Government, Department of Industry Science and Resources, National Robotics Strategy (2024).
  2. SBS News (2019), ‘Robots aren’t stealing our jobs, new report says’.
  3. Georgieff A and Milanez A (2021), ‘What happened to jobs at high risk of automation?’, OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 255, OECD Publishing.


Australian company IMDEX recently showcased its robotic BLASTDOGTM technology to NASA. By expanding into the space sector, non-space suppliers can become more financially resilient and help diversify the Australian economy.